A record 17,000 people have joined the latest in a string of demonstrations against Islam in Dresden, eastern Germany, celebrating the rise of their far-right populist movement by singing Christmas carols.
The march on Monday night was organised by Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West – a group that has grown rapidly since its first protest in October.
About 4,500 counter-demonstrators marched through the city under the slogan “Dresden Nazi-free”, warning that there was no space for racism and xenophobia in the country that perpetrated the Holocaust.
Most Pegida followers insist they are not Nazis but patriots who worry about the “watering down” of their Christian-rooted culture and traditions. They often accuse mainstream political parties of betraying them and the media of lying.