The German police have arrested a man who allegedly stuffed Qurans into toilets in mosques in northern Germany, local outlet the Weser Kurier reports. The suspect, reported to be a refugee of Kurdish origin from Iraq, was detained in Schleswig last week on suspicion that he had vandalised the holy book of Muslims there. The man admitted that he had also committed similar acts in other cities, including allegedly desecrating 50 copies of the Quran, tearing them apart and urinating on the pages, in a mosque in Bremen in early June.
According to the police, he tore down soap dispensers, sinks in the sanitary rooms, and threw pages of the Quran into a toilet in a mosque in Schleswig a month after his suspected rampage in Bremen. Similar incidents also took place in two other cities in northern Germany – in Minden, where Quranic pages and excrements were scattered in a prayer room, and in Muenster.
These acts prompted outrage among the Muslim community. Bremen’s Mosque Association Shura branded the incident a "disgusting attack", noting in a statement that it hurt the feelings of Muslims. The Central Council of Muslims in Germany also condemned the act, with its chairman, Aiman Mazyek, describing the act as “a new dimension of perversion” that “clearly aims to further fuel the spiral of hatred and violence against Muslims and their mosques”. He also demanded that the Bremen police investigate the case thoroughly and that mosques in Germany should be better protected.
The outlet also points out that almost immediately before the alleged suspect was apprehended, the misdeeds were attributed to the political right. SPD lawmaker from Schleswig Birte Pauls even called on the AfD to finally understand that words can turn into violence.
However, police warned against pointing fingers as long as the case is still being investigated. Moreover, the prosecutor in Flensburg, located in Schleswig, ruled out a right-wing background in the incidents.
"A xenophobic background can be ruled out. There are no signs at all", the prosecution office’s spokeswoman Stephanie Gropp said, noting that the probe is ongoing.