European Far-right Stage anti-Islam Rally

Danish_Anti-Islam_Demo

The Israeli flag makes a regular appearance next to the flags of other European countries in such anti-Islam and anti-Muslim protests.

The above anti-Islam meeting organized by the Danish Defense League attracted 300 people.

Anti-Racists who protested the DDL attracted 5,000.

European far-right stage anti-Islam rally

Hundreds of far-right sympathisers are holding a rally in Denmark against what they call the Islamisation of Europe, starting with a moment of silence for the seven people who were killed by an al-Qaeda-inspired gunman in France.

Saturday’s “European Counter-Jihad Meeting” was organised by the Danish Defence League – an anti-Muslim movement claiming to have no neo-Nazis ties.

It has drawn participants from several European countries, including Britain, Germany, Poland and Sweden.

The rally is being held in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, 200km northwest of Copenhagen, the capital. Police spokesman Georg Husted says 300 people are taking part.

Nearby, a much larger group – about 2,500 people – marched in a counter-demonstration, under the banner “Aarhus For Diversity”.

‘No Breivik ties’

The rally takes place a few weeks before the start of the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right extremist who murdered 77 people in Norway last July.

Breivik claimed to have had contact with the English Defence League (EDL) ahead of the attacks, adding that he had “spoken with tens of EDL members and leaders”.

In response to the killings, the league condemned the killings and added that it had no contact with Breivik.

In a statement on its website, the EDL said it would not associate with any individual or group who did not reject “extremism” and said “racists, neo-Nazis and any other extremists” were not welcome.

It said it had called on participating groups to sign a memorandum declaring that they were “anti-extremist, anti-fascist, and anti-racist”.

“We will protest peacefully, but we will defend ourselves if need be. We will be loud, and we will not back down,” the memorandum states.

EDL leader Stephen Lennon said: “We hope it [the rally] will be the start of a European movement that will continue to grow.”

Various far-right groups have been in Aarhus since Wednesday where they have had a chance to hold meetings and discuss ideas.

Counter-demonstration

Anti-racist groups are worried that hardline anti-Islamic groups are mobilising and gathering support in Europe.

Police in Aarhus said the rally would be kept apart from an expected counter-demonstration by anti-racism campaigners.

Projekt Antifa, a Danish coalition of anti-fascist groups, had booked coaches to take protesters from Copenhagen to Aarhus.

Police Superintendent Mogens Brondum said: “The police can and will handle this situation. We will be out massively.”

Last week, several thousands people turned out for an open-air concert organised to protest against the far-right rally.

A statement issued by city officials said the concert was organised because ”Aarhus does not want to be associated with extremist groups” that represent “everything we want to distance ourselves from”.

Terrorist Inspirer Robert Spencer Compares Muslims to Nazis, Says Muslims Can’t Be Trusted

Spencer is working hard to disassociate himself from one of his fans-Anders Breivik

Even if you’re a Muslim who is heading and escalating the drone program against the enemies of the USA (killing many innocents in the process), you risk Spencer labeling you an “evil suspect Mooslim.”

That’s exactly what Spencer did recently on his blog in response to a Washington Post profile on the leader of the CIA’s drone program, “Roger” who also happens to be Muslim. (H/T: BA, JD)

A rational individual may actually criticize the substance of the Washington Post profile of “Roger.” A rational individual may choose to point out that the drone program has killed thousands of innocents, destabilized whole regions, and probably endangered the security of the USA further, maybe for years to come.

Instead, the irrational loony Spencer chose to criticize the “Muslamic” nature of “Roger,” considering the wild possibility that he could actually be an “undercover terrorist.”

This was not the most flagrant looniness from Spencer, he also compared Muslims to Nazis, implying that Muslims are worse:

The question is this: some might liken Roger to a top American official joining the Nazi Party during World War II. Others would liken Roger to a top American official marrying a German immigrant during World War II, and coming under unjust suspicion as a result. German Americans, of course, could oppose and fight against National Socialism unequivocally, without any lingering allegiance to it; Muslims who profess to reject and abhor Islamic terrorism, however, still profess belief in a book and a prophet that have inspired Islamic violence and supremacism worldwide, even among believers who have no institutional connection to al-Qaeda or any other jihad group.

