More than a hundred thousand people have poured onto the streets in cities across Germany to protest against the recent extremist anti-Islamic demonstrations held in the country.
Protests on Monday showed anti-PEGIDA demonstrators outnumbering the anti-Islam extremist group with rallies drawing over 30,000 in Leipzig, 20,000 in Munich, 17,000 in Hanover, 9,000 in Saarbruecken, 8,000 in Dresden, 5,000 in Duesseldorf, 4,000 each in Berlin and Hamburg, 2,000 in Rostock, and smaller crowds in other cities.
The demonstrators took to the streets calling for tolerance and an open and multi-cultural society nationwide.
The protests came in response to a Monday demonstration of some 25,000 people supporting the anti-Islamic group.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has also condemned the propagation of Islamophobic sentiments across the country, calling for people to stay away from rallies organized by the extremist group.
On Monday, during a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Merkel said, “Islam belongs in Germany. I am the chancellor of all Germans.”
She further added that she, along with most of her cabinet ministers, would on Tuesday join a Muslim community rally in Berlin against extremism.
PEGIDA is a German acronym for a phrase that means “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West.”