Anti-Islam protests planned across Europe

Supporters of anti-immigration right-wing movement PEGIDA take part in in demonstration rally in Cologne, Germany, January 9, 2016. (File photo: Reuters)

Rallies against “the Islamization” of Europe will take place on February 6 in 14 European countries including the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland, the far-right organizers said on Saturday.

The demonstrations are being organized by the anti-foreigner German group PEGIDA, an acronym for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident.”

Tatjana Festerling of PEGIDA made the announcement on Saturday following a meeting with like-minded groups in Roztoky, near Prague.

Supporters of anti-immigration right-wing movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) carry various versions of the Imperial War Flag (Reichskriegsflagge) during a demonstration march, in reaction to mass assaults on women on New Year's Eve, in Cologne, Germany January 9, 2016. reuters

Supporters of anti-immigration right-wing movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) carry various versions of the Imperial War Flag (Reichskriegsflagge) during a demonstration march, in reaction to mass assaults on women on New Year's Eve, in Cologne, Germany January 9, 2016. reuters

“The fight against the islamization of Europe is our common objective,” Festerling said in a statement after the meeting.
The Roztoky meeting was organized by the Czech group “Bloc Against Islam” whose leader, Martin Konvicka, called Europe’s policy on migrants as “stupid and suicidal”.

PEGIDA started life in October 2014 as a xenophobic Facebook group, initially drawing just a few hundred protesters to demonstrations in the eastern city of Dresden before gaining strength, peaking with turnouts of 25,000 people.

AP Germany refugees

AP Germany refugees

Interest subsequently began to wane following overtly racist comments by founder Lutz Bachmann and the surfacing of “selfies” in which he sported a Hitler-style moustache and hairstyle.

The group has seen a revival with the record influx of migrants to Germany in 2015, followed by a wave of sex assaults and robberies on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve blamed on young men from Arab countries.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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