This goes back to the fact that Spencer wants Muslims to take loyalty tests.

Islamophobe Robert Spencer Questions Loyalty Of Top CIA Counterterror Official

(ThinkProgress)

The long Washington Post profile this weekend of a top Central Intelligence Agency official contained a remarkable number of details about the man that heads the Agency’s Counterterrorism Center — remarkable because the man remained shrouded in mystery, referenced only by the first name of his cover identity, “Roger.” Roger chain smokes, swears, worked in Africa, was “pudgy” in his youth, and — oh, yeah — he’s Muslim.

This last fact was too much for one of America’s foremost Islamophobes to bear: to an Islamophobe, Islamic extremist terrorism is inseparable from Islam at large, so how could a Muslim head up a counter-terrorism operation? Leave aside that Roger presides over a CIA unit that he expanded from three unmanned drone aircraft to an entire fleet firing missiles that have crippled militant networks — including Al Qaeda — in Pakistan.

Leave aside that Roger presides over a CIA unit that he brought from having three unmanned drone aircraft to a fleet of them that fire myriad missiles which crippled militant networks — including Al Qaeda — in Pakistan. Never mind that retired Gen. David Petraeus, who now heads up the CIA, said of Roger: “No officer in the agency has been more relentless, focused, or committed to the fight against al-Qaeda than has the chief of the Counterterrorism Center.”

None of that was enough to convince Robert Spencer, a long-time ally of anti-Muslim mainstay Pamela Geller, that “Roger” just might be a Manchurian candidate foisted upon the CIA by Muslim extremists looking to destroy America:

[I]f Islamic supremacists wanted to subvert the U.S. defense against jihad terror, they couldn’t do it more easily than by turning someone in a position like Roger’s. The worst part of this story is that no one is even examining that as a possibility.

Maybe the Post’s Greg Miller simply realized that a guy who blows up the actual dangerous “Islamic supremacists” on a regular basis would make an unlikely candidate to be a plant within the system. Perhaps that’s because, under Roger’s watch, “core al Qaida’s ability to perform a variety of functions — including preserving leadership and conducting external operations — has weakened significantly,” according to Capitol Hill testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

But Spencer knows all that. He even says so:

The Washington Post, of course, follows the mainstream media line that Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, and so takes for granted that “Roger” has no loyalty issues, and proffers the drone campaign and the killing of bin Laden as proof.

Why still the questions, then? Because, Spencer says, “It is impossible to tell from this how serious he is about Islam.” The obvious implication in Spencer’s thinking is that “serious(ness)” about one’s faith — when that faith is Islam — means disloyalty to the U.S. Spencer should consider that the “mainstream media” might be right about this one.

Germany’s new breed of neo-Nazis pose a threat

The neo-Nazi group, which has been dubbed the Zwickau cell, operated for more than 10 years
The neo-Nazi group, which has been dubbed the Zwickau cell, operated for more than 10 years

Neo-Nazism in Germany is on the rise. Interestingly, the Islamophobes ignore the terror threat from such groups:

Germany’s new breed of neo-Nazis pose a threat

By Katya Adler, BBC Newsnight, Germany

The security services in Germany are scrambling to track down and arrest far-right fugitives and Germany’s federal and state interior ministers have announced they are taking concrete steps towards banning the country’s far right National Democratic Party, the NPD.

This comes after a public outcry following revelations in November that a neo-Nazi cell had apparently been able to go on a nationwide spree of racially motivated murders over several years, under the noses of the German intelligence services.

The group of three are being held responsible for the deaths of eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant between 2000 and 2006, as well as a German policewoman in 2007.

Yet the existence of the group, dubbed the Zwickau cell after the name of the town where they spent most of their time in hiding, only came to light in November when two of its members died in an apparent joint suicide or murder-suicide and the third handed herself in to the authorities.

