By Dan Kedmey
January 6, 2015

A petition backed by 80 public figures in Germany slammed the “hollow prejudices” of Pegida, a protest movement that has organized a series of demonstrations against the “Islamization of the West.”

The petition was published in the Tuesday edition of the Bild, a German Daily. Its authors slammed Pegida, saying the movement “appeals to hollow prejudices, xenophobia and intolerance,” the BBC reports.

“A look at our past and economic sense tells us Germany should not spurn refugees and asylum-seekers,” said the petition, which was organized by former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and signed by prominent actors, politicians and athletes.

The statement comes after rival rallies broke out across Germany on Monday evening, with an estimated 18,000 Pegida supporters gathering in Dresden and thousands of counter protesters rallying in Berlin.

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