Icky as it is, I’m going to have to touch the whole Pegida thing because I saw this BBC video yesterday, and it’s been bugging me ever since.

Unless you’ve been living in a vacuum for the last few months, you’ll know that Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (so wordy!), is a new movement that has been holding weekly marches in major German cities.

The group claims not to be racist or xenophobic, but like all “I’m not a racist but…” statements, there’s nothing not-racist about it.

Surprisingly, many people have turned out in support of Pegida. On Monday, about 18.000 people took to the streets of Dresden, while around 4,000 people joined a counter-demonstration. The group has not been as successful in other cities such as Berlin, where Pegida opponents outnumbered supporters.

The first guy in the video was predictable; “Germany for Germans” is a phrase you’d expect to hear at one of these things, along with the ‘no mosques’ stuff. Of course, he neglected to tackle details like how exactly one defines a German. Is it a race? What if you are of Vietnamese origin but have a German passport? What if you German but have converted to Islam? What if you are Turkish but support Germany in the World Cup? And what about that CDU politician who does a good job of pretending to be German, but with a name like David McAllister, has to be Scottish?

And what happens when all the non-Germans leave? The country would shrivel up and die – literally. Germany’s aging population means that the meagre working population would collapse trying to support all the pensioners. In fact, immigration is the only sensible way out of this problem. And what about Germans elsewhere? You can’t swing a cat in London without hitting one – should we gather them up and send them, kicking and screaming, back to the Fatherland?

I recently visited The British Museum’s Germany: Memories of a Nation exhibition (visited by Merkel today), which illustrates that defining Germany is a shifty business too. The German Nation was originally an idea, consisting of many different territories and peoples, ranging from Austria and the Czech Republic to parts of Romania. Clearly, the mapped boundaries of Germany were questionable to Hitler, who figured that Poland was part of German territory. By reverse logic, should Germany accept Polish, Czech and Romanian immigrants?

And about the mosques – should the constitution upon which modern Germany is founded, which guarantees freedom of religion and freedom from religious discrimination, be re-written? Anyway, I’m sure the nice man has thought it all through. He’s grand. What stunned me was the woman talking about her four daughters with long blonde hair.

It reminded me of a propaganda photograph I saw at the Topographie des Terror in which a Jewish man who had a Christian girlfriend was forced to hold a sign saying he raped a Christian girl.

The idea of the purity of one’s women being polluted by outsiders is a primitive narrative. It is the oldest fear-mongering tactic in the book. It was used in the United States to justify lynchings in the South and now, in Germany, it is toppling out of an articulate woman’s mouth – without any shame or awareness of what she is actually saying.

So why the rise of Pegida? It could be down to timing; Germany’ s recent intake of more immigrants than ever before coupled with sufficient time passing since the war might mean that people no longer feel there is a stigma attached to marching in the streets, waving German flags and expressing such views.

In theory, the Germany was supposed to be ‘de-Nazified’ after the war, but a look at Topographie des Terror exhibition demonstrates that this was not the case; judges, politicians, and civil servants remained in their positions for the most part, and there was a real reluctance to dig up the past and prosecute war criminals.

Now, these buried views appear to be resurfacing. Pegida is attracting a mix of people of all ages, from right-wing activists to ‘normal’ citizens, and a recent poll of just over 1,000 people by Stern magazine found that one in eight Germans would join an anti-Islam march if Pegida organised one near their home.

What do you think about Germany’s Pegida phenomenon?

6 thoughts on “Pegida

  1. After 9/11 it is no wonder that Pegida start to rise. After the attac in NY the moslems were blamed for everything and marked as the new “Sündenbock”. It was very much likely they marked the jews before the holocaust. The “funny” thing about the Pegida march in Dresden is: it is a whole “white” city – I never saw so few “foreigners” in a city. No Kebap booth, no turkish pizza, no falafel – no nothing. So there is no need to be worry about izlamisation – aswell as in other german cities. I am more afraid of those angry white men and women who create so much hate.

  2. OmG
    1st of all I live in germany and I am NOT a german!
    when I walk through german citys/towns I always have the feeling I must be in the middeleast right now! I remember back when you didnt see so much muslim/arabian/turkish ppl in the streets.
    2nd you should read the islamic scriptures then you will find out who the real racsits and intolerant are!
    If you aint Muslim according to the scriptures then you are a worse animal!!! that was only 1 example there are much more of that kind!

    show me only 1 muslim nation were non-muslims have the same rights and are
    treat like muslims!
    in the middleeast every year 100 000 christen was/will be murdered because they are christians(and the media andpoliticans remain silent…) !How many muslims were killed in the westernworld because they was muslim?

