Rival Rallies Attract Thousands of Participants Across GermanyEU | January 13, 2015, Tuesday // 12:17| views
articipants attend a rally with the Anti-Islamic Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) movement hold up posters with the names of the victims of the terror attack in Paris and flags in Dresden, Germany, 12 January 2015. Photo:
Following last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, 25 000 people joined an anti-Islamisation march in Dresden, while thousands of other Germans participated in counter-rallies on Monday.
The anti-Islamisation marches in Dresden have become the trademark of the Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West, shortened to PEGIDA, the BBC reports.
The participants in the latest PEGIDA rally carried posters which expressed solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting.
At the same time in Dresden and other parts of Germany, thousands gathered in "anti-anti-Islamisation" rallies – 7000 in Dresden, 30 000 in Leipzig, 20 000 in Munich and 19 000 in Hanover. Participants took to the streets to protest at demands of PEGIDA-style groups that have emerged throughout the country lately (M?gida, B?rgida, Legida, etc. in Munich, Berlin and Leipzig, respectively).
As many as 100 000 seem to have demonstrated against PEGIDA across Germany, Der Spiegel weekly estimates.
Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other high-level officials urged Germans to abstain from participation in the Pegida rallies, thousands ignored her and commemorated the French victims.
Merkel herself said she was to attend a protest against the Paris murderers organised by Muslims in Berlin on Tuesday.
The German Chancellor, who met Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday, assured that “Islam is part of Germany” and she was the “chancellor of all Germans”.