• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

New anti-Islam march draws 17,000 people

AFP · 25 Jan 2015, 22:20

Published: 25 Jan 2015 22:20 GMT+01:00

The new demonstration in Dresden came after Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier voiced concern that the group's anti-Muslim sentiments were harming Germany's image.

Police estimated that 17,000 people had turned up for the rally. Many carried signs saying "They don't do anything, they move here and they deal", "For a sovereign country", "Honest people, get up at last" and "Thank you Pegida".

There were also chants of "We are the people", a reference to the spontaneous movements that preceded the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Sunday's rally was the first since PEGIDA's founder and leader Lutz Bachmann stepped down on January 21 after a photo of him with a Hitler-style haircut and moustache appeared on Facebook, along with racist slurs.

It was also the first since a rally was cancelled in Dresden after threats were made against Bachmann and other leaders of the self-styled "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident".

PEGIDA marches -- which have voiced anger against Islam and "criminal asylum seekers" -- began with several hundred supporters in October and have since steadily grown, drawing a record 25,000 people on January 12 just after the Paris Islamist attacks.

"We are not against Muslims who want to work in Germany, we are not neo-Nazis. But those who want to live in Germany should adapt to the reality of the country," 57-year-old Gabriele Schönherr told AFP at the rally.

Steinmeier said Germany underestimates the damage caused by "PEGIDA's xenophobic and racist slogans and placards".

International scrutiny makes "it all the more important that we say clearly and strongly that PEGIDA does not speak in Germany's name," he said in an interview with daily newspaper Bild.

Story continues below…

He also said that mobilising crowds with attacks on scapegoats like immigrants and asylum seekers was "easier than by (raising) complex subjects like insufficient infrastructure or the ageing of the population."

The movement has also prompted anti-PEGIDA protests in Germany. 

On Saturday, Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, condemned the increasing Islamaphobic attacks in Germany, including "insults" against veiled women, mosques "vandalised" and violence against imams.

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

Today's headlines
Finally, west Germans are the ones trying to get into the east
Dresden is experiencing a population boom. Photo: DPA

A quarter century after the fall of the Berlin wall people are moving from west Germany to the former east in greater numbers than vice versa.

Don't adopt Armenia genocide bill, Turkey warns Berlin
A memorial to the Armenian genocide in Yerevan, Armenia. Photo: DPA

German politicians will vote on Thursday on a resolution to recognize the Armenian genocide. Ankara has threatened consequences.

Puzzled cops pull pair of legs out of bin for second time
Photo: Polizei Bremen

When police in Bremen found a pair of legs sticking out of a recycling bin, the body attached to them gave the same implausible explanation he had done four months earlier.

Confused Spaniard to blame for alarm at Cologne airport
Police search Terminal 1 at Cologne airport with the help of a dog on Monday. Photo: DPA

A man has been arrested at Cologne-Bonn airport after a security alert forced police to evacuate all passengers.

North and east Germany next to face fierce storms
A storm in Brandenburg in 2015. Photo: DPA

The German Weather Service (DWD) has issued a weather warning for the north and east of the country, after the west and south took a battering over the weekend.

Granny, 91, walks away after falling under express train
Photo: DPA

An old lady had a miraculous escape in northern Germany when she was run over by a train travelling at 160 km/h. She only suffered light injuries.

Opinion
Battle over Boateng unmasks the racism of the AfD
Jerome Boateng wearing the stand-in captain's armband at a Sunday friendly against Slovakia. Photo: DPA

Berlin-based journalist Musa Okwonga argues that the row over national footballer Jerome Boateng shows the AfD is a racist party - not the defenders of European culture they claim to be.

Three dead as floods wreak havoc in southern Germany
The aftermath in the town of Braunsbach. Photo: DPA

At least three people have lost their lives as extreme weather, including flash floods, hail storms and lightning storms wreaked havoc in southern Germany on Sunday evening.

German populist party in race row over Boateng remarks
Boateng, who has a Ghanaian father, was born and brought up in Berlin. Photo: DPA

A leading member of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party sparked outrage Sunday after making racist remarks about national football team defender Jerome Boateng.

Dozens hit by lightning strike in west Germany
Witnesses to the lightning strike said it came out of the blue. Photo: DPA

35 people were injured in the west German village of Hoppstädten when lightning struck the pitch at the end of a children's football match.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
Pegida enraged by black children on chocolate bars
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Bayer's Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
Lifestyle
10 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
Politics
MP recites explicit Erdogan bestiality poem on live TV
National
China beats Germany in readiness to help refugees
Hamburg
The headless sex doll that put Lübeck police on high alert
National
Pensioner claims to have found hidden Nazi nukes
Business & Money
Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
5,853
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd