• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Cops fear clashes as anti-Islam demos grow
Demonstrators in Dresden on Monday night. Photo: DPA

Cops fear clashes as anti-Islam demos grow

DPA/The Local · 16 Dec 2014, 12:02

Published: 16 Dec 2014 09:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Dec 2014 12:02 GMT+01:00

“We can see a quickly rising number of Salafists and simultaneously a worrying reinforcement of xenophobic activities,” Maaßen said.

Maaßen was speaking in the wake of a demonstration by over 15,000 people under the banner of “People Against the Islamization of the Occident” (Pegida) in Dresden on Monday night, an increase of 5,000 participants on last week's protest.

The increasing numbers also prompted Chancellor Angela Merkel to warn against "agitation and mud-slinging" against foreigners.

The march was attended by the leader of right-wing political party Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Brandenburg Alexander Gauland, despite a call from party spokesman Hans-Olaf Henkel for members to avoid it.Radicalized people returning from battle zones in the Middle East and violent hooligans demonstrating in the streets could easily come to blows, making for a tense situation for the authorities to monitor in 2015.

Maaßen recalled the street battles between police and over 4,000 “Hooligans against Salafists” in late October this year as an example of what could happen when just one of the opposed groups was involved.

But he added that Islamist terrorism was the greatest threat to security in Germany.

“This year's toll of Islamist terrorism is horrifying. Never have so many jihadists left for Iraq and Syria as since the call went out from Islamic State (Isis) in the summer.”

More than 230 Islamists from Germany are believed to have travelled to the warzone in 2014, bringing the total fighting jihad abroad to over 550. Maaßen's men believe 180 of them have returned to Germany. One man was recently sentenced to three years' jail for fighting in Syria.

“They usually go back to their old circles, which use them for recruitment and radicalization of fresh people. And returning fighters with combat experience enjoy high respect in the scene.”

Leaders from across the mainstream political spectrum and immigration and asylum organizations targeted Pegida for harsh criticism on Monday, with Merkel warning people not to be “instrumentalized” by xenophobes.

Story continues below…

Numbers of counter-demonstrators marching for “Dresden for All” and “Dresden Nazi-free” were significantly lower than last week. Police said there were 5,600 at the counter-march compared with 9,000 last week.

Anti-immigrant feeling is on the rise across Europe, with President Hollande of France blasting anti-immigrant sentiment in his own country at the opening of a Museum of Immigration in Paris on Monday.

SEE ALSO: Merkel slams 'mud-slinging' anti-Islam demo

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Brexit vote
British business owner in Germany: why I support Brexit
Alexander McWhinney, owner of The English Shops. Photo: Private.

Scottish business owner Alexander McWhinney tells The Local why he supported the vote for a Brexit despite being an expat - much to the surprise of employees at his stores in the Rhineland.

Germany seeks seat on UN security council
The United Nations Security Council. Photo: DPA

Berlin last had a seat at the highest table of international security in 2011-12. Now the Foreign Minister has announced that Germany wants the role again.

Brexit vote
Merkel: Britain can’t cherry-pick Brexit terms
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that the EU could survive a Brexit and warned Britain the union would not tolerate "cherry-picking" in upcoming negotiations on their future relations.

This film makes Darmstadt look more romantic than Paris
The Russian Orthodox Church in Darmstadt. Source: City, Light and Movement.

Not quite sure where Darmstadt is? A short film shot by a Syrian refugee will have you rushing to locate it on a map.

VW agrees to $14.7 bn payout in US emissions probe
Photo: DPA

Volkswagen has agreed to pay out $14.7 billion in a settlement with US authorities and car owners in the probe over its emissions-cheating diesel-powered cars, court documents showed Tuesday.

Brexit vote
Left leader calls for German referendum on EU deals
Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht. Photo: DPA.

The left-wing leader of the official opposition party in Germany said that it’s time the German people also have a say on what goes on in Brussels.

Teacher overpaid quarter of a million euros. No one notices
Photo: DPA

The Düsseldorf teacher was paid a full-time salary for six years, despite only working part time.

Euro 2016
Germans react with glee to England’s Iceland humiliation
Distraught England players after Iceland defeat. photo: DPA

Still upset by their British brothers voting for Brexit, Germans expressed an overwhelming sense of Schadenfreude at England's Euro 2016 exit.

Cleaning spray sets off shock explosion in Frankfurt cafe
Photo: Frankfurt fire department.

Four people have been injured in an explosion at a cafe in a Frankfurt shopping district. The culprit: cleaning products.

Brexit vote
Merkel vows to create 'new impulse' for EU
Chancellor Angela Merkel with French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy vowed on Monday "a new impulse" for the EU as it reels from Brexit.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sport
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
7,865
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd