Germany
Protestors of the 'Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident' (PEGIDA) demonstrate in Dresden, eastern Germany, on December 22, 2014. A new record of more than 17,000 anti-Islamic protesters rallied for their tenth 'Monday demonstration' in a row in eastern Germany, celebrating the rise of their far-right movement by singing Christmas carols as about 4,000 counter-demonstrators marched through the city under the slogan 'Dresden Nazi-free'.Getty Images

A record 17,000 anti-Islamic protesters took to the streets of Dresden in eastern Germany on Monday, marking their tenth demonstration against the rising Islamisation of the West.

The 'Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident' or PEGIDA protesters were gathered outside the Semperoper concert hall for their pre-Christmas recital.

Police officials confirmed the protesters' count at 17,500.

In start contrast, 4,000 counter protesters marched across Dresden holding slogans reading 'Dresden Nazi-free' condemning PEGIDA and its followers for spreading racism and xenophobia in the country.

Germany
Potestors hold up banner reading 'Together against Neo Nazis and racism' during a demonstration under the slogan 'Dresden Nazi-free' against the 'Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident' (PEGIDA) in Dresden, eastern Germany, on December 22, 2014.Getty Images

Over 12,000 people also protested in opposition to PEGIDA in the southern city of Munich.

Adding his voice to the opposition, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, urged citizens to start a, "rebellion of the decent" against the anti-foreigner movement, insisting, "that's the kind of public reaction we need now", reported France24 News.

Exploiting Christianity

Meanwhile, the management of the Opera House where the PEGIDA protesters were gathered turned off the building's lights and flags outside read: "Open your eyes", "Open your hearts", "Open doors" and "Human dignity is sacrosanct".

The Protestant bishop of Saxony state, Jochen Bohl, also condemned the anti-Islamic protesters saying they are singing the Christmas carols, "to exploit a Christian symbol and a Christian tradition for political action."

PEGIDA protesters insist that they are patriots and not Nazis, and are protesting to prevent the "watering down" of their society's Christian roots and cultural practises.

Germany
Potestors hold up signs reading 'Refugees welcome' during a demonstration under the slogan 'Dresden Nazi-free' against the 'Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident' (PEGIDA) in Dresden, eastern Germany, on December 22, 2014.Getty Images
Germany
A protestor holds a placard reading 'Thankful for diversity' (Dankbar fuer die Vielfalt) during a demonstration against the 'Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident' or PEGIDA that is to rally in Dresden, eastern Germany, on December 22, 2014.Getty Images