People in northern Austria have marched in thousands to counter a tiny group of PEGIDA supporters from holding Islamophobia rallies.
Some 2,000 people gathered in the northern city of Linz on Sunday to counter a small PEGIDA rally which only drew 150 people.
A similar move was seen last week when more than 5,000 people showed up in the capital Vienna to stop PEGIDA’s debut rally in the city.
The Sunday demo saw people blocking the way of PEGIDA marchers, chanting “Goodbye”.
Islamophobia marches began in Germany last year under the title of PEGIDA with a few thousand people marching in some cities trying to counter what they said was the Islamization of their country. The extremist movement gradually lost momentum after senior German officials called on people to reject the group as a promoter of hatred and prejudice in the society.
Efforts by offshoots of PEGIDA to launch rallies in other European countries have led to similar results with marches in Czech Republic, Denmark and Norway.
Far-right groups have been more active in Austria than in Germany in countering issues like immigration and giving citizenship to Muslims. However, the Islamophobia campaign in the country seems to have been nipped in the bud with two counter-demos in Vienna and Linz in less than a week.
PEGIDA’s founder and initial leader, Lutz Bachmann, a convicted thief, resigned in January, following public outrage over a front-page photo of him posing as Adolf Hitler, published in the German daily Bild.
PEGIDA is a German acronym which stands for the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.