Anti-Islam group’s first British march could attract thousands of protesters

Pegida has sparked huge controversy in Germany and the group warns more demos could be planned in the future
German landmarks remained dark in protest against Patriotic European Against the Islamisation of Europe who were marching in the city. Pictured counter protesters against PEGIDA in Stuttgart
German landmarks remained dark in protest against Patriotic European Against the Islamisation of Europe who were marching in the city. Pictured counter protesters against PEGIDA in Stuttgart

A notorious ‘anti-Islam’ movement is coming to Britain with its first ever demo and a march likely to attract thousands.

Pegida has sparked huge controversy in Germany.

Under the banner of ‘Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West’, it claims it is trying to defend countries from the spread of extremism at the hands of Muslim immigrants.

It brought 25,000 to the streets of Dresden in demos backing its cause.

But it also sparked huge counter demos, with 100,000 protesting against its stance.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described it as racist, and Pegida’s leadership was said to be in crisis with “massive hostility, threats and career disadvantages” causing five of its senior members to step down after its founder was pictured dressed as Adolf Hitler.

It is advertising its first ever UK demo for Newcastle upon Tyne on February 28, however, with a Facebook campaign expected to attract ‘thousands’.

It is the first of a series of demos planned for the UK, with others due to take place in Manchester, Birmingham and London.

Northumbria Police has yet to be notified about the event.

Pegida’s UK spokesman told the Mirror: “We do not want to attract extremists to this rally.

“We are against radical Islam, hate preachers and believe Muslims need to adapt to our way of life in the West instead of us adapting to them.

“We do not want to do anything illegal and we will liaise with the police over this even if it means delaying the march by a week or two.

“We expect anywhere from 500 to 3,000 people for our first rally, and could then move on to London, Manchester and Birmingham.

“We chose Newcastle as neutral ground. This is a new and peaceful movement, and we do not want to get into any racist, right wing stuff.

“This is against extremism. If we can get 300 terrorists out of the UK, then as far as we are concerned that is a step in the right direction.”

Pegida is said to be against fundamentalist Islamic teaching and terrorism. It calls for anyone engaged in terror-related activities to be booted out of Britain.

But its activities have been dogged by controversy in Germany, and sparked fury over its allegedly racist agenda.

Northumbria Police said they had not been contacted by the organisers of the Feb 28 event, due to start on the outskirts of Newcastle, before moving into the city centre.

The group has also held its first march in Austria, where it attracted a few hundred supporters.

From The Daily Mirror. Report by  .  04.02.15.

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