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All German dailies condemn anti-Muslim rallies

Top-selling German tabloid Bild and 50 prominent Germans called on Tuesday for an end to what they see as rising xenophobia, a day after thousands of protesters in several German cities rallied against Muslim immigration.

Monday’s rallies, organised by a new grassroots movement called PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, have become a weekly event in the eastern city of Dresden.

Some 18,000 people, the biggest number so far, turned out in Dresden but similar rallies in Berlin and the western city of Cologne were heavily outnumbered by counter-protesters who accuse PEGIDA of fanning racism and intolerance.

Bild published a ‘No to PEGIDA’ appeal on Tuesday, covering the front page and a double page spread on page 2 and 3 with quotes from the 50 politicians and celebrities.

“(They) are saying ‘no’ to xenophobia and ‘yes’ to diversity and tolerance,” Bild’s deputy editor, Bela Anda, wrote in a commentary. “We should not hand over our streets to hollow rallying cries.”

In Dresden, the PEGIDA protesters waved Germany’s black, red and gold flag and brandished posters bearing slogans such as “Against religious fanaticism and every kind of radicalism”.
Agencies

Agencies

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