World View: Yemen’s President Accepts Houthi Demands, Possibly Resolving Crisis

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Leader of Germany’s anti-Muslim Pegida movement resigns over Hitler photo
  • Yemen’s president accepts Houthi demands, possibly resolving crisis

Leader of Germany’s anti-Muslim Pegida movement resigns over Hitler photo

German newspapers carrying the photo of Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann posing as Hitler (BBC)
German newspapers carrying the photo of Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann posing as Hitler (BBC)

Officials in the anti-Islam Pegida movement (“Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes,” or “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West”) forced the group’s leader Lutz Bachmann to resign on Wednesday, after it emerged that he had posted a picture of himself posing as Hitler on his Facebook page two years ago. His troubles increased on reports that he had called refugees “animals” and “scumbags.”

Bachmann said that the Hitler photo was a joke, and apologized for the inappropriate remarks about refugees. However, the incident has been a huge embarrassment to Pegida, which bills itself as a moderate political movement, and rejects characterizations as “neo-Nazi.” One German official said, “Anyone in politics who poses as Hitler is either a total idiot or a Nazi.”

Pegida’s “anti-Islamization” protests have been growing larger and larger each week since they began on Monday. However, anti-Pegida protests have grown larger than the Pegida protests, especially since the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. In Leipzig on Wednesday, about 7,000 Pegida demonstrators were blocked by 20,000 counter-protesters, while the police worked to keep the two groups apart. Deutsche-Welle and BBC

Yemen’s president accepts Houthi demands, possibly resolving crisis

Members of the Yemeni presidential guards, wearing civilian clothes, leave the presidential palace with their belongings in Sanaa on Wednesday, after being driven off by Houthi militias (Reuters)
Members of the Yemeni presidential guards, wearing civilian clothes, leave the presidential palace with their belongings in Sanaa on Wednesday, after being driven off by Houthi militias (Reuters)

Yemen’s president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, surrounded by Houthi militias after his own presidential guard had been defeated, agreed to all of the demands of the leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi of the Shia Muslim group backed by Iran. The Houthis will be given positions of power in all state institutions, and will not be required to withdraw their forces from the capital city Sanaa, as they had committed to previously in an September agreement.

Hadi had no choice but to accede to this agreement, but it remains to be seen whether it will be acceptable to the Sunni tribes south and east of Sanaa. Concerns have been increasing that a Houthi coup would unite the moderate Sunni tribes with the terrorists in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), leading to a sectarian war. Indeed, a statement on Wednesday from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of mostly Sunni Arab nations warned that they “would take all measures necessary to protect their security, stability and vital interests in Yemen.” It’s hoped that Wednesday’s agreement will head off a larger conflict. Others point out that the Houthis are in power, and may not be satisfied by stopping with the gains they’ve already made. AFP and Reuters

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Germany, Cologne, Dresden, PEGIDA, Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, Lutz Bachman, Hitler, Leipzig, Yemen, Sanaa, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP
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