The NPD has been linked to the group, though the allegations have yet to be accepted in a court of law.

The trio had made a DVD in which they boasted of the killings and said they had acted to serve the German nation and its people, describing themselves as the National Socialist Underground – echoing the national socialism (Nazism) of Hitler’s Germany.

The story of the killers has dominated headlines in Germany for months now and given rise to one of the biggest scandals in post-war Germany.

It turns out intelligence agencies had had the group under surveillance for years, and even found a bomb-making factory in their garage back in 1998.

So why were the trio not stopped earlier? Why were they allowed to disappear and then stay underground? And why was it that security services blamed the murders on the Turkish mafia at the time? A right-wing motive was never investigated.

The failures have prompted some to ask whether there is more than incompetence to blame, whether Germany’s police and security services contain elements sympathetic to the far right – an accusation the institutions vehemently deny.

A parliamentary inquiry is currently under way into their activities, and Newsnight has seen a secret internal report revealing serious blunders by law enforcement agencies.

Police limitationsWhen we spoke to Peter Altmaier, a senior official in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party, he admitted that mistakes had been made:

“You have to know Germany is a federal state, and competencies are shared and divided between federal and state levels… and because we have drawn the lessons from the Nazi dictatorship, we have very limited powers of police and security institutions.

“There have been hints and indications of right-wing extremism that were not taken seriously enough, and therefore we have put this very high on the political agenda.”

Another question that now worries many Germans is just how big a threat the far right poses.

Human rights groups say more than 180 people have been killed in right-wing attacks in Germany over the last 20 years.

Neo-Nazis have murdered more people in post-war Germany than any other single group, including Islamists and the far left. But this is not yet reflected in official data.

>> Continue reading: Germany’s new breed of neo-Nazis pose a threat

Don’t Be Fooled. Europe’s Far-right Racists are Not Discerning

French politician Marine Le Pen is among European far-right figures courting the Jewish community. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
French politician Marine Le Pen is among European far-right figures courting the Jewish community. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

A good piece, reconfirming what we have been saying all along:

Don’t be fooled. Europe’s far-right racists are not discerning

(The Guardian)

On Saturday, in the Danish city of Aarhus, a Europe-wide rally organised by the English Defence League will try to set up a European anti-Muslim movement. For Europe’s far-right parties the rally, coming so soon after the murders in south-west France by a self-professed al-Qaida-following Muslim, marks a moment rich with potential political capital.

Yet it’s also a delicate one, especially for Marine Le Pen. Well before the killings, Le Pen was assiduously courting Jews, even while her father and founder of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was last month convicted of contesting crimes against humanity for saying that the Nazi occupation of France “wasn’t particularly inhumane”. Marine must disassociate herself from such sentiments without repudiating her father personally or alienating his supporters. To do so she’s laced her oft-expressed Islamophobia (parts of France, she’s said, are suffering a kind of Muslim “occupation”) with a newfound “philozionism” (love of Zionism), which has extended even to hobnobbing with Israel’s UN ambassador.

Almost all European far-right parties have come up with the same toxic cocktail. The Dutch MP Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigrant Freedom party, has compared the Qur’an to Mein Kampf. In Tel Aviv in 2010, he declared that ”Islam threatens not only Israel, Islam threatens the whole world. If Jerusalem falls today, Athens and Rome, Amsterdam and Paris will fall tomorrow.”

Meanwhile Filip Dewinter, leader of Belgium’s Vlaams Belang party, which grew out of the Vlaams Blok Flemish nationalist party, many of whose members collaborated with the Nazis during the second world war, has proposed a quota on the number of young Belgian-born Muslims allowed in public swimming pools. Dewinter calls Judaism “a pillar of European society”, yet associates with antisemites, while claiming that ”multi-culture … like Aids weakens the resistance of the European body”, and “Islamophobia is a duty”.

But the most rabidly Islamophobic European philozionist is Heinz-Christian Strache, head of the Austrian Freedom party, who compared foreigners to harmful insects and consorts with neo-Nazis. And yet where do we find Strache in December 2010? In Jerusalem alongside Dewinter, supporting Israel’s right to defend itself.

