Could Germany be witnessing a rise in nationalism? The swelling marches against the "Islamisation of the Western World" could indicate that that very miraculous feat is already a foot.
The German PEGIDA movement held its largest meeting yet last night to protest what they call the ‘Islamisation of the Western World’, despite stiff opposition from all sections of Germany’s elite including politicians, media, and the arts.
PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West) has grown rapidly since its inception in October, a peaceful ‘strolling’ movement opposing the exceptional violence seen in street battles between Salafist Muslims and ethnic Kurds seen in many German cities this year and enormous immigration. Now on it’s tenth ‘evening stroll’, it has grown from a couple of hundred people, to 15,000 last week, to more than 17,500 last night.
Not surprisingly, all the Germans in charge of telling Germany what to believe are really, really upset about this development.
Chancellor Merkel has suggested the leadership of PEGIDA have an ulterior motive, despite their focus on non-violent protest and apolitical principles. She even went as far to warn people thinking of going on the weekly stroll to “watch out that they are not instrumentalised by the organisers”. The SPD, Germany’s Labour-party equivalent have gone as far as calling PEGIDA “Nazis in pinstripes”.
It is not only German politics which is putting its weight behind the counter-PEGIDA movement. Apparently dismayed that 17,500 people had turned out in bad weather to sing Christian carols, the Protestant Bishop of Dresden said PEGIDA were trying “to exploit a Christian symbol and a Christian tradition” for political ends.
Germany’s art elite also showed their disapproval last night. The directors of Dresden’s Bavarian State Opera house, outside which the protests take place turned off the lights on the building, cloaking it in darkness during the stroll. Colossal 50-foot banners were draped in front of the building reading “humanity, respect, and diversity”.
While this is certainly not a full-scale Identitarian revolt against the prevailing order, it is a small step in the right direction, not only for Germany, but for Europe as a whole. Kudos to the marchers.