An Alternative for Germany (AfD) MP is the first elected member of the party to speak at a PEGIDA rally, and commended PEGIDA leader Lutz Bachmann.
AfD member of the parliament for Saxony-Anhalt Hans-Thomas Tillschneider has made history for the party being the first elected member to speak at a rally of the Dresden based PEGIDA movement.
Mr Tillschneider spoke to a large crowd saying that Lutz Bachmann, who was recently fined 9,600 euro for comments he made on Facebook, should be awarded the “Federal Cross of Merit, First Class,” which is awarded to notable Germans and foreigners, and counts her majesty Queen Elizabeth II herself among its recipients.
The 48-year-old parliamentarian also made a prediction for the future to the crowd saying, “Hungary is free, Austria is about to break free, and it will not be long before Germany is free!” likely referring to the upcoming elections on 22nd May in Austria where anti-mass migration Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer is looking increasingly more likely to become the next Austrian president.
Mr Tillschneider, originality from Romania, has a background as an Islamic scholar who has studied Islamic Studies, Arabic, philosophy and German literature. He is said to be a driving force shaping the policy of the AfD toward Islam alongside Bjorn Hocke, who German media lambasted after he dared to bring a German flag with him at a television interview.
While he is chairman of the “patriotic platform,” Mr Tillschneider is not part of the leadership of the party, but has said his background as an Islamic scholar gives him better qualifications to speak on the subject of integration of Muslims than many others. “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 party members at their recent conference in Stuttgart.
He added that he had great respect for Islam but noted, “the Germans have their culture, Muslims have their culture, and that does not fit together.”
Samuel Huntington’s 1996 book The Clash of Civilizations: And the Remaking of World Order is a constant inspiration to Mr Tillschneider who finds it more relevant than ever since the beginning of the migrant crisis. Along with Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man, they form one of the new intellectual pillars of the new right in Germany and Europe.
Mr Huntington wrote that cultural and religious conflicts will be the primary sources of conflict in the 21st century.
The AfD and PEGIDA share a lot of common ground; but some in the AfD do not quite see eye-to-eye with the protest group. AfD leader Frauke Petry has always maintained a distance and it has not gone unnoticed by PEGIDA’s Lutz Bachmann who told Breitbart London’s Raheem Kassam in an exclusive interview, “if she goes, there could be a way to work together.”