Islamophobia is on the rise in Germany. That is troubling enough. But what’s even more concerning is that many of those whom I would define as Islamophobic feel very good about it. They see themselves not as racist or xenophobic, but as defenders of democracy and human rights against the adherents of a religion they believe is incompatible with both.
Over the past few years the advance of Islamophobia can be easily observed. Anti-Muslim websites such as Politically Incorrect have expanded and become more aggressive, cherry-picking reports of crimes by Muslim perpetrators in order to confirm their prejudices; books with a clear anti-Muslim agenda – such as that of Thilo Sarrazin, a former Berlin finance senator – have sold hundreds of thousands of copies, including claims that Muslim immigrants are “dumbing down” Germany; parties such as Pro Köln, which hysterically warn of an “Islamic land grab”, have been founded.
It is against this backdrop that we have to look at the weekly protests in Dresden against the “Islamisation” of Germany. Few of those attending are neo-Nazis or classic rightwing radicals. Instead, the vast majority are normal citizens. Interestingly, and perhaps tellingly, there are hardly any Muslims in Dresden. Islamophobia apparently has as much to do with imagination as with reality…
There are few Muslims in Dresden (part of former East Germany) and they would like to keep it that way. STFU, Guardianistas.