    Btw pegida is against nazis , communism and islam like I !
    IF this Jihadists(mudschahedins) have notthing to do with islam like our leftist/libtard politicans and media is trying to claim then tell me where this(ISLAMIC) term-Jihad( in haddiths 97% of jihad is about terror/war and 3% innerstruggle) comes from!

    PS: a “moderat” moslim is a person who dont obey all ayats(verse)/haddiths, sira etc, but according to “prophet” Mohamed such a person aint a real muslim and will burn like all other non-muslims in hell!

    1. Thanks for your comment…

      Interestingly, a new poll has just revealed that there is a massively distorted perception of the proportion of Muslims in the population in Europe. For example, while the actual proportion of Muslims in France is 8%, the French public puts that figure at 31%. People in Germany believe Muslims make up 19% of the population, while it is in fact 6%. (In Britain; 21% perceived, 5% actual).

      I live in Germany and have visited many German towns and cities, and have never had the feeling that I am walking around in the middle east.

      Also, I think there is some confusion; being a Muslim means that you are a follower of Islam, which is a religion. Anyone; Turkish, African, European (yes, even blonde) can be a Muslim – just because you look different, does not mean you are a Muslim. Conversely, many Turkish people – and especially many of the Syrian and Iranian refugees that Germany has recently taken in – are Christian (often they are taken in because of persecution in their homelands). To be clear; you can see a Syrian person on the street, looking different and speaking a different language, but they can actually be Christian. Same with the Turkish population, which makes up the biggest ethnic minority in Germany (still less than 4%), most of whom came to Germany in the 60s at the invitation of the West German government to help re-build the country. Therefore, your perception on this issue seems to be distorted.

      I agree that there is a lack of tolerance in the Middle East, however, we are not in the Middle East, we are in Europe, which is based on the values of tolerance and democracy – treating people the same no matter what race or religion they are.

      I have not read the scriptures, but let’s face it; all of these religious books are out of date and to some extent intolerant. People will interpret them as they like, and just as people from the Judeo-Christian tradition feel that it’s okay to wear mixed fibers, most Muslims do not follow every single word in the book literally.

      Pegida is problematic, because although it officially states that it is against Nazis, it is attracting radical, right-wing groups to its marches, thereby supporting radicals and encouraging intolerance and hate. One good thing about Pegida is that it seems to have opened up an apparently much-needed debate…

      1. There are 50 milion muslims in europe right now( and this is only the offical number do you real think they would tell us that they are now 25%?)
        Btw such german muslims like pierre vogel aint german for me if they dress and behaive like savages from the 7th century!

        If they would be only 4% in germany then all of them must be on weekends in the streets.Btw the turks was 1 of the least which was invited to work in germany the first which came was the spainiards , Italians, yougoslavians etc…

        So you try to say we should tolerate the ppl which come to us .. prob is that this ppl belong to the ppl/religion which DONT tolerate other ppl/faiths you mean tolerate the intolerant is good?

        The quran is valid for all times how could their god allah words have an
        expiry date! there is no interpretation the ayats have to be taken literally as allahs/muhameds Orders.

        Jews during the 3o´s wasnt running around and have killed non-jewish while they was scream Praise yaweh!

        The moslem was onthe streets last year yelling :Hamas hamas juden ins gas!(hamas hamas jews into gas)

        There was no reaction from the politicans and/or media !!

        In quran is written that in the Day of Judgment the rocks/trees will say to the moslims; oh moslim a jew is hidding behind me come and kill him!

        This sound like Nazism…btw the grandmuffty and hitler was allies!they(moslims) adore hitler till nowadays guess why?!……

  3. The whole issue is overstated. In the end, who cares how many Muslims there are in Europe? Most of them are getting along fine…

    I live in Berlin, and part of the reason I like it so much here is because of things like the the Turkish theater, the Baklava shops, the hamams, the Turkish supermarkets – and I’ve always found the Turkish population really open and friendly…It’s simply not true that most practicing Muslims are extremists. And what about Özil, Cem Özdemir, Mehmet Kurtuluş?

    Also, extremists are dealt with by the law – just last week the notorious hate preacher Abu Hamza was sentenced to prison for life. The entire issue is overblown. Really, Germany – and Europe – have much bigger things to worry about…

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