If you haven’t hear of PEGIDA yet, here is a quick overview: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PEGIDA. Keep in mind that not everyone would agree to that description. You will also find a plethora of other information on that topic with a simple web-search.
To all PEGIDA activists,
you are being criticized heavily and a natural reaction to being put in a corner is that one defends oneself energically. Personally, I think there’s no such thing as „bad“ criticism as either the criticism is just and I can learn something about myself and improve myself through it or it isn’t and I can simply refute it. Criticism that is just, can be proven with concrete examples or flawless logic. Anecdotes and personal experiences are unfortunately no legitimate and generally acknowledged proofs. Just one example: Even though statistics can be falsified, they are most likely nearer to the truth than my personal experience. What’s true for me, doesn’t necessarily have to be true for others. I hope you can agree to that.
Now, it is hard to ignore the current „discussion“ about PEGIDA and the fears on both sides and I am asking myself, what all this really is about. Unfortunately, I have not found a clear answer to this question. That’s why I have the following questions to you but of course also indirectly to the government and the opposition. They are pretty clear questions that you surely will find clear answers for because to be able to change things I not only have to know what the current situation looks like but also what would be the better alternative to it. Otherwise I would create a vacuum that might get filled by something similar or even worse to what has been removed. Now my questions to your basic theses – UPDATE Jan 18, 2022: Europenews.dk seems down for good) to all, who are able to answer them, not only to PEGIDA activists.
I am not an English native speaker, but I paid extra attention on the translation of the theses. Should I have made a significant (!) mistake anywhere, please notify me and I will correct it asap.
1. PEGIDA wants to take in war-refugees and those persecuted for political or religious reasons. This is our obligation as human beings.
With what means respectively according to which criteria shall be decided upon the fact whether someone is persecuted for political or religious reasons? Unfortunately I also have no idea how that is done currently but as you are pleading for taking them in, I assume that you have a concept for this in mind.
2. PEGIDA wants to anchor the right and the obligation to integrate (into the German society) into the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany (until today there is only a right to request asylum to be found)
How exactly would that right and that obligation to integrate look like? How in your eyes does one find out, when someone is integrated enough to not violate this obligation? How much time does one have to integrate? What would be the exact consequences in case someone violates this obligation?
What exactly could the affected person claim in front of a court when alleging his or her right on integration? Because if it is written in the constitution, it would be binding for the state. What consequences would it have for the state and therefore its citizens in case the affected person’s right is violated? From what point on, regarding the time from migration until integration and underlying conditions would one be able to claim one’s right on integration?
3. PEGIDA is for the decentral accommodation of war refugees and persecuted instead of at times inhumane asylums!
What exactly is inhumane in those asylums? Wouldn’t it be possible and possibly more economical and even more humane to improve those factors, especially because you only speak of a rather small amount (i.e. „at times“) of inhumane asylums?
Out of what reasons should a central humane accommodaations be changed into a decentral one? In what kind of accommodation would the refugees and persecuted find refuge?
4. PEGIDA is for a european-wide distribution key for refugees and for a fair distribution onto the shoulders of all members of the European Union! (Central registration office for refugees, who then get distributed among all EU-countries similar to the German Königstein-key.)
What exactly is the aim of this measure? That every country of the EU shows the same relation of refugees to citizens? I do not know the precise figures of each country of the EU but let’s just assume Germany would fall below the average and then according to your demand would have to take more people in than it actually does, that would be fine with you, right?
5. PEGIDA wants to improve the relation of social workers responsible for asylum seekers (number of refugees per social worker/caretaker- at the moment that’s 200:1, in fact that’s close to no care at all for -at times- traumatized persons)
A social worker can do nothing against a trauma. To take care of that it would need an acknowledged therapy, that then would require a health insurance. On the surface I wouldn’t have any objection against an improvement of the relation mentioned above. But what exactly would be the result of such a measure in your eyes? The mediation of flats and jobs for each persecutee and refugee? In case of the latter laws would have to be changed or created. You have that in mind, right?
6. PEGIDA wants an asylum-procedure similar to the Dutch respectively the Swiss model and until its introduction appeals for a raise of financial means for the BAMF (the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees) to massively shorten the length of the actual application-procedure and processing to enable a quicker integration!
