The wave of racist sentiment across Europe hits fever pitch this week as protests against the ‘Islamisation’ of Europe brings out 18,000 people to a rally in Dresden, Germany.
However the anti-Islam protest was met with many counter demonstrations with celebrities and politicians joining the debate. The tide of right wing extremism seems to be at an all-time high amid the backdrop of a dismal Eurozone economy and apathy towards mainstream political parties.
Dr Sajjad Karim MEP, Conservative Legal Affairs spokesman and member of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup in the European Parliament, spoke on the issue. He has criticised some political groups for taking advantage of the situation and adding fuel to the fire. He said: “It is important that we do not ignore this dangerous expression of anti-Islam sentiment and the extremists behind it and populist opportunists taking advantage of this.
“It is equally important to recognise the stand taken by Governments right across Europe rejecting these demonstrations and attacks and the outpouring of citizens in many countries who are coming out in much larger numbers to reject the anti-Islam demonstrations.”
Dr Karim MEP has faced threats from right wing extremist groups in the UK, most notably in 2012 where he received hate mail and threats to his family.