I’ve written previously about the Pro-Köln movement and the group called Cities Against Islamisation, which will stage a demonstration for next Saturday in Cologne against a planned mega-mosque in the city.
Pro-Köln is a source of controversy among right-wing anti-jihad activists because it includes among its participants members of the Front National (France), the British National Party, and the FPÖ (Austria). For those inclined to paint the European political landscape with broad strokes of primary color, this proves that the Pro-Köln is “fascist” or “neo-Nazi”.
The reality is, of course, quite different from this simplistic picture. We would all do well to take a page from John Kerry and consider a more “nuanced” viewpoint of the situation in Europe.
Diana West has some excellent observations on this topic in her blog. Some excerpts:
On September 20, a European group called Cities Against Islamisation is sponsoring a demonstration called “No to Islamisation” in Cologne/Koln, Germany. Although the demonstration has been planned for some time, just last month the city council there approved controversial plans to construct a mega-mosque and surrounding Islamic complex in this ancient city famed for its skyline dominated for centuries by the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe.
Why this acid campaign to destroy with slanderous and empty buzzwords some of the only politicians in the world with the guts to stand up in the public square (literally, and, as only partly indicated in the picture above, at great physical risk) and try to turn back the Islamic colonization of Europe — a trend which, as Bernard Lewis has famously predicted, barring change, will likely be complete by the end of this century. I speak here specifically about Filip Dewinter, Mario Borghezio and Heinz-Christian Strache, each of whom I interviewed this past summer in Antwerp, Brussels and Vienna respectively. I am not familiar with the two Germans and I will address Le Pen below.
Dewinter, Borghezio and Strache are not “racist-fascist” leaders. They are, in their very different styles, leaders — very popular (but not in the press!) elected leaders — who are bravely combating the smugly dictatorial, entrenched, leftist establishments of Europe which, as Bat Ye’or has explained in Eurabia and elsewhere, have made common cause with the Islamic world, exchanging their Western heritage for power and oil. Dewinter, Borghezio and Strache are all Euro-skeptics, meaning they oppose the sovereignty-gobbling European Union. Dewinter and Borghezio are doubly revolutionary in that they also represent the secessionist movements of Flanders and Northern Italy that want independence from Belgium and Italy respectively. ( Here is an astute appraisal of Lega Nord, Vlaams Belang and the trend of “localism” in Europe by my good friend Paul Belien.) “Racist”? “Fascist”? Did I say the LGF post was ridiculous and poisonous? It’s equally absurd and outrageous.
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The very concept of fighting Nazism, no less than the very concept of fighting jihad, never loses credibility. But this overarching concern for “credibility” — in the eyes of whom? I wonder — appears to be of greater concern to those of the LGF ilk than fighting jihad.
That said, I don’t like Le Pen, who is also appearing at the September 20 event. I can’t even tell you what he stands for. (Last I heard, he was effectively pro-Islamization so long as Muslims speak French, so I can’t imagine what his contribution to an anti-Islamization rally might be.) Last summer in Brussels, I also interviewed Carl Lang, a member of European Parliament for Le Pen’s Front National, and concluded that this political party is in total disarray, and that the 80-year-old Le Pen himself will probably have to retire before any coherent anti-Islamization movement has a chance of evolving out of the political group Le Pen will eventually leave behind. (Coincidentally, Le Pen announced this week he will effectively retire in 2010.) Last summer, when I asked Filip Dewinter about the upcoming event in Cologne/Koln, Le Pen wasn’t even on the list of invitees. I don’t pretend to follow the internal machinations of the group Cities Against Islamisation, so I can’t explain how or why Le Pen came to be added to the list, but again, in the face of “racist-fascist” hysteria, I keep thinking of the analogy of FDR, Winnie and hideous “Uncle Joe.” Who’s on which side here?
Speaking of sides, I find it quite telling that in addition to the hysterical opposition of LGF, there are a couple of other groups also voicing opposition to the protest in Cologne/Koln — albeit in a more measured (!) tone. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has come out against the protest, and Iran, an OIC member, has separately lodged some kind of official complaint with EU President Sarkozy actually asking him to prevent this free assembly of Europeans from taking place.
LGF, OIC and Iran vs. Filip Dewinter, Mario Borghezio, Heinz-Christian Strache (and I couldn’t care less about Le Pen who at least hasn’t murdered 20 million people a la Stalin). I know which side I’m on.