Last Saturday, a regional political rally in the German city of Bonn turned violent as Salafists, followers of a conservative and literalist approach to Islam, fought with police protecting a political demonstration by the right-wing German group, Pro-North Rhine-Westphalia. At Der Spiegel, Charles Hawley characterizes the event as violent retaliation from the Salafists after extended provocation from Pro-NRW, including cartoon caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. It is important to note that Salafists made up only a fraction of the protestors that showed up to the Pro-NRW rally, which was intended to influence local elections. Hawley writes:
Indeed, the violence of Saturday — coming on the heels of a similar confrontation between Salafists and Pro-NRW last week — would seem exactly what Pro-NRW had been hoping for. The stridently anti-Muslim party has spent years struggling, and failing, to attract the kind of attention comparable right-wing populist parties have achieved in virtually all of Germany’s neighboring countries. Sunday parliamentary elections in the group’s home state have spurned them to once again try to attract votes.
Read the full story at Spiegel Online.