In Berlin, an anti-Islam march was organized by a social group Pro Deutschland on Friday, 17th Aug 2012. Standing outside one of the city’s mosques, about 50 protesters waved banners with the slogan ‘Hasta la vista Salafista’, referring to Salafism, a strict form of the Islamic religion. They brandished a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed.
“We don’t ridicule anyone. We will present our arguments,” said Manfred Rouhs, Chairman of Pro Deutschland. “We have to begin a debate and that couldn’t have happened if not for a series of demonstrations in April and May. Politicians only react if a subject gets attention,” he added.
Berlin’s administrative court gave the go-ahead for the march, despite anger from Muslim groups. The rally faced a counter-protest by around 100 far-left supporters, many of them Muslims.
“We consider what is happening here a provocation. We think that events like this one should be few and far between, especially as they threaten the social and religious peace in Germany,” said Burhan Kesici, from Islamrates, the German Islamic Council. There were concerns over a possible repeat of the violence seen at a similar rally earlier in the year.