In Scandinavia the anti-immigrant Danish People’s party is a vocal supporter of Israel. And Siv Jensen, leader of the Norwegian Progress party and staunch supporter of Israel, has warned of the stealthy Islamicisation of Norway.

In Britain EDL leader Tommy Robinson, in his first public speech, sported a star of David. At anti-immigrant rallies, EDL banners read: “There is no place for Fascist Islamic Jew Haters in England”.

So has the Jew, that fabled rootless cosmopolitan, now suddenly become the embodiment of European culture, the “us” against which the Muslim can be cast as “them”? It’s not so simple. For a start, “traditional” antisemitism hasn’t exactly evaporated. Look at Hungary, whose ultra-nationalist Jobbik party is unapologetically Holocaust-denying, or Lithuania, where revisionist MPs claim that the Jews were as responsible as the Nazis for the second world war.

What’s more, the “philosemite”, who professes to love Jews and attributes superior intelligence and culture to them, is often (though not always) another incarnation of the antisemite, who projects negative qualities on to them: both see “the Jew” as a unified racial category. Beneath the admiring surface, philozionism isn’t really an appreciation of Jewish culture but rather the opportunistic endorsement of Israeli nationalism and power.

Indeed you can blithely sign up to both antisemitism and philozionism. Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik described himself as “pro-Zionist” while claiming that Europe has a “considerable Jewish problem”; he saw himself as simultaneously anti-Nazi and pro-monoculturalism. The British National party’s Nick Griffin once called the Holocaust the “Holohoax”, subsequently supported Israel in its war “against the terrorists”, but the day after the Oslo murders tweeted disparagingly that Breivik was a “Zionist”.

Most Jews, apart from the Israeli right wing, aren’t fooled. They see the whole iconography of Nazism – vermin and foreign bodies, infectious diseases and alien values – pressed into service once again, but this time directed at Muslims. They understand that “my enemy’s enemy” can easily mutate into “with friends like these …”.

The philozionism of European nationalist parties has been scrutinised most closely by Adar Primor, the foreign editor of Haaretz newspaper,who insists that ”they have not genuinely cast off their spiritual DNA, and … aren’t looking for anything except for Jewish absolution that will bring them closer to political power.”

Similarly Dave Rich, spokesman of the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors antisemitic incidents in Britain, told me that far-right philosemites “must think we’re pretty stupid if they think we’ll get taken in by that. The moment their perceived political gain disappears they revert to type. We completely reject their idea that they hate Muslims so they like Jews. What targets one community at one time can very easily move on to target another community if the climate changes.” Rich’s words, spoken before the murder of Jews in Toulouse, now sound chillingly prescient. The president of the French Jewish community, Richard Pasquier, judges Marine Le Pen more dangerous than her father.

French Muslim leaders rallied round Jewish communities last week. Next week sees the start of Passover, a festival celebrating the liberation of Jews from slavery in Egypt, when Jews often think about modern examples of oppression. Let’s hope that French Jewish leaders use the occasion to rally round Muslim communities, and to remember that ultimately, racism is indiscriminate.

• This article was amended on 28 March 2012. It originally referred to the Community Security Trust as the Community Service Trust. This has now been corrected

Take Action: Protest Zuhdi Jasser’s Farcical Appointment to the USCIRF

Guest Editorial by J. Hausner (Islamophobia Today)

Please take the few minutes required to sign this petition!

Sen. Mitch McConnell‘s choice of Zuhdi Jasser for appointment to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) can only be described as a farce. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser has amassed a reputation as a prominent Islamophobia-enabler and ally of anti-Muslim organizations (well known for their attempts to diminish American Muslims’ civil and religious liberties).

The appointment of Jasser undermines the USCIRF’s purported goals of reviewing, “the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress.” The appointment of Jasser is a “contradiction in terms” because Jasser has been a useful ally to some of the most virulent forces working against religious and civil liberties in the USA.

