German Chancellor Angela Merkel. AP
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. AP

Berlin, 20 Safar 1436/13 December 2014 (MINA) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said hatred toward Islam and other religions has “no place in Germany”.

“In the name of the government and the chancellor I can say quite clearly that there is no place in Germany for religious hatred, no matter which religion people belong to,” the chancellor’s spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz, said on Friday, adding, “There is no place for Islamophobia, anti-Semitism or any form of xenophobia or racism.”

Merkel also condemned a wave of demonstrations against Muslims in the eastern German city of Dresden, her aide added, as quoted by Press TV and Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).

On Monday, up to 10,000 people marched in the city under the motto PEGIDA, standing for “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West”.

The chancellor says Germany needs immigrants to avoid a demographic crisis in the country.  Local officials, however, have expressed their opposition to the inflow of a large number of asylum-seekers into the country.

The organizers of the demonstration have said that they are against asylum-seekers and extremists.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that not all of the demonstrators are racists, adding that there are some people among them who are “expressing their fears about the challenges of the times.”

The head of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, called on German officials earlier this week to condemn such demonstrations to avoid giving the impression that racism had “become respectable”.(T/R04/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)