After tens of thousands of Germans participated in rallies organized by Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced them, claiming that when they chanted “We are the people,” they really meant, “You don’t belong — because of your religion or your skin color.”
With one-third of Germans supporting the rallies, that’s either an awful lot of racists or Merkel is making a disastrous mistake in demonizing this movement. And she is, of course: Islamization is not a race, and it is not racist or xenophobic to oppose it.
Merkel herself should know better, for these reasons:
The German government has already shown its understanding of this problem to be faulty:
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also denounced PEGIDA, saying last Saturday: “People are right to fear Islamist terrorism. But not Islam.”
But “Islamist terrorism” arises from Islam. Or does Schaeuble think it is just as likely to emerge from the Lutheran churches as from the mosques? How does Schaeuble propose to separate the Islam that he considers benign from the Islamist terrorism he regards as malignant? He doesn’t say, and probably doesn’t have any idea how to do so — if he has ever seriously considered the question at all.
Schaeuble’s distinction is obviously based more on wishful thinking than reality. Merkel is foolish to perpetuate this willful ignorance – particularly since she has shown more sense in the past…