Following the attacks in France, including the murders at the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and a Jewish market, large Islamophobic rallies have taken place across Germany. One of the rallies’ lead organizers resigned today as a head of an Islamophobic group after a newspaper published a selfie of him posing as Adolf Hitler.
PEGIDA Leader Lutz Bachmann’s Hitler Selfie (Facebook)
The photo shows Lutz Bachmann, leader of PEGIDA, which translates in English to Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West. It appeared on January 21, 2015 on the cover of German tabloid BILD.
Bachmann resigned as chairman of PEGIDA after publication of the Hitler photo, along with another image Bachmann posted on Facebook of robed Ku Klux Klan member with the caption, "Three K’s a day keeps the minorities away."
PEGIDA Islamophobia on the Streets of Dresden
On its main Facebook page, which has more than 155,000 "likes," PEGIDA calls for Germans to "wake from their slumber" and recognize the "danger in the Islamic ideology." "Stop the radical Salafists’ Islamization," it demands. "As a society, we should give people the chance to integrate, but we should not allow ourselves to be Islamized thereby losing our freedom and democracy!"
PEGIDA successfully organized weekly Islamophobic demonstrations in Dresden. Police estimated that 18,000 people attended a January 5 rally, while about 25,000 people showed up at a January 12 rally.
After the cancelation of the January 19 rally in Dresden over security concerns, LEGIDA, the city of Leipzig’s offshoot of PEGIDA, said it was organizing a rally expected to draw 30,000 and 60,000 demonstrators, according to German media reports.