Tuesday, April 28, 2015
On May 7th 2015, citizens in the United Kingdom will vote for a new (or old) government. In the run-up to the General Election, one party in particular polarizes the public: UKIP. The UK Independence Party, led by Nigel Farage, is an anti-European party. UