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    Participants hold a banner during a demonstration called by anti-immigration group PEGIDA, a German abbreviation for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, in Dresden December 15, 2014

    German PEGIDA Spurns Justice Minister’s Warning Against New Rally

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    Germany's anti-islamization movement PEGIDA refused to follow a call by Justice Minister Heiko Maas to cancel its twelfth rally in Dresden due on Monday.

    MOSCOW, January 12 (Sputnik) — Germany's anti-islamization movement PEGIDA on Sunday rejected a call by Justice Minister Heiko Maas to cancel its twelfth rally in Dresden due on Monday, saying they will not listen to an "anti-patriot", the group said on its Facebook page.

    "Only 24 hours left until we set out on a walk for the 12th time, and, for sure, we will not let Mr. Maas or any other conflict-seeking anti-patriot stop us," the group said in a statement.

    PEGIDA hit the headlines in December after its weekly Monday rallies – an update of East Germany's post-war tradition to protest against the Communist regime – caught global attention, not least because of their rhetoric laced with anti-Islamism and anti-immigration.

    This time around the organizers asked those coming to the Dresden rally to wear black ribbons in solidarity with victims of terrorist attacks in Paris, as France is mourning those, who perished in three days of deadly shootings at the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.

    Earlier on Sunday, Maas urged the group's leadership to cancel the protest, saying PEGIDA was trying to capitalize on the recent Islamist attack in France that killed a total of 17 people. The minister added the memory of the victims did not reserve to be tarnished by "rabble-rousers," according to Deutsche Welle.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other senior officials have several times condemned PEGIDA rallies that have also been outnumbered by counter-demonstrations elsewhere across Germany.

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    Anti-Islamization Protests in Europe (44)

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    rally, PEGIDA, Heiko Maas, Germany
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