Every medal has two sides. Should an application for asylum be rejected, the applicant would also be deported quicker. This would just be a logical consequence of a rejection, right? By the way: Germany is rejecting most asylum seekers in an international comparison.
As they don’t give the reasons for the rejection nor the background for the asylum seekers’ decision to come to Germany despite of going to Hungary, this statistic should be used with care.
7. PEGIDA wants to raise funds for the police and wants to intervene against reducing the police’s workforce.
Unfortunately this is a very general claim. What sense would a stronger presence of the police make? What would the new police women and men do exactly? Where are there police workers missing today? Couldn’t it also make sense to invest that kind of money rather in education, which might be more suitable to solve this kind of problem in the long run?
8. PEGIDA wants to max out and to implement the existing laws dealing with asylum and deportation!
What does this mean exactly? I don’t know these
laws. Do you? Where are these laws not implemented sufficiently at the moment?
9. PEGIDA wants a zero-tolerance-policy towards delinquent asylum seekers and migrants!
And how much tolerance would you have for delinquent non-asylum seekers and non-migrants? Will you differ between adults and children or teenagers as it is common use in many other countries and our actual law system? What does „delinquent“ mean exactly? Is a simple theft the same as a physical attack? I’m no expert in law but most likely neither are most of you, but the serverity of the deed should matter when judging about a human beings life, don’t you think?
10. PEGIDA supports the resistence against a mysogenist, violent political ideology but not against Muslims that are already living here!
I can just support this aim. Is it enough that an ideology is either mysogenist or violent or political or do all three conditions have to be fulfilled? What is the difference between an ideology and a religion? Is your resistance limited to european countries or are you also worried about the rest of the world, in which such ideologies might also flourish? If so, why is your moral bound to a limited physical space? Are you talking about the political European Union or the geographical Europe?
Regarding the Muslims that have to be integrated see point two above.
11. PEGIDA wants a regulation of migration along the lines of Switzerland, Australia, Canada or South Africa!
How many of you do know these models? I have got no clue and would have to do some thorough research before agreeing or even commenting on this point.
12. PEGIDA ist for sexual self-determination!
What exactly does that mean? That I can decide myself, with whom and with how many I have sex?Where would be the limits of this self-determination?
13. PEGIDA wants to conserve and to protect our (?) Christian-Jewish culture of the Western World!
Honestly? I personally would be very happy if it was less Christian and less Jewish, our Western World. I belive that we don’t need any religion to be good and to live in peace. But more interesting is the question, with what concrete measures you intent to protect this culture. What concrete parts of our culture are Christian and Jewish again? Please keep in mind that any religion has often simply taken over many pagan habits and traditions, like e.g. Easter or Thanksgiving and that I wouldn’t count these as part or consequence of any religion. What is left of the Jewish religion in our culture today?
Hasn’t our culture already changed in the let’s say last 100 years? What part would you actually want to presevere? How do you stop a culture from changing? Do you think that preventing immigration would preserve the culture you have in mind? How about the internet and television?
Would you also want to preserve the Christian-Jewish culture in those (mostly non-EU) countries that we have „brought“ it to via colonialization? Was the culture in Bosnia pure Christian at any point in its history?
Then what about the approx. 30% atheists in Germany? Didn’t they have any influence on our actual culture?
Where is the difference between the EU and the Western World (the „Abendland“)? You are aware of the fact that there are also Christians and Jews in the Morgenland, right? What about those?
14. PEGIDA wants to introduce grassroots-democracy or referendums in the lines of Switzerland!
Well, a grassroots-democracy with 5 mio voters is a different game than with 62 million voters. What kind of changes would you expect from such a fundamental change of our actual system? Let’s assume there are 1.000.000 PEGIDA activists, that would make 1.6% of all voters. At the same time there would be approx. 800.000 voters with a Turkish migration background alone, which would make for 1,3% of all voters. How probable do you think it is, that both of these groups are heading into the right direction in any referendum?
What exactly is better in Switzerland than in Germany? Are there also things that are better over here than in Switzerland and that might actually justify our actual electoral system?
15. PEGIDA is against the delivery of weaponry to organizations that violate our constitution and are forbidden like e.g. the Kurdish PKK
Well, I am principally also against such deals but I also understand that the world is not separated that easily into Good and Evil, as we would wish. But what proff do you have to offer that this is actually happening at the moment? I am not saying that it does not happen, in the end they must have gotten their weapons from someone as they obviously don’t produce them themselves- but in case of doubt I would always vouch for the accused, which is the state in this case. Assumptions are not providing any grounds for a fruitful discussion. In the best case they initiate an examination.