There are several key reasons why this is so:

1.) Most problematically, Jasser allies himself with and receives funding from anti-Muslim organizations and personalities who work tirelessly to curb the religious and civil liberties of Muslims in the USA.

Jasser’s organization has received funding, to the tune of $100,000 from a major backer of Rick Santorum, Foster Friess. Friess was featured as one of the major backers of Islamophobic organizations in the Center for American Progress’s groundbreaking report,Fear, Inc.: On the Roots of the Islamophobia Network:

According to the Washington Post, Jasser received a $100,000 donation from Christian conservative financier Foster Friess, who is now bankrolling the super-PAC supporting Rick Santorum’s presidential bid. Jasser declined to elaborate on exactly how much Friess had given AIFD, though he said the financier contributed $70,000 to his organization in 2010 for a Muslim youth retreat hosted by the group. (Friess told MSNBC that he was backing Santorum because he is “incredibly versed in one of the number one issues of our time—and that is violent Islamic extremism.”)

Jasser told Mother Jones that the AIFD had accepted $5,000 from the Center for Security Policy:

The center published a report in 2010 warning that American Muslims are seeking to replace the Constitution with a strict interpretation of Islamic law. The “expert” in Islamic religious law cited in the report, an attorney named David Yerushalmi, is responsible for authoring draft anti-Shariah legislation that has served as a blueprint for anti-Shariah laws across the US. Yerushalmi has suggested that “acting in furtherance of Islam” should be a felony.

Mother Jones also reports that,

Jasser said his group has also received a one-time, unsolicited donation of $10,000 from the Clarion Fund, which is associated with Aish HaTorah, a right-wing Israeli group described by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic as “just about the most fundamentalist movement in Judaism today.”

The Clarion Fund has released several films that warn of Muslim conspiracies to reestablish a global caliphate. Jasser is a Clarion board member and in 2008 narrated a documentary bankrolled by the group called The Third Jihad, which darkly warns that Muslim extremists are attempting to “infiltrate and dominate America,” a conspiracy implicating most prominent American Muslim organizations. The New York Times reported that the film was shown to thousands of NYPD officers as part of their counterterrorism training, which the police department later apologized for.

How can an individual who supports the curbing of Muslim civil and religious liberties at home be trusted as a ”commissioner” to review and analyze violations of religious freedoms abroad?

2.) In another blow to the religious liberties and freedoms of American Muslims, Jasser’s organization the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) supports state wide legislative bans on Muslim personal religious practice relating to: marriage, prayer, wills, etc. Jasser’s organization has published press releases “applauding” such legislation, which many, including US Courts have considered unconstitutional infringements on the religious liberties of Muslims.

How can an individual who supports the curbing of Muslim civil and religious liberties at home be trusted as a ”commissioner” to review and analyze violations of religious freedoms abroad?

3.) Jasser was outspoken in his opposition to an interfaith and Islamic Center in Manhattan, supporting efforts to block it from being built, remarking that, “This center is trying to change the narrative of 9/11 — to diminish what happened at Ground Zero.”

How can an individual who supports the curbing of Muslim civil and religious liberties at home be trusted as a ”commissioner” to review and analyze violations of religious freedoms abroad?

4.) Jasser’s advocacy and support for the NYPD’s illegal profiling and secret surveillance program targeting Muslims for monitoring at their houses of worship, businesses and universities is not only unconscionable but contradicts the USCIRF’s purported goals of reviewing “the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress.” 

Once again, how can an individual who supports the curbing of Muslim civil and religious liberties at home be trusted as a ”commissioner” to review and analyze violations of religious freedoms abroad?

The above points are only a snippet of why the choice of Zuhdi Jasser as a US Commissioner on  International Religious Freedom makes a mockery of the legitimacy of the USCIRF.

The US cannot legitimately or conscientiously criticize other nations when one of its own commissioner’s is a flagrant violator of religious liberty at home.

