Feminists Say No To Pegida

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Date:

The Neo-Nazi group Pegida is attempting to establish a branch in Ireland this Saturday in Dublin. Pegida, the "anti-Islamifacation" group that is attempting to hijack anti-establishment politics by placing the blame of the current global capitalist crisis on the shoulders of refugees and migrants: those with no systemic or economic power in our society.

Pegida Ireland is trying to mask their vitriolic racism as concern against rape amongst other things. This feminist group says stuff your concern.

After the New Year's Eve attacks in Cologne the term "Rapefugees" exploded even though it was already in use beforehand due to the Islamophobic and racist idea that all Muslim women are victims in need of a white knight in shining armour. Racists are now parading a faux concern of violence against women as an attempt to justify their unjustifiable racism.

The attacks in Cologne were deplorable to say the least. We must be clear on this; just because the perpetrators of violence against women belong to a vulnerable group does not mean that we absolve them of their crimes. Any man who is abusive and/or physically violent to a woman is deserving of the finest treatment the likes of the Gulabi Gang has to offer.

We must reinforce this message alongside the message that violence against women can never be an excuse for racism. The Cologne Attacks does not automatically make all refugees rapists. When white men rape mass condemnation such as what we have seen here is virtually non-existent.

If the Cologne Attacks had been perpetrated by white men this contrived concern of violence against women would not be seen. If white men had been responsible for this we would have - at best - been met with a wall of silence by these fascists. At worst we would have been treated to the finest examples of rape culture; the occurrence of every individual attack would have been questioned, outright denial would be flashing across our internet feeds as well as insistence that the victims "should not have been dressed" in whatever way they were dressed, or "should not have been drinking" or any other way that a victim can be blamed for something that they did not cause.

These people do not actually care about rape, violence against women or feminism. In fact, these people have web pages dedicated to exposing them as rapists, pedophiles and members of pedophilia rings. Tommy Robinson, co-founder of the fascist English Defence League and the man responsible for darkening Ireland's doorstep with Pegida was himself arrested for attacking an off-duty cop, who happened to be a neighbour, when the cop intervened in a domestic issue. It’s not clear what the domestic issue was but I doubt it was a heated debate on the best ways to advance feminism.

This is not a case of "you cannot come here for fear that you will rape women", on the contrary, it is a case of "if anyone is going to rape our women it will be us". Being a refugee, otherwise known as someone fleeing a desperate situation, does not make you a rapist by default and going by the webpages to be found when googling "EDL rapist" (or anything similar) it could be easily thought that most fascists are rapists.

A strong feminist presence is needed on Saturday to make sure that these fascists know, in no uncertain terms, that they do not act in our interests. They spout the same ideology that led to 115 recorded attacks against Muslim women the week after the Paris Attacks in the UK alone. The UK charity, Tell Mama, a helpline for Muslims who receive physical or verbal abuse recorded these attacks as a 300% rise.

Most of those who were attacked were women and girls aged between 14 to 45 and most of the attacks were at the hands of white males between the ages of 15 and 35 whose names are probably to be found on the membership list of the EDL or Pegida. They have no concern for ending violence against women.

Most of those who were attacked were recorded by the charity as being in traditional Islamic dress. Should a woman wish to dress in accordance with her faith she should be able to do so without fear of attack. No matter what women wear we never deserve abuse - physical or verbal - and we should target those who target women for wearing the hijab, burqa or any other Islamic dress.

Feminism has a shameful history of leaving women of colour behind; of ignoring how sexism and racism intersect to make life even worse for women of colour and throwing them under the bus to further a white feminist agenda. We have a duty to stand up to these fascists this Saturday.

We must send Pegida and those of a similar mindset packing, we cannot allow them a platform, or give them any opportunity to imitate the actions of their UK counterparts through attacking our sisters.

We say no to violence against women. We say no to Pegida. We say no to fascism in all of its ugly forms.

WORDS: Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird

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