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Anti-Islamic protests spread across European countries
« on: January 07, 2015, 02:07:00 PM »

Germany has become the latest European country to witness mass anti-Islamic protests that have grown increasingly common across the continent.

"In Europe in general, there is an anxiety, an anti-Islamic phobia, developing," said left-wing activist and Green euro MP Daniel Cohn-Bendit.

He was referring to the latest protests by the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida) group that gathered an unprecedented 18 000 supporters to their rally in Dresden on Monday.

Pegida, which was launched only in October, rails against a range of enemies - not just Islam, but also the media ("all those liars") and the political elite - that they accuse of diluting Germany's Christian culture.

They have won support from admirers abroad, such as Tommy Robinson, former head of the far-right anti-Islamic English Defence League.

On Monday, he tweeted: "St George's flags are flying in Dresden with Pegida. If I could be anywhere right now it would be Dresden."

The protests have been denounced by Germany's leading parties, with Chancellor Angela Merkel decrying the "hate" that fuels the participants.

"What's remarkable is that the phenomenon is not caused by an [economic] crisis - Germany is doing well. And in Dresden, there are no Muslims," said Cohn-Bendit.

He says images of violence by Islamic jihadist groups in the Middle East have frightened people even in parts of Europe where very few Muslims have settled.

"They have scared themselves with globalised television and the internet. That's how you can live in the heart of Saxony and have the feeling that you're under attack."


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