Cologne Cathedral protests anti-Muslim march

Cologne Cathedral

(Reuters) – One of Germany’s most famous landmarks, Cologne Cathedral, will be plunged into darkness on Monday evening in protest at a march by a growing grass-roots anti-Muslim movement through the western German city, cathedral authorities said.

The rise of the group, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA), has shaken Germany’s political establishment, prompting Chancellor Angela Merkel to say in her New Year address that its leaders were racists full of hatred and citizens should beware being used.

PEGIDA’s last weekly rally in the eastern city of Dresden attracted some 17,000 people, and the movement plans further marches in other cities, including through the center of Cologne on Monday night with a rally by the cathedral.

“PEGIDA is made up of an astonishingly broad mix of people, ranging from those in the middle of society to racists and the extreme right-wing,” Cathedral Dean Norbert Feldhoff told Reuters.

By switching off the floodlighting we want to make those on the march stop and think. It is a challenge: consider who you are marching alongside.”

Dresden’s famous Semperoper opera house also extinguished its lights in protest during the last PEGIDA march in the city.

An opinion poll on Thursday found one German in eight would join an anti-Muslim march if PEGIDA organized one in their home town. Many people are concerned about the numbers of asylum seekers entering Germany, which surged to about 200,000 in 2014, four times the number in 2012. Net immigration has also hit a two-decade high.

Anti-immigration parties, capitalising on voters’ disenchantment with economic austerity, have surged in popularity in a number of European countries, including France, Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands.


Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise again

Anti-Muslims hate crime infographic
The TellMama organisation which measures anti-Muslim attacks in the UK has released a new report which shows a worrying upwards trend of attacks perpetrated on Muslims in London.

After the BBC News London site reported that attacks on Muslims have risen by 65% the Tell Mama team got to work having a deeper look into the statistics which the BBC had used for their report.

We decided to investigate this further and judge whether the proliferation of anti-Muslim attacks in the summer of 2013 was a temporary spike. To do this, we submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the Metropolitan Police requesting a detailed breakdown of every anti-Muslim hate crime from April 2012 to August 2014 by borough (which is available as a PDF and an Excel spreadsheet). Looking at the data, we find an even more disturbing story, illustrated in the infographic below.

Before the Woolwich incident, from April 2012 to April 2013, there was an average of 28 anti-Muslim hate crimes per month. In April 2013, there were 22 anti-Muslim hate crimes in London, but in May (when Lee Rigby is murdered) that number soars to 109 crimes. As the infographic shows, this spike lasts until about July 2013. By August, it appears that anti-Muslim hate crime is back to a normal level.

However, if we measure anti-Muslim hate crimes from August 2013 to September 2014 the average number of hate crimes sits at 45 per month, a 60% rise compared to the average prior to the Woolwich incident, suggesting a long-term increase in the average level of anti-Muslim hate crimes in London.

As TellMama have shown, taking a deeper look at the information reveals an even more shocking truth of anti-Muslim attacks then the BBC article suggested.

As some people in the general public and a large proportion of the media keep associating the violence by some Muslims with supposed teachings from Islam the violence against Muslims in London and the rest of the World will only get worse.

As this book from Dr Zahid Aziz, a member of our Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam proves, Islam is about peace and tolerance.

Voters more likely to back an anti-Muslim party

More people would support a political party that pledged to stop all immigration or promised to reduce the number of Muslims than one that encouraged multiculturalism, a survey conducted in the wake of the Olympics reveals.

Despite London 2012 being heralded as a celebration of a diverse society, the research suggests much of the electorate remains open to views traditionally associated with far-right groups.

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