Eindhoven bans demonstration by anti-Islam movement Pegida

Pegida frontman Edwin Wagensveld arrested during a protest in Ede for wearing a pig's head hat. Feb. 20, 2016 Photo: @PegidaNederland/Twitter

Mayor John Jorritsma of Eindhoven decided not to allow a demonstration by anti-Islam movement Pegida in the city on Thursday. According to the mayor, there are concerns that the demonstration will lead to a serious disruption of public order, RTL Nieuws reports.

Pegida wanted to demonstrate against "Islamization and Muslim violence" in Eindhoven on Thursday. The movement planned to feature cartoons of the prophet Mohammed as part of their protest, according to the broadcaster. 

According to Jorritsma, the fact that Pegida wants their demonstration to take place during the Sugar festival - the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan - is leading to a lot of "disbelief and resistance within the Muslim faith community". "The police have strong indications that in addition to the counter-demonstrations, a counter-movement is being initiated that does not shun violence and aggression."

Pegida originally wanted to demonstrate on Sunday, but did not get a permit because the application was submitted too late, according to Jorritsma. Last week Sunday, a Pegida demonstration near the Al-Fourqaan mosque in Eindhoven devolved into riots, with counter-protesters throwing rocks and other items at the Pegida demonstrators.

The riot police intervened and 10 counter-protesters were arrested. Four police officers sustained minor injuries. All detained counter-protesters have since been released.