Founder of the anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement Lutz Bachmann has invited anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Frauke Petry to speak at one of the movement’s weekly rallies.
Mr. Bachmann has also praised the election of President-elect Donald J. Trump in the USA with the star-spangled banner being waved for the first time at a Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) meeting this week. Addressing AfD leader Frauke Petry directly Mr. Bachmann encouraged her to address one of the meetings of the movement which are held every Monday in the centre of Dresden Die Welt reports.
“These are your voters, Frauke, and you have to be here,” Bachmann said. The relationship between the PEGIDA founder and the leader of the AfD has been a complicated one as some in the AfD have largely embraced the anti-Islamisation movement like Bjorn Hocke, chief of the AfD in Thuringia and Hans-Thomas Tillschneider an AfD member of parliament for Saxony-Anhalt.
While Mr. Hocke has publicly thanked PEGIDA, claiming the AfD wouldn’t have it’s success without their efforts, Mr. Tillschneider, an Islamic scholar, was the first AfD elected official to appear at a PEGIDA rally in May of this year. “The AFD is the future, they are the only party that has not based their Islam policy on the mistaken belief that it could succeed in breeding a Westernised Islam,” he told a packed crowd in Dresden.
Bachmann’s comments mark a reversal from his position earlier this year in which he told Breitbart London editor in chief Raheem Kassam in an exclusive interview that he could only work with the AfD if Ms. Petry wasn’t in charge. “If she goes, there could be a way to work together,” he said.
The election of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump solicited congratulations from Bachmann who said he hoped there would be “European Trumps” popping up across the continent.
Also giving her congratulations was AfD leader in the European parliament Beatrix von Storch who said on a panel show on German broadcaster WDR that the mistake of the media was not taking Trump and his supporters seriously. Ms. von Storch was jubilant about the election, in stark opposition to the rest of the panel who like Social Democrat parliamentary group leader Thomas Oppermann referred to the president-elect as a “racist” and said, “he has disrespectfully disregarded women and minorities.”
The AfD and other anti-mass migration parties like the Austrian Freedom Party and the French Front Nationale, according to some experts, may benefit from the so called “Trump effect,” in the wake of the U.S. election. The first test of the theory will come in three weeks when Austrians once again hit the polls to vote for a new president with FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer being the current favourite in the polls.
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