Please take the few minutes required to sign this petition calling on Sen. Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner and the US Congress to repeal Zuhdi Jasser’s appointment to the USCIRF as flagrant oversight that presents a moral contradiction and a likely source of  international embarrassment to the US.

Robert George Refuses to Explain Funding Anti-Muslim Extremists

Robert George was recently appointed to the USCRIF along with Zuhdi Jasser. In the video below George is clearly unwilling to answer the question about whether or not he sees a contradiction between his stated position of “supporting Muslim rights” while at the same time serving on the board of a foundation well known for funding anti-Muslim organizations:

Robert George Refuses to Explain Funding Anti-Muslim Extremists

Posted by Kristin Ford (Faith in Public Life)

Last November, Fear, Inc., an extensive Center for American Progress report, revealed who was funding prominent anti-Islam organizations.  One of the financial sponsors of Islamophobia they unearthed was the Bradley Foundation.

As we noted, prominent Catholic intellectual Robert George sits on the board of this foundation and hasn’t reconciled this position with his ostensible public commitment to defending the religious freedom of Muslims

Nick caught up with Robert George today at an event hosted by Georgetown University’s Berkley Center and asked about this contradiction:

Here’s what Nick asked and George’s response:

FAITH IN PUBLIC LIFE: So you don’t see a conflict between your being on  a board that has funded these things, as public knowledge, and your personal beliefs about this?

GEORGE: My record is very clear. I will not discuss with you confidential matters that go on in the Bradley Board. The Bradley Foundation does fund many, many different  organizations. Some of them are run by Muslims, some of them are trying to advance good relations between Muslims and other American citizens and that’s all I have to say on the matter.

As you can see, George refused to discuss the issue, but didn’t deny the facts. He apparently thinks it’s acceptable to simultaneously stand up for Muslims’ religious freedom in public and participate in the work of an organization that’s trying to dismantle that very right. George might not see an ethical conflict here, but we do, and we’d be interested to see if the Muslim Americans he works with see that contradiction as well.

Here’s a reminder of who the people the Bradley Foundation funds, via the Fear, Inc. report:

David Horowitz

  • Described Muslims in the Middle East as “Islamic Nazis” who “want to kill Jews, that’s their agenda.”
  • Alleges that Muslim Student Associations at American schools “are Wahhabi Islamicists, and they basically support our enemies.”
  • Promulgates the debunked smear that 80% of U.S. mosques are controlled by radicals

Daniel Pipes

  • Describes his Legal Project website as “a source of information on ‘Islamist lawfare’–that is, attempts by supporters of radical Islam to suppress free discourse on Islam and terrorism by (1) exploiting Western legal systems and traditions and (2) recruiting state actors and international organizations such as the United Nations.”
  • Claims President Obama is a former Muslim who “practiced Islam.”

Frank Gaffney

  • Said “It is now public knowledge that nearly every major Muslim organization in the United States is actually controlled by the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] or a derivative organization. Consequently, most of the Muslim American groups of any prominence in America are now known to be, as a matter of fact, hostile to the United States and its Constitution.”
  • Alleged that there is “mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.”
  • Believes that conservative paragon Grover Norquist is running a “Muslim Brotherhood influence operation” to infiltrate the conservative movement.

Support for Geert Wilders’ “Freedom Party” Drops Over Crisis

Still my favorite picture of Geert Wilders

If Geert Wilders’ consistent and prolonged anti-Islam/Muslim diatribes weren’t enough of a reason to quit supporting him…

If Geert Wilders anti-freedom policies and attacks on civil liberties weren’t enough of a reason to quit supporting him…

If  Geert Wilders xenophobic fearmongering about Polish and Eastern European immigrants to the Netherlands weren’t enough of a reason to quit supporting him…

There’s another reason: The defection of a senior Freedom Party (PVV) MP Hero Brinkman, an ideological counterpart who parted ways with Wilders due to his “autocratic nature” and “unqualified stance against immigration.”

