Knife attack in Germany: police officer killed

Germany is in shock after a fatal knife attack on Friday in which a 25-year-old man attacked several people at an event organised by the Islamophobic group Citizens' Movement Pax Europa (BPE) in the city of Mannheim. A police officer who intervened later succumbed to his injuries. The Prosecutor General's office has taken up the case and is investigating the possibility of religious motives. For commentators, this is already beyond doubt.

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Political Islam the biggest threat

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung sees the assassination as part of a pan-European development:

“The Netherlands had Theo van Gogh, France had Samuel Paty, Germany is now mourning Rouven L. ... In 2020, teacher Paty paid with his life for having the courage to show Muhammad cartoons in class. After his murder President Emmanuel Macron declared tackling political Islam a priority. Germany is a long way from making such progress. ... Anyone who really cares about democracy has to admit it: political Islam currently poses the greatest threat to the rule of law, freedom and security.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Solutions neither easy nor quick

Der Standard calls for a calmer tone in the debate:

“Calls for a crackdown are growing louder. Some of this we can understand, but we also know that the state can't peer into the minds of all those who have never appeared on the police force's radar. At the same time, it's clear that citizens and police officers alike must be protected from such attacks. In this heated atmosphere politicians are under pressure - with just a few days to go before the European elections. Politicians simply saying how shocked and appalled they are is not enough for many people. They want solutions. It would be good if these could be put on the table immediately. Unfortunately, however, solutions can neither be found nor implemented from one day to the next.”

Karar (TR) /

Wiser and more consistent reactions needed

The Muslim world is forever damaging its own reputation, columnist Ilker Yıldız complains in Karar:

“One of the biggest problems of the Muslim world is that in 2024 it still hasn't learned to react diplomatically, to protest and to exercise its constitutional rights. I know I am generalising, but the subject is a general one. Muslims often find themselves in the wrong even though they were in the right, and they damage the reputation of everyone on their side in the process. One should reflect on why this is the case. Those who tarnish the name of this great religion should be excluded from the community.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Where is the response from Muslims?

Distancing oneself from forms of terrorism that invoke Islam should be the most normal thing in the world for Muslims, Die Presse insists:

“As with deadly rampages and femicides, for example, addressing ideologically, racially and anti-Semitically motivated crimes in public is unpleasant and can result in imitation and political instrumentalisation, but it is still a more sustainable way of dealing with them than ignoring or negating them. In this light, Muslims would send a strong signal if they made something clear which is in any case self-evident: that Islam as a religion rejects terror and violence against those with different beliefs. Terrorists can therefore not be Muslims. And Muslims cannot be terrorists.”