Photo credit: Kacper Pempel/Reuters
By Maajid Nawaz
Recent days have witnessed the rise of a continent-wide anti-immigration mass movement.
Beginning in Germany, the “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West” are known by their German acronym, Pegida.
Last week, Pegida held coordinated rallies in the UK, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, southern Austria, and even reached as far afield as Australia. The protests have been multi-ethnic and multi-faith, but markedly anti-Islam.
Being Muslim is the new bogeyman. Xenophobia and bigotry are disguised as patriotism. Populism is on its ugly march once more across Europe. And people are petrified.
The Pegida protests were met by often violent anti-fascist counter-protesters. True to form, the one arrest at the UK protest was of an anti-fascist. These are in fact Regressive Left fellow-travellers of Islamism, and they have only inflamed community tensions further.
In the name of their own ideological experiment driven by identity politics, the anti-fascists not only ignore, but wholeheartedly defend the stranglehold Islamists have over Europe’s Muslim communities. Theocracy and illiberalism are disguised as diversity. Multiculturalism is institutionalized across Europe. And people are petrified.
Free speech has suffered the terribly. Populists will abuse it to incite hatred of Muslims. Islamists will simultaneously argue for it, and against it, depending on whether the topic is the right to advocate theocracy or ban cartoons. The Regressive Left’s answer is typically authoritarian, preferring to silence debate rather than think uncomfortable thoughts.
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