German anti-Islamic rallies may grow on terror fears

Supporters of the right-wing populist group PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) march during a rally in Dresden, eastern Germany, on January 5, 2015Germany’s new anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement plans to rally again on Monday, when analysts expect its ranks to swell by thousands following this week’s bloody jihadist violence in France. Leaders of the so-called “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident” have asked marchers to wear black armbands and observe a minute’s silence for “the victims of terrorism in Paris”. Many observers of the rise of the far-right populist movement in the eastern city of Dresden now expect it to seek to make political capital from the massacre at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and its bloody aftermath. PEGIDA has voiced a wide range of grievances and railed against diverse enemies, not just Islam and asylum-seekers, but also the media and a political elite whom they accuse of diluting Germany’s Christian-based culture with multi-culturalism.

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