German president pledges to fight racism in end of Ramadan message

Berlin (dpa) – President Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledged determined action against racism in a message to Germany’s Muslims issued on Friday, a day before the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“Hatred and exclusion, violent attacks targeting Muslims, attacks on mosques – we cannot tolerate this, we cannot allow this,” Steinmeier wrote.

Protecting Muslims was a task for every individual and for the state, he said, recalling the attack in the western city of Hanau on February 19, when a 43-year-old German shot and killed nine people of foreign origin.

Pamphlets and video material found at the home of the man, who allegedly also killed his mother and later himself, indicated a racist motive behind the killings.

Steinmeier said he had been deeply affected by the crime, describing it as an attack on peaceful coexistence and on all the values shared by Germans, including respect for human dignity, tolerance, diversity and freedom of worship.

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