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Far-right Unites Against Europe Muslims

Published: 31/03/2012 04:18:36 PM GMT
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COPENHAGEN - Far-right groups from across Europe are staging a mass rally in Denmark on Saturday, March 31, to stop what they said Islamification of the European continent. We are committed to countering extremism, where (more)

COPENHAGEN - Far-right groups from across Europe are staging a mass rally in Denmark on Saturday, March 31, to stop what they said "Islamification" of the European continent.

"We are committed to countering extremism, wherever it be found," the English Defence League said in a memorandum on its website cited by The Huffington Post newspaper.

"Individual Muslims may well have plenty to offer, but there is much about Islamic culture that we cannot stay silent about."

The EDL is planning a rally in Denmark's second city of Aarhus to stop what it says the "Islamification of Europe".

"We are paralyzed by moral relativism, political correctness, cowardly appeasement, strict self-censorship and self-loathing," the EDL said.

The rally is expected to draw far-right groups from several European countries as Russia, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Sweden.

"We're not expecting big numbers in Aarhus," EDL leader Stephen Lennon said.

"We hope it will be the start of a European movement that will continue to grow."

The Danish rally is the second EDL event for European far-right groups.

The first rally was held in Amsterdam in 2010 in support of Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, who was in court accused of insulting religious and ethnic groups.

The EDL, a far-right group that emerged in 2009, has held numerous protests against what it calls “Islamic extremism” in Britain.

Far-right groups like the EDL and the British National Party (BNP) are playing the card of immigration to stoke sentiment against Muslims and immigrants.

Anti-Islam Bloc

Analysts believe that the rally marks the rise in the far-right rhetoric against Muslim presence in the West.

"What we are seeing here for the first time in British political history is an anti-Muslim far-right organization taking the lead in trying to mobilize pan-European opposition to Islam," Nottingham University's Matthew Goodwin, an expert on far-right groups in Britain, told the BBC News Online.

Security experts say the rally will try to launch a network of activists to promote the idea that Europe needs to be defended against "Islamification" of Europe.

Peter Knoope, Director of the Netherlands-based International Center for Counter-Terrorism, said the murders in France by an Al-Qaeda-inspired gunman "will be exploited in terms of propaganda."

"What they (the rightists) are trying to do is to influence the political arena," he has told Reuters.

Far-right politicians across Europe have accelerated their rhetoric against Muslim minorities in recent years.

Far-right Dutch lawmaker Wilders has called for banning the Muslim face-veil in the Netherlands and stopping immigration from Muslim countries.In Sweden, the far-right Sweden Democrats have unveiled plans to impose a moratorium on building new mosques in the Scandinavian country.

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