More than 500 people have liked the anti-islamist group Pegida’s Icelandic Facebook page PEGIDA Iceland, reports Vísir.
Pegida (Patriotische Europaer Gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) was founded in Germany by Lutz Bachmann, a former drug dealer and convict.
The group challenges what it sees as liberal political correctness and multiculturalism in Germany, values prized in German politics after World War Two.
Many neo-Nazi groups have praised Pegida. At the rallies some demonstrators have shouted “press liars!” at journalists – a phrase harking back to the Nazis.
The Pegida Iceland Facebook page was started on Sunday and mostly posts articles by conservative tabloids and news media as well as a picture saying “Stop the Reykjavík Mosque.”
The Icelandic Constitution protects freedom of religion, and the law guarantees equal treatment for all religious organisations. It is therefore futile to attempt to stop a religious institution from pursuing their constitutionally protected right to create a space for devotees to worship.
It is not clear who runs the PEGIDA Iceland page.
A swell of counter demonstrations have sprung up in Germany, opposing Pegida and the group has been condemned by senior German politicians, including Angela Merkel who shunned the group in her New Year Address saying, “Do not follow people who organise these rallies, for their hearts are cold and often full of prejudice, and even hate.”
NOTE: The picture above is of the most recent Pegida Demonstration in Dresden.