Terror attacks in Germany are becoming remarkably unremarkable. So when a bomb went off in the German city of Essen, near Düsseldorf – and killed nobody – it barely registered. The three teenagers who detonated the device were all members of a Whatsapp group called ‘Supporters of the Islamic Caliphate’, so their intentions seemed pretty clear: they wanted to wage war against the infidels of the West.
But their target – a Sikh temple – was striking. While initial reports suggested there was ‘no indication’ of a terrorist incident, any Sikh reading the news would have understood the motive, just as any Jew or Christian would have understood precisely why Islamic extremists target synagogues or churches. It was a religiously motivated attack, designed to remind Germany’s Sikh community that they should also be fearful.