Derek Scally writes: The grassroots Islam-critical movement appears to be imploding after a mass walkout of leading figures on Wednesday. But whether it goes under or not is far less interesting than the effect it has had on German politics.
In just three months it grew exponentially via Facebook, stripping away the politically-correct veneer of German public debate to reveal – and reactivate – the slumbering intolerance beneath.
For many it’s a worrying sign that populism is in, Islam is fair game and Germany’s race to the political bottom is on. A pertinent question posed by Pegida’s rise and possible fall is: who stands to benefit?
The nascent Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in Saxony could offer a political home to the 25,000 people who marched through Dresden to express concern at the supposed “islamisation of the west”.
The AfD pulled in nearly 10 per cent at its first state election in Saxony last September by going beyond euro criticism to appeal to conservative voters’ worst instincts: warning of “criminal” foreigners and protesting against mosques. [Continue reading…]