EU: Right-wingers to push for minaret-ban referendum
See also here for Spiegel's take on the congress.
* European Right: Let's all ban minarets
* Belgium: Dewinter, 'Islam is a predator'
Extreme-right parties from all over Europe are going to begin a campaign for a European referendum imposing a minaret ban, they said in a congress of the German pro-NRW party.
The extreme-right have been inspired by their fellows of the Swiss People's Party, who took the initiatvie for a referendum on a minaret ban, which was supported by about 60% of Swiss voters last November 29th.
The big supporters of the referendum campaign are the Flemish Vlaams Belang and the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ). Both parties are investing financially and organizationally in the small pro-NRW.
Filip Dewinter has been contact for quite a while with the leaders of the pro-NRW, ever since the time that the party was only active in Cologne. With the birth of Dewinter's vehicle "Cities against Islamization" in January 2008, the contact with the Germans became more intensive. 'Cities against Islamization' has organized congresses and meetings with pro-NRW.
Pro-NRW now has 45 local politicians in 11 cities, 17 district council and four regional councils. May 9th the party will participate for the first time in the North Rhine-Westphalia elections. It's doubtful whether pro-NRW will pass the 5% threshold. But its campaign against minarets and the building of the grand mosque in Cologne, the party deals with an issue that appeals to a wider audience than the traditional extreme-right supporters.
A large team from Vlaams Belang came to the congress in Gelsenkirchen. Vlaams Belang has been giving 'development-aid' to pro-NRW for quite a while. Speaking in his poor German, Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter explained why in his speech Saturday. "We're laying here the foundations for an international against Islamization," he told his European comrades. "We are the voice of the European majority."
Dewinter warned his fellows. "Islam is a conquering religion that seeks to destroy our democracy and wants to exchange it for a Sharia-based dictatorship. One thing you don't need to doubt: Islam plans to conquer all of Europe (...) Islam is a predator, ready to pounce on the weakest victim: Europe is aging, dying out and letting itself be blinded by the multicultural away-with-us ideology."
Other speaks such as Catalan Josep i Rius Anglada, head of Plataforma per Catalunya, and Kent Ekeroth, of Sweden Democrats, turned to classical comparisons. They compared the current struggle against Islamization to the defeat of the Arabs by Charles Martel in 732 in Poitiers and turning back the Turks during the Siege of Vienna in 1673. Catalan Anglada ended his long speech with a slogan hijacked from the Left: "Islamists, no pasarán, you're not getting through."
Kent Ekeroth was inspired by Winston Churchill. "We will fight until victory," he cited Churchill. 'Victory at all costs, for without victory, there is no survival."
There were several incidents with the press during the congress. A crew from ZDF were kicked out of the hall to loud 'Nazis raus' shouts by the two hundred attendees. Pro-NRW said that the camera crew disturbed the congress when they wanted to show how a skinhead with a Londsdale sweater was kicked out of the hall. The man did not fit the image of tidy suits that the party wanted to present.
German police was mobilized throughout the weekend to ensure that the pro-NRW activities could take place. SPD leader Sygmar Gabriel and singer Peter Maffay of the party appeared in a counter-demonstration. On Sunday 150 showed up fro the pro-NRW protest in Duisberg. 150 Neo-Nazis from the NPD demonstrated elsewhere in Duisberg. According to the police, 4,500 people participated in two counter-demonstrations.
Source: De Standaard (Dutch)