The leader of Germany’s Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) movement has accused the insurgent Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) of stunting their fundraising opportunities.
Founded as a protest movement against the European Union and Germany’s membership of the Euro single currency, over the past year Alternative for Germany political party has been enjoying buoyed polls and notable election results on the back of the migrant crisis. By talking less about economics and more about migration and Islam, the party has been able to tap into the very real concerns of millions of Germans.
Yet this shift has brought them onto territory already very effectively colonised by the PEGIDA movement, a grass-roots ‘strolling’ group which takes its protest style from the anti-Communism movements of the 1980s. The group has a diverse range of interests but is primarily known for their opposition to Muslim mass migration and the dangers posed by the Islamification of Western civilisation.
Now, speaking in a rare exclusive interview granted to Breitbart London PEGIDA leader Lutz Bachmann has spoken out on the often tense relationship between the two movements, and his concerns about the AfD’s leadership and their dedication to fighting militaristic and political Islam.
Speaking to Breitbart London’s Raheem Kassam, Mr. Bachmann stressed there was potential for the two movements to work together, but cited the present leadership as the main problem. Speaking of AfD leader Dr. Frauke Petry and her defence of circumcision, he said: “There’s a big time problem with [AfD] leaders… she said that freedom of religion, in the constitution, is bigger than the law to stop kids getting hurt – the right to be unharmed”.
While Mr. Bachmann has no problem with the practice, he stressed it should be up to an adult to decide, remarking: “Circumcision should be your own choice… At your 18th birthday, fine”.
Beyond purely ideological differences, Mr. Bachmann also expressed concern that AfD was affecting PEGIDA’s ability to sustain itself financially, remarking they “take the fruits away from PEGIDA”.
Speaking of what would have to change for the growing PEGIDA movement to work with AfD, he said: “it looks like a big part of AfD is reconsidering Petry [as its leader]… If she goes, there could be a way to work together”.
While Mr. Bachmann may have doubts about Dr. Petry, and she has gone to lengths to distance her party from the PEGIDA movement which at the beginning at least appeared to be a natural bedfellow, she is certainly the most outspoken politician on migration in Germany. Breitbart London reported last week on an English language interview with the AfD leader when she quoted a British academic and said: “One thing is clear: The immigration of so many Muslims will change our culture”.
Stating the massive demographic change Germany is presently undergoing enjoys no democratic mandate, Dr. Petry said: “Ms. Merkel simply opened the borders and invited everybody in, without consulting the parliament or the people”.