16. PEGIDA is against permitting parallel societies or parallel courts in our midst like Sharia-courts, Sharia-police or justices of peace etc.
I am absolutely on your side here. But where (in our law) are these permitted at the moment?
17. PEGIDA is against this lunatic “Gender Mainstreaming”, often also called „Genderisierung”, the almost forced change of our language to become politically correct (and) gender neutral.
Well, there are female PEGIDA activists and male ones. Is that already „Gender Mainstreaming“? I could have written this text simply in the feminine form and of course I would have included the men among you with that approach but it is still a bit unusual and not my point at all -after all we are talking about the Islamization of the Western World, right? Why is this point important in context of Islamization? Is „Gender Mainstreaming“ supporting Islamization? If so, how exactly?
18. PEGIDA is against radicalism, no matter whether it is religiously or politically motivated!
I have nothing to object here. But where does radicalism start for you? Isn’t it also radical when a group of activists loudly shouts „Lügenpresse (=lying press)“ as soon as a journalist becomes visible? I have found the following definition of „radicalism“ on Wikipedia:
The term political radicalism (or simply, in political science, radicalism) denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways. Derived from the Latin radix (root), the denotation of radical has changed since its eighteenth-century coinage to comprehend the entire political spectrum—yet retains the “change at the root” connotation fundamental to revolutionary societal change.
Do you agree to this definition or do you have an alternative one? In case you do agree I am asking you whether it is not exactly PEGIDA’s aim to change the actual value system of our society in fundamental ways and that therefore you are radical yourself? And not only politically as you want to change laws but also religiously as you base your protest on the Christian-Jewish parts of our culture.
Where am I erring here?
19. PEGIDA is against preachers of hate, no matter what religion they belong to!
also against hate. Who is for hate anyway? But I fear that a hate preacher does not consider himself (unfortunately those seem to be exclusively men) as such. Who defines what is „hate“? Among us, many reports from PEGIDA demonstrations show a rather aggressive crowd. That does not exclude that there are also such hatemongers on the other side. But just because one side does evil that doesn’t justify to do it like them, right? The step from aggression to hate is a small one in my experience. Where do you draw the line between aggression and hate? Don’t you feel hate when there is injustice that concerns you? Might a preacher of hate not be a sign for the fact that there is injustice on the „other“ side of the Muslim citizens?
What consequences does the fact have, that you are against preachers of hate? What should happen with them? Is §130 StGB (German penal code) not sufficient and therefore such preaching of hate sufficiently forbidden?
After having thought a lot about those theses above I realized that only very rarely you are talking about Islamization here. What is it you are aiming at now? A reformation of our laws regulating asylum and deportation, that would also concern non-Muslim refugees and persecutees. How would those reformations be related to Islamization? What exactly do you mean by Islamization?
I am living in Berlin Neukölln for three years now, a district strongly influenced by people with a Turkish or Arabic background and have lived near this district for over seven years now and I simply do not feel any fear of Islamization nor Muslims. How do you explain that? And if I interpret Islamization in a way that it would mean that someone could force me to acknowledge Islam as my only religion, I would like to know how you imagine that to happen in a country in which there are 40mio Christians, 30mio Atheists and approx. 10mio Muslims? By the way, of those 10mio, the huge majority isn’t islamistic but moderate muslim which is a significant difference as you might know.
Life means change. If we humans hadn’t changed in the past, we would be long extinct. To deal with change means to confront one’s fears. Many of us are afraid of dying and of insignificance. But I have learned that my life doesn’t become any more significant by belonging to any group, no matter how big or small and no matter how promising its ideology. Fear is part of my life and part of my process of growing (up). I don’t want to project my fears unto others. In this sense I’d like your concerns to find clarification, because as you might have realized, it is far from being clear at the moment and that just leads to misunderstanding.
I am not against you as a human being, quite the opposite. I know fear and I seek nothing more than peace and I know it begins within me, not with changing you or others. That’s why I have one last question to you, who you read these lines: Are you content with yourself and with what you have achieved in live so far? If not, do you think PEGIDA will make you more content on the long run?