World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany's Interior Ministry has postponed at the last minute a poster campaign targeting Muslims after protests over anti-Islam film made in California ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad surfaced on the Internet and ignited violent protests around the world, some of them deadly.
The posters had been due to go up in German cities with large immigrant populations from Friday.
"With everything that is going on right now, we're afraid that it wouldn't take much to trigger more religously motivated violence," an interior ministry spokesman said.
"We're talking specifically about fanatic individuals who could use events they perceive as being Islamophobic as an opportunity to take action." The spokesman said the ministry had no reason to believe such an attack was imminent.
Protesters angered by the California-made film stormed the German embassy in Sudan on Friday and Berlin withdrew some staff.
Sudan had criticised Germany for allowing a protest last month by far-right activists carrying insulting caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad and also for giving an award to a Danish cartoonist whose insutl to the Prophet in 2005 sparked global protests.
Muslim groups had criticised the planned poster campaign because they said it stigmatised them.
The interior ministry still plans to place advertisements online and in magazines with the same design as the posters.
Germany is home to around four million Muslims.
Mistrust among Germany's immigrant population increased after intelligence help in a wave of neo-Nazi killings of mostly Turkish shopkeepers revealed.
For years, authorities told victims' families that the murders were the result of score-settling between organised criminal gangs.