Germany's Cologne Cathedral to Go Dark in Protest of anti-Islam Demonstrations

Famous German landmark will switch off its lights Monday night, at the same time of an anti-Islam demonstration expected to draw thousands.

AFP

The Cologne Cathedral, one of Germany's most famous landmarks, will switch off its lights Monday night in protest of an anti-Islam demonstration expected to draw thousands.

According to the Independent, the Cathedral will turn off its lights for almost three hours during the rally held by the PEGIDA - Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West - protest movement.

PEGIDA has held weekly rallies in the eastern city of Dresden. Several smaller marches have additionally taken place in other towns, such as a march in Munich that drew 15,000 people.

At the most recent march in Dresden on December 22, which drew more than 17,000 people, the famous Semperoper opera house similarly turned off its outdoor lighting, in order to deny marchers a cultural backdrop.

In a recent counter-demonstration in Cologne, 15,000 anti-fascist protesters reportedly chanted "no Nazis here."

Despite the public stance of the Cologne Cathedral and the counter-demonstrations, PEGIDA's admiration is only growing within Germany.

A recent poll showed one German in eight would join the marches, highlighting the anti-Islam movement's developing popularity.

In her New Year's Eve speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel harshly condemned the protests, saying they are driven by prejudices and hatred against foreigners.