German anti-Islamic rallies may get boost from terror attacks

Germany’s new anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement plans to rally again on Monday, when analysts expect its ranks to swell by thousands following this week’s bloody jihadist violence in France.

Leaders of the so-called “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident” are asking marchers to wear black armbands and observe a minute’s silence for “the victims of terrorism in Paris.”

Many observers of the rise of the far-right populist movement in the eastern city of Dresden now expect it to seek to make political capital from the massacre at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and its bloody aftermath.

Fears over the events probably “will buoy currents of the vague xenophobia that exist in this country”, Everhard Holtmann of Halle-Wittenberg University tells the Handelsblatt business daily. “The Islamophobia syndrome, on the crest of which PEGIDA rides, could in fact gain strength.”