Rallies by German anti-Islamist protest group “Hooligans against Salafists” have grown from a few dozen, to a few hundred, to some 4,000 people marching in a matter of weeks, triggering a deployment of 1,000 riot police in Cologne on Sunday.
The group, which marches under such slogans as “foreigners out” has concerned police because it includes a number of disparate movements which normally focus on fighting each other but have united to fight a common enemy, Islam. TheLocal.de reports the comments of the head of the local branch of Germany’s political police the Verfassungsschutz who said the organisation “consisted of different groups, hooligans up for a fight, with crossover into the right-wing scene… NPD, the Right Party, but also skinheads and the [far-right] music scene”.
The protest on Sunday was agreed with Cologne police for 1,500 marchers, however news had quickly spread about the event and an estimated 4,000 turned up to protest, alongside a 500 strong anti-fascist counter protest. Violent confrontations led to 45 injuries, 44 of them policemen, and 17 arrests. It is reported the groups threw bottles and stones, but were beaten back by officers with truncheons and pepper spray, backed up with truck-mounted water cannon.
The streets of Germany have seen regular violent confrontations over the past couple of months, as tensions arising from the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in Iraq and Syria spillover into Europe. Clashes between the ISIS-supporting Salafist Muslims that the hooligans oppose, and ethnic Kurds who are fighting them in Iraq have proven to be exceptionally violent, with police recovering guns, cleavers, and even kebab skewers from rioters.
As reported by Breitbart London, 1,300 riot police were deployed in Hamburg three weeks ago to quell violence as 800 Kurds and “ISIS terrorist Militias” of Salafist Muslims came to blows outside a Mosque. Police backup was called from neighbouring states and one local official compared the violence to a “civil war”.
Similar scenes have been seen in Turkey, which has a significant Kurdish population. As least 14 were killed in protests there, as it is believed the Turkish state, which is a long time enemy of Kurdistan used live ammunition in suppressing protest, despite the Kurdish people being a partner of many of Turkey’s allies in NATO.
Germany has recently pledged Kurd militias €70 million of second hand military equipment including 16,000 rifles, 2,500 Panzerfaust-3 antitank rockets and over 100 vehicles to help them in their fight against extreme Islam and the Caliphate.