Now it’s time for a North American PEGIDA movement to gear up in the U.S. and Canada.
QZ (h/t Acharya S) In recent months, a street movement called Pegida—Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident—has emerged from nowhere in Germany, seeking to “protect Judeo-Christian culture” and halt to what it calls the spread of Islam.
And now the group is spreading abroad. Pegida held its first march in Vienna and is to hold its first British rally in the city of Newcastle on Feb. 28, with more planned in the UK. Britain already has anti-Islamic groups such as the English Defence League, a small but vocal force. Only this weekend, the EDL attracted as many as 1,000 people to a march against the building of a mosque.
Time will tell how popular Pegida will be outside of Germany, but its rising profile is a small part of the growing shift into the mainstream of right-wing patriotic groups that would have once been shunned.
Britain is also coping with the rise of the anti-Muslim immigration UK Independence Party. In France, the Front National is a more organized and established version of much the same sentiment.
In 2002, the Front National’s Marine Le Pen, who now runs the Front National, which became the most popular party in the last nationwide elections held in France and has become so prominent that she was invited to speak at the Oxford University student union last week—her speech was delayed by three hours due to protests. She even writes editorials in the New York Times now.
Marine Le Pen’s party, Front National, which under her father once considered antisemitic, now is being embraced French Jews.
Even Britain’s Prince Charles, who rarely speaks on political matters, is worried about the radicalization of Muslim youths within his future kingdom. The growing acceptance of anti-Islam subject matter as part of political discourse in Europe may just be a sign of our more polarized times—similar things are happening on the far-left in Greece and Spain, for example.
But it could also mean that Europe will have to come to accept voices like Pegida in the mainstream for the foreseeable future. If nothing else, it is a test of the region’s tolerance for dissent. As Germany’s vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel suggests:
Whether you like it or not, people have a democratic right to be right-wing or nationalist. People also have a right to spread stupid ideas, such as the notion that Germany is being Islamicized. (Idiot)
PEGIDA NOW IN SCOTLAND AND NORTH EAST ENGLAND, TOO:
PEGIDA NOW IN USA:
PEGIDA NOW IN QUEBEC: