31/03/2012 09:50 BST | Updated 31/03/2012 14:25 BST

EDL Anti-Muslim Rally In Aarhus, Denmark Hopes To Start European Movement

UPDATE: Violence has broken out at the demonstration in Aarhus, after clashes between the EDL organised anti-Islam rally and far left supporters marching in opposition to the far right. Police have arrested 25 people.

Far right group the English Defence League is staging an anti-Islamic rally in the city of Aarhus in Denmark in the hope of building a comprehensive pan-European movement.

In a bid to "build stronger ties" with other far right groups across Europe, the EDL has proposed the formation of an European Defence League, fighting against the "Islamification of Europe."

A memorandum on its website states: "We are paralysed by moral relativism, political correctness, cowardly appeasement, strict self-censorship and self-loathing

"We are committed to countering extremism, wherever it be found.

"Individual Muslims may well have plenty to offer, but there is much about Islamic culture that we cannot stay silent about."

An anti-racism rally is expected to take place in protest, with thousands of demonstrators pledging to outnumber the far right supporters.

Pictures posted on Facebook and Twitter show that only around 100 protesters have turned out so far to support the EDL, with opponents of the far right group ridiculing the demonstration as "a damp squib."

Danish police have said that the two rallies are to be kept separate.

Although support for the anti-Muslim group was sparse, Matthew Goodwin, an expert in far right groups, said that taking the strategic step to unite European support is a significant one.

He told the BBC: "What we are seeing here for the first time in British political history is an anti-Muslim far-right organisation taking the lead in trying to mobilise pan-European opposition to Islam."

After an anti-racism concert in Aarhus last week, the mayor's office said that extremist groups like the EDL represent "everything we want to distance ourselves from”.

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