European Far-right Stage anti-Islam Rally

Danish_Anti-Islam_Demo

The Israeli flag makes a regular appearance next to the flags of other European countries in such anti-Islam and anti-Muslim protests.

The above anti-Islam meeting organized by the Danish Defense League attracted 300 people.

Anti-Racists who protested the DDL attracted 5,000.

European far-right stage anti-Islam rally

Hundreds of far-right sympathisers are holding a rally in Denmark against what they call the Islamisation of Europe, starting with a moment of silence for the seven people who were killed by an al-Qaeda-inspired gunman in France.

Saturday’s “European Counter-Jihad Meeting” was organised by the Danish Defence League – an anti-Muslim movement claiming to have no neo-Nazis ties.

It has drawn participants from several European countries, including Britain, Germany, Poland and Sweden.

The rally is being held in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, 200km northwest of Copenhagen, the capital. Police spokesman Georg Husted says 300 people are taking part.

Nearby, a much larger group – about 2,500 people – marched in a counter-demonstration, under the banner “Aarhus For Diversity”.

‘No Breivik ties’

The rally takes place a few weeks before the start of the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right extremist who murdered 77 people in Norway last July.

Breivik claimed to have had contact with the English Defence League (EDL) ahead of the attacks, adding that he had “spoken with tens of EDL members and leaders”.

In response to the killings, the league condemned the killings and added that it had no contact with Breivik.

In a statement on its website, the EDL said it would not associate with any individual or group who did not reject “extremism” and said “racists, neo-Nazis and any other extremists” were not welcome.

It said it had called on participating groups to sign a memorandum declaring that they were “anti-extremist, anti-fascist, and anti-racist”.

“We will protest peacefully, but we will defend ourselves if need be. We will be loud, and we will not back down,” the memorandum states.

EDL leader Stephen Lennon said: “We hope it [the rally] will be the start of a European movement that will continue to grow.”

Various far-right groups have been in Aarhus since Wednesday where they have had a chance to hold meetings and discuss ideas.

Counter-demonstration

Anti-racist groups are worried that hardline anti-Islamic groups are mobilising and gathering support in Europe.

Police in Aarhus said the rally would be kept apart from an expected counter-demonstration by anti-racism campaigners.

Projekt Antifa, a Danish coalition of anti-fascist groups, had booked coaches to take protesters from Copenhagen to Aarhus.

Police Superintendent Mogens Brondum said: “The police can and will handle this situation. We will be out massively.”

Last week, several thousands people turned out for an open-air concert organised to protest against the far-right rally.

A statement issued by city officials said the concert was organised because ”Aarhus does not want to be associated with extremist groups” that represent “everything we want to distance ourselves from”.

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