Only 10,000 show for Wilders speech; 30k expected

Pegida demonstrators waiting for Geert Wilders' speech (Picture: Twitter/@anaghz)Pegida demonstrators waiting for Geert Wilders' speech (Picture: Twitter/@anaghz)

About 10 thousand people attended the demonstration organized by anti-Islam movement Pegida in Dresden, Germany on Monday. PVV leader Geert Wilders addressed the demonstration. 

Pegida has not yet confirmed the number of attendees, but the turnout was much lower than the 30 thousand people that the organizers of the rally expected. The demonstration started around 18:00 on Monday evening and was over an hour later.

Wilders spoke at the start of the demonstration, NU reports. Wilders told the demonstrators that it is "our duty to protect freedom and democracy". "Our culture is the best culture. Immigrants should adopt our values and not the other way around", Wilders said.

Wilders stated that he is not a Muslim hater and that Europe underestimates the danger that Islam represents. "Most of our politicians, representatives of the media and churches close their eyes to the danger of Islamization. We hate no one, fight for our freedom and therefore have a problem with Islam. But we do not hate Muslims." He also repeated the phrase he previously used in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament: "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims."

Wilders also adressed Chancellor Angela Merkel directly. "Mrs. Merkel, the majority of your people is of the opinion that Islam does not belong in Germany. The Netherlands and other Western nations are no Muslim countries. W wan our Jewish-Christian culture to remain the dominant one. We want to remain what we are."

During this anti-Islam demonstration, several other demonstrations were also held against Wilders and against Pegida in various places in Dresden. About 3 thousand people took part in these demonstrations. There was a large police presence to keep the two sides apart.