European far-right groups seek to build anti-Islamic network, meet protests
Far-right anti-Islam activists struggling to throw off the shadow of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik gathered in Denmark on Saturday, but met a protest many times bigger.
The rally was attended by a few hundred far-right activists from Nordic countries, Britain, France, Germany, Poland and elsewhere to try to form a European-wide anti-Islamic movement.
Breivik, who killed 77 people in a massacre in July, said in a manifesto he posted online that he had had contact with the English Defence League (EDL), the driving force behind the meeting in a park in Denmark’s second-biggest city, Aarhus.
“This is the real birthday (of a movement), this is where it starts,” Stephen Lennon, a founder of the EDL, told reporters at the gathering. “We’ll be separate organisations under one umbrella.”
The EDL has denied links to anti-Islam gunman Breivik and rejects extremist labels.
Their detractors say the groups are racists seeking to exploit tensions over immigration in Europe.