There is a mounting public backlash over what many perceive as the government’s indifference to the growing influence of Islam in German society. This backlash represents a potentially significant turning point.
Despite efforts by German politicians and the media to portray PEGIDA as neo-Nazi, the group has taken great pains to distance itself from Germany’s extreme right. The group says that it is “apolitical” and that its main objective is to preserve what is left of Germany’s Judeo-Christian culture and values.
“Many people in Germany have legitimate concerns about the spread of radical Islamic ideology, which promotes violence against non-Muslims, robs women and girls of their natural rights, and seeks to require the application of Sharia law…. Because the rule of law, tolerance and freedom of religion are fundamental Western values, the PEGIDA movement must leave no doubt that it is precisely these values that it seeks to defend.” — Bernd Lucke, leader, Alternative for Germany Party and professor of macroeconomics, Hamburg University.
But the forces on the other side are very strong: Merkel condemns racism as Dresden anti-Islam marches grow