• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

First anti-Islam Pegida rally set for Sweden

The Local · 6 Feb 2015, 12:08

Published: 06 Feb 2015 12:08 GMT+01:00

Germany-based anti-Islam group Pegida plans to hold a demonstration on the Stortorget square in Malmö in southern Sweden on Monday.

But as the rally gets underway, the bells of St Petri Church are set to ring to call people to a special service in support of a multi-cultural society.

Malmö parish vicar Anders Ekhem told The Local on Friday: “During the manifestation, the Swedish Church is going to hold a service where we express joy for our city and our muslim friends.”

“There is strong support for diverse cultures in Malmö and it is important that the church is there to support that.”

He does not want to call it a demonstration in response to the Pegida march, but adds it is important to the church to protect a democratic and religiously diverse society.

“You can choose to stay silent and let them give a voice to something you don’t accept. Or, we can choose to show what we believe in, which is a multi-religious society where everyone is given the freedom to preach their own religions,” he said.

Pegida marches – which have voiced anger against Islam and “criminal asylum seekers” – began in Germany with a few hundred supporters when the owner of public relations firm Lutz Bachmann started a Facebook group in Dresden in October. They have grown steadily since then, drawing a record 25,000 people on January 12th just after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

Read The Local Germany's guide to the rise of Pegida

Professor Dr. Werner J. Patzelt from the Technische Universität in Dresden told The Local Germany earlier this year that Pegida members claim their freedoms are being diminished by radical Islam. He said: "In Germany, we have a shift of the political discourse to the left compared with the distribution of political opinions among the population and for a long while, it has been not impossible but quite difficult to express so-called right-wing political sentiments in public."

“The Paris attack provided proof for the voice of Pegida demonstrators and this is how they perceive the Paris attack."

Story continues below…

The German branch’s 19-point manifesto released in December 2014 calls for stricter immigration and asylum laws as well as making integration part of the constitution. It also calls for the outright rejection of any immigrant, refugee or asylum seeker with a criminal background.

But their response in Scandinavia, with marches held in Denmark as well as Norway, has thus far been lukewarm. Only 70 people showed up to a rally held in Norway earlier this year, with the group far outnumbered my counter-demonstrators.

Former gallery owner Henrik Rönnquist, who is behind Monday's Malmö march, told local newspaper Sydsvenskan: "We expect at least 200 people to attend, but maybe as many as a couple of thousands. But there will probably be more counter-demonstrators."

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Ibrahimovic confirms Manchester United move
Ibrahimovic playing for Sweden at Euro 2016. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/TT

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has put months of speculation over his future to an end by confirming that he will join Manchester United.

Man detained in Sweden over poison plot
Uppsala University. Photo: David Naylor/Uppsala universitet

The case, which involved assistance from the FBI, regards poisonous substance ricin that was allegedly stolen from Uppsala University to aid a blackmail plot.

Fifty Stockholm heart patients hit by superbug
Staff check air quality in an operating theatre at Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: Gary Fabbri

A potentially deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria has spread to more than 50 heart patients at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Stockholm.

Two jailed for match-fixing in Swedish football
Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

A Swedish appeals court has jailed two football players and handed suspended sentences to four others for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal.

How many Swedes were unfaithful last year?
Photo: Sandra Qvist/TT

It kind of depends how you define it.

Brexit
'A Swedish passport means more than a British one now'
A Swedish passport. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

The Local spoke to Brits living in Sweden on how they feel about the Brexit vote, one week on.

Want a job? Here’s where Sweden needs people
Nurses are in high demand in Sweden. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

It’s not always easy to find work in Sweden, but there are quite a few professions crying out for new workers in the coming year.

Top Swedish businesswomen slam boardroom quota plan
Antonia Ax:son Johnson opposes the plan. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

It's a slippery slope, they say.

What's on in Sweden
Five great ways to kick off July in Stockholm
A ghost walk in Gamla Stan is one way to kick off July in Stockholm. Photo: Jeppe Wikström/Visit Stockholm

From Vikings to ghosts, music and more: The Local looks at five great ways to kick off July in Stockholm.

In pictures: Eight cool compact Scandinavian houses
Houzz.se editor Sara Norrman rounds up some neat but great Scandinavian houses. Photo: Sommarnöjen

Size isn't everything, and Houzz.se's editor in chief Sara Norrman proves it with this looks at nine brilliant uses of compact Scandinavian houses.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Business & Money
Swedish banknotes expire this week
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Gallery
People-watching: June 29th
International
Foul-mouthed attack on young Swedish mother in England
Blog updates

28 June

A message for British expats in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. As Prime Minister…" READ »

 

10 June

i lördags, på lördag – time phrases for present, past and future (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! Swedish time phrases can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to…" READ »

 
 
 
Private
The Local Voices
'Having a Middle Eastern name makes life in Sweden hard'
Sponsored Article
International students in Stockholm partner with Nepal school
National
Is this Swede the new Vincent van Gogh?
Politics
Citizenship applications up 500% for Brits in Sweden
National
The humble Swede who sent England home from Euro 2016
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Torhamn
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Private
The Local Voices
'Sweden is the best place for people with special needs'
International
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
International
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
International
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote
Gallery
People-watching: June 22nd
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
Private
The Local Voices
'Swedes don't treat me differently because I wear a hijab'
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
Politics
VIDEO: Brits in Europe say why UK should stay
Photo: Marko Risović
The Local Voices
World Refugee Day: Searching for safety in Europe - in pictures
3,365
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se