Tens of thousands of people have marched in Germany to protest against Islamophobia in the country.
More than 35,000 people attended a Saturday rally in the eastern city of Dresden to call for more tolerance and to protest hatred and racism emerging in the German society.
The marchers outnumbered the 18,000 people who had gathered in the city on Monday in an anti-Islamic rally organized by an extremist group called, PEGIDA. The group claims to be countering what it calls the Islamization of the West.
The mayor of Dresden, Helma Orosz, also attended the rally, warning the extremists that they will not see the city “split by hatred,” according to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also lashed out at PEGIDA and its followers, calling them proponents of “racism and hatred.”
She has urged all Germans to stigmatize the group by not participating in its rallies.
Other German officials, including Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and President Joachim Gauck, have also called on Germans to turn away from the group.
PEGIDA is a German acronym for a phrase that means the “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West.”