Dresden Protests

Poll: Most Germans Oppose Anti-Immigrant Group

Merkel Bundestag AFP
Chancellor Merkel's firm stance on Islam in Germany.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A poll suggests that most Germans oppose a growing anti-immigrant movement that has sprung up in eastern Germany.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The anti-Islam Pegida movement which started in October has attracted a following in Dresden but not elsewhere.
    • Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday uncategorically said Islam is a part of Germany.
    • A survey commissioned by Handelsblatt found that 56 percent of Germans agree with Ms. Merkel.
  • Audio

    Audio

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For weeks now national and international media have descended upon Dresden to report on the grassroots anti-Islam movement that has emerged out of the eastern German city.

Yet it seems the message of Pegida marches, which protest a supposed Islamization of the West, has not gained much traction in the rest of the country.

A survey carried out by Handelsblatt has found that despite the Paris terror attacks, and efforts of Pegida to capitalize on that violence to rally supporters, the majority of Germans do not see a connection between Islamist violence and Muslims living in Germany.

There had been speculation that the terrorism in Paris could give the movement added impetus. And on Monday, 25,000 people gathered to join the protest, the biggest turn-out so far since the weekly rallies started in October.

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