A German group calling themselves Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the west) are holding a series of anti-Islamic immigration rallies across Germany. The groups first rally, organized over Facebook nine weeks ago, attracted just 200 people. The latest rally scheduled for tonight is expected to see 10,000 - 12,000 people marching under the Pegida banner.
Pegidas growing popularity is worrying German officials and the left wing media. The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) - in the ruling coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats - called Pegida's organisers "Nazis in pinstripes" and Angela Merkel condemned the group, saying: “There is no place in Germany for Islamophobia or antisemitism, hatred of foreigners or racism.”
While Pegida have attracted right wing extremists and the organizer of the original march does have a criminal record, their growing popularity is evidence of their appeal to moderate Germans who feel their pro-immigration government are dismissing their concerns. A poll published in the news magazine Speigel reported almost two-thirds of Germans believe Merkel’s government is not doing enough to address their concerns about immigration and asylum seekers, and 34% think Germany is enduring a process of “Islamisation”.
Germany recently experienced a number of Islamic related violent riots. In October, down town Hamburg was turned into warzone after 400 Salafists armed with baseball bats, brass knuckles, knives, machetes and metal rods attacked a peaceful kurdish protest. On the same day nine people were injured in the north-western German town of Celle when Muslim preachers called for Islamists to confront the non-Muslim Yazidis population. In the German city of Wuppertal self-proclaimed Muslim police roam the city enforcing the Sharia ban on alcohol, gambling, prostitution, drugs, concerts. Intelligence agencies estimate 30 active radical Islamist groups operating within Germany.
Personally I expect similar protest marches to spread across Europe in the coming years as governments continue to dismiss concerns over Islamic immigration as racist and xenophobic. I expect far right groups to grow in numbers as moderates find themselves without mainstream representation. I expect Muslim communities to feel increasingly threatened and the radicalisation of alienated young muslims will increase. In short I expect the following decade will see a strong blowback against the liberal multicultural agenda and it will not be pretty for all concerned.
BBC News - Germany tense over anti-Islam 'Pegida' march in Dresden
Estimated 15,000 people join
Germany's growing jihadist problem.
Germany: Shariad Controlled Zone in German city Wuppertal