The congress, which culminates in a mass rally on Cologne's Haymarket square on September 20, is aimed at promoting "Western values and Christian traditions." French fascist Jean Le Pen and other European facists are expected to speak at the rally.
Searchlight Magazine says, the "No to Islamisation" meeting is being advertised through several websites, including one bearing the slogan "White Pride Worldwide,"as "the very first Anti-Islam congress the world has ever seen".
The Iranian Foreign Ministry called in the French charge d'affaires in Tehran Wednesday to demand that the European Union (EU) prevent the holding of the "anti-Islam congress." The Foreign Ministry voiced concern about what it called the "growing anti-Islam trend" in Europe, appealing to the current French presidency of the EU to act, the official news agency IRNA reported.
IRNA also reported that the French diplomat had condemned all forms of racism, pledging that the Iranian request would be followed up and Tehran would be kept informed about the congress.
Malaysia sent a letter of protest to Germany over the racist Congress meeting.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim said the congress would achieve nothing but “only incite violence and hatred, and result in adverse consequences”.
“Malaysia takes a serious view on this issue and if it is allowed to continue, then the responsibility falls on Germany,” he said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby.
Mukhriz Mahathir, a member of the Malaysian parliament, wrote:
"By disguising its racism with its right to free speech, this right wing movement intends to create a subjective platform that spitefully criticises Islam with no dissenting views. This conference which purportedly aims to discuss radical Islam is in itself a radical exercise and certainly nothing productive will emerge from it; except of course more reasons for these extremists to hate Muslims and Islam in general."
In a press statement issued in Jedda last month, a Spokesperson for the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) said that the proposed event was intended to arouse anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe and that it would pose a threat to inter-communal peace and harmony in the society.
Anti-racists believe that tens of thousands of people will to take to the streets of the west German city of Cologne in protest of the racist get together. A wide spectrum of organizations, among them labor, student, church and anti-racist groups, are due to join the protests and mass blockades.
`Pro Koeln' (some of whose activists are pictured here) which has been the target of an investigation by Germany's domestic Verfassungsschutz intelligence agency, has invited around 1,000 right- wing extremists to the controversial meeting in Cologne, including leading far-right politicians from the US, France, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Spain and Italy. Some of the groups involved in the planned congress include Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe), the Belgian-Flemish Vlaams Belang Party, the Italian Northern League, as well as prominent French right-winger Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the Front National (FN),Austria’s Heinz-Christian Strache, Germany's HC Strache, Österreichischer Oppositionsführerand, and Belgium’s Filip Dewinter.
Many officials and members of pro Cologne or Pro Koeln, "come from German neo-Nazi parties and groups such as the NPD and the German League for People and Homeland.
The group has spearheaded racist opposition to the construction of a large mosque in the city.
The following is from the September issue of Searchlight magazine.
Racists gather for Cologne anti-Islam rally
By Hans-Peter Killguss
SEVERAL HUNDRED racists from all over Europe are expected to flock to a so-called Anti-Islamisation Congress staged by the German fascist pro Köln (pK) organisation to discuss "the foreign infiltration of our cities".
The congress, in Cologne from 19 to 21 September, comes amid growing racism in Germany. According to one poll, more than 50% of the population favours a ban on mosques. Echoing this, Markus Wiener, a "scientific staff member" of pK, claims there should be "no mosques, no minarets, no muezzin" because "the native population is justifiably worried about creeping Islamisation and the danger of Islamist terror."
PK was set up in 1996 to campaign against prostitution and only really targeted Muslims after 2000. It recently protested against a new mosque in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne, distributing tens of thousands of stickers, leaflets and posters and gathering almost 20,000 signatures on a petition.
Although many pK officers and members have been well-known activists in fascist and openly nazi parties, pK claims to be a democratic citizens' initiative. It styles itself as a "populist" party for the man-in-the-street in contrast to the other parties, which it denounces as corrupt, arrogant and "in hock to the false ideology of multiculturalism".
After pK gained seats on Cologne city council in 2004, a carbon copy called pro-Deutschland emerged in 2005 followed by pro NRW (Nordrhein Westfalen) in 2007. The primary purpose of September's Anti-Islamisation Congress is to kick-start the racist campaign for next year's regional elections in NRW.
Another aim is to improve collaboration between ultra-right groups in Europe ahead of next year's European Parliament elections. PK already has close links with the Belgian far-right Vlaams Belang whose chairman, Filip Dewinter, will speak at the gathering alongside Andreas Mölzer and Heinz-Christian Strache from the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ).
Henry Nitzsche, a former Christian Democrat from Saxony, will also appear. Nitzsche, who is still an MP, once claimed patriotism was vital to prevent Germany from being ruled by what he termed "Multi-Kulti-Schwuchteln" (multicultural poofters). He is an important figurehead because pK is now trying to appeal mainly to conservatives.
The most prominent speaker invited is Jean Marie Le Pen, president of the French Front National. Another well-known speaker will be Mario Borghezio of the Italian Lega Nord (see below).
Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, had been on the guest list but after German anti-fascists, with help from Searchlight, published his comments denying the Holocaust, his name was withdrawn just before Cologne city council and the German Interior Ministry condemned the congress.
A broad front, the Alliance for Mass Blockades, is mobilising opposition to the congress and has urged mass civil disobedience in an appeal backed by many different political groups, artists, musicians and pubs. Anti-fascists from all over Europe have pledged their support and trade unionists in Cologne will organise active protests.