At least that is what polling data seems to be showing:

Geert Wilders support drops over party crisis

The anti-immigration party would now have 21 seats in parliament, three less than the number of seats it won at the last elections, held nearly 18 months ago. MP Hero Brinkman, seen as a key ideologue, left the party earlier this week in protest at Mr Wilders’ autocratic style and unqualified anti-immigrant stance. However, if elections were held now, Mr Brinkman would lack enough support to gain an independent seat, according to the weekly survey.

The minority government of liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte depends on Mr Wilders’ Freedom Party for a majority in parliament. Now that Mr Brinkman has broken ranks with Mr Wilders, the conservative cabinet may have to rely on other parties as well, in particular on the tiny Christian fundamentalist SGP party.

The minority cabinet has already relied on Labour, the Democrats 66 and the Green Left parties for all those policies not supported by Mr Wilders, such as giving financial aid to Greece and bolstering the euro in general.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

We can’t read too much into these sorts of polls, especially when one considers the fickle nature of polling. However, it is significant, in that it exposes not only rifts and cracks in Wilders movement, but also potential fallout.

What remains to be seen is how Wilders and company will react to all this. Will they ignore this trend or just plain dismiss it? Will they become more aggressive and double down? Will they tone down their jingoistic rhetoric?

In the meantime it seems Wilders hatemongering is continuing to have repercussions:

The Polish Wilders Hates Poles

“I don’t just hate the Poles who work in the Netherlands, I hate all Poles” says Geert Wilders.

It’s not the real Wilders, it’s a satirical programme on Polish television. The Freedom Party leader himself hasn’t gone that far. However, his party does have a website where Dutch people can leave their complaints about Eastern European immigrants. It has been stirring up emotions in Poland for weeks, according to our correspondent Ekke Overbeek.

Szymon Majewski is a well-known Polish comedian with a popular show on the country’s biggest commercial station. In front of a backdrop of windmills, ‘Wilders’ begins the sketch by saying good evening in Dutch (goeie avond). The word goeie, however, means something unpleasant in Polish, so the stage is set. He then explains, in Polish, that he hates all Poles because they drink too much.

Another film, posted on YouTube, has an Asian man telling us that all foreigners, even Dutch, are welcome in Poland. Having nearly been run over by foul-mouthed Dutch people on bikes, he invites all Dutch people to come to Poland for the European football championships. “Poles are friendly and helpful. All the ugly, nasty, greedy Poles are over in the Netherlands”. He is joined by the same fake Wilders who says “Holland for the Dutch.”

Jokes about drugs, euthanasia and abortion follow. The final gag: “You may have a world famous Red Light District, but we have something better. Here you get screwed as soon as you step into a taxi at the airport.”

The Freedom Party’s complaints website has regularly made the news in Poland for over a month. The affair drags on because the Dutch government, which owes its parliamentary majority to Geert Wilders’ support, refuses to disown the website. Prime Minister Mark Rutte says it is an initiative by a political party and has nothing to do with his government. He was asked to appear before the European parliament and explain this stance but chose not to go.

The appearance of a Wilders clone on Polish TV shows that the controversy is beginning to affect the Netherlands image abroad. Until recently, most Poles thought of the Netherlands as a tolerant country, with good job prospects. The number of Polish people in the Netherlands is estimated at between 150 and 200 thousand.

(imm)

For those of you who speak Polish (there are no subtitles), here is the second clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=K9vAZ15CTYM

Thousands Mobilise Against Planned anti-Islam Denmark Demo

Most people see beyond the hysterics and recognize Islamophobia for what it is, cover for racism and war:

Thousands mobilise against planned anti-Islam Denmark demo

Several thousand people turned out for an open-air concert in Denmark’s second city of Aarhus on Wednesday to protest against a far-right anti-Islam rally planned for March 31, officials said.

Aarhus city officials said they organised the concert as a way of showing the city’s tolerance and because “Aarhus does not want to be associated with extremist groups” that represent “everything we want to distance ourselves from.” Around 5,000 people attended Wednesday’s concert, a spokesman for the mayor’s office said.

Far-right groups from across Europe are scheduled to meet in Aarhus on March 31 for an anti-Islam rally organised by the Danish Defence League, a sister organisation of the English Defence League.

A spokesman for the Danish group, Philip Traulsen, said the programme for the meeting had not been confirmed but that it would deal with “the obvious problems caused by radical Islam.” In an email to AFP, he said some 300 to 1,000 people were expected to attend the rally, which he said would “probably be the biggest anti-Islam demonstration on Danish soil.”

A counter-demonstration organised by the group “Aarhus for Diversity” was to be held at the same time in the town of 315,000 people, located on the Jutland peninsula north of Germany.

Local police, who have requested reinforcements, “will be present en masse”, eastern Jutland police official Mogens Broendum said. But shopowners have expressed concern and a number of restaurants have already indicated they plan to close on the day of the rally, he said.

AFP, 21 March 2012

Appeal: Damage and Assault in Heckmondwike and Dewsbury Following EDL Demo in Cleckheaton

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

Appeal: Damage and assault in Heckmondwike and Dewsbury following EDL demo in Cleckheaton

Police in Kirklees are appealing for information from the public after a series of incidents in Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Dewsbury that followed an English Defence League (EDL) demonstration on Saturday in Cleckheaton.

At 1pm on Saturday around 60 members of the EDL took part in a peaceful, pre-planned demonstration in Cleckheaton Town centre. The demonstration, something that the police had been fully notified about, ended without incident at 3pm and the group dispersed.

Shortly afterwards the police responded to reports that the window of the Co-Op in Heckmondwike had been smashed. Two men from Bradford, a 32-year old and a 20-year old were arrested at the time and are currently on bail pending further enquiries.

At 4pm the police received reports of disorder in Dewsbury Town centre. A group of men in Corporation Street, near to Pizza Go-Go, had abused and assaulted a 35-year old Asian man, knocking him the floor and leaving him with a black eye and bruising to his ribs. The suspects then moved onto Northgate and Westgate. The 35-year old was taken to hospital and released the next day.

As the investigation into both incidents continues, Superintendent David Lunn of Kirklees police said: “We know that following the demonstration in Cleckheaton a number of men, purporting to be members of the EDL turned up at various location across Kirklees, displaying posters and flags and shouting abuse at members of the public. We have had a shop front damaged in Heckmondwike and the serious incident of the assault on the 35-year old man in Dewsbury Town centre.

“These incidents cause fear and concern for innocent members of the public caught up in them and the Police simply will not tolerate such behaviour. Whilst arrests were made for the damage offence, I am appealing for anyone with any information that could help us identify further suspects for the assault and disorder in Dewsbury to contact us.

“If people have mobile phone footage of racist chanting, damage, or assaults taking place anywhere in Kirklees on Saturday, I would appeal for those people to contact us as the information they have could help us greatly with our enquiries.”

Anyone who thinks that they can help with this investigation is asked to contact Dewsbury CID via 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

West Yorkshire Police news report, 21 March 2012

Hero Brinkman: Defector From Geert Wilders anti-Islam Party Says PVV is Bankrolled by US Supporters

Geert Wilders and David Horowitz Freedom Center
Geert Wilders and David Horowitz Freedom Center

Tell us something we didn’t already know (via. Islamophobia-Watch):

Wilders’ anti-Islam party is bankrolled by US supporters, says former MP

American lobbyists make large donations to a foundation set up by the anti-immigration PVV, Hero Brinkman, the MP who left the party on Tuesday, told a television talk show on Tuesday evening.

Brinkman said he could not rule out the money being used to pay for Geert Wilders’ defence on racial hatred charges but declined to comment further on what the money had been spent on. Nor would he comment on the size of the donations.

The PVV is thought to generate significant funding from Israeli and far-right supporters in the US.

Because the PVV has no members, it does not receive government subsidies to run the campaigning side of its operations and relies instead on donations.

Dutch News, 21 March 2012

Brinkman’s allegation about the PVV’s finances confirms what had already been revealed in the Dutch press. Last year Dutch Newsreported that the two main US sources for the PVV’s funding were David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes.