"Discrimination and segregation has no place here [in Germany]. That's why we will prosecute anti-Semitic crimes with all the legal power we have," Merkel said in a statement during her speech at the Bundestag, the lower house of the country's parliament. "As the Chancellor of Germany, I take the Muslims of our country under my protection."
She added that she would not allow segregation on the part of those who are suspicious of all Muslims in Germany in light of the Islamist terrorist acts in Paris.
Germany has seen a wave of anti-Islamization rallies recently, with one of the largest rallies held on Monday by the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida). In her New Year address, Merkel said the movement’s supporters had hatred in their hearts. Reportedly, 80 prominent German politicians and public figures joined the anti-Pegida campaign on January 6.