The old city of Cologne
Photo: AP
Germany: Proposed mosque prompts riots
Left-wing protestors supporting construction of controversial Muslim house of prayer in city of Cologne clash with police
Thousands of left-wing protestors clashed with police forces Saturday in the German city of Cologne. The demonstrators gathered to protest against a planned march by local nationalist elements, a parade which was eventually cancelled by local police.


Police reported that some 3,000 officers were called to the scene as 3,000 left-wing protestors threw stones at the police, and some even attempted to grab the officers' weapons. As a result, some parts of the Old City of Cologne were closed to traffic.


The protest began after demonstrators attempted to stop an "Anti-Islam" march, which was organized by local nationalist party Pro-Cologne. The march was to protest the planned construction of a mosque in the city. The police cancelled the march on concerns of public safety.


Nationalist leaders from Belgium, Austria and Italy arrived in Cologne for a two-day "Anti-Islam conference", with the march protesting the building of a mosque to be one of the highlights, and was intended to support the "1,000 year history of Europe and Western-Christian ideals".


Members of the Pro-Colonge party expected some 1,500 supporters to join the march against the mosque and to protest the "immigration-invasion" of Europe.


The local city council approved the planned mosque to be built at a residential neighborhood. Cologne Mayor Fritz Schramma called the nationalists "agitators and racists, who hide under the guise of a civil movement."


There are about 3 million Muslims currently living in Germany, comprising about 4% of the population.


פרסום ראשון: 09.21.08, 09:08
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