Merkel in dilemma as German anti-Islam marches gain support

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces challenges from allies and rivals to confront a rising tide of anti-immigrant sentiment driving increasingly popular anti-Islam marches in the city of Dresden every Monday.

With thousands expected at the next march, Merkel is in a dilemma. Her security officials are warning of an increase in hate crimes, while opinion polls show support for the marchers’ calls for a tougher German immigration policy…

There has been a spike in both anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic sentiment this year, with right-wingers joining football hooligans to fight Salafist Muslims and a spate of attacks on Jews*. At the same time, with record levels of immigration, Germany has become Europe’s biggest recipient of asylum-seekers.

Merkel said on Friday there was “no place in Germany” for hatred of Muslims or any other minority…

…Greens leader Cem Oezdemir, who will join a counter-protest in Dresden, urged her “to recognize clearly that Germany is a country for immigrants and benefits from them”. In fact, Merkel often says Germany needs more immigrants to boost its workforce…



*During the summer Israeli-Gaza war, Muslims everywhere — including Germany — went ballistic against Jews. I should note that there are anti-Semitic native Germans, but the spectacular attacks during the summer were carried out by Muslims.

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