A weekly anti-Islam march in the German city of Dresden attracted its biggest ever crowd Monday in what its organizers say was a tribute to the French terror victims.
At least 25,000 turned out for the rally sponsored by a group calling itself Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West ( PEGIDA ).
Some marchers held up signs denouncing Islam, foreigners, and multiculturalism.
Anti-Islam rallies were held in other German cities Monday, attracting much smaller crowds and also counter-protests.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas condemned PEGIDA for exploiting the French terror strikes to promote xenophobia.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended the huge anti-terrorism rally in Paris Sunday, declared Monday that "Islam belongs to Germany."
Merkel and several Cabinet members plan to attend a vigil at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate Tuesday organized by Germany's Central Council of Muslims.
She said the vigil will send “a very strong message” that "Germany wants peaceful co-existence between all religions.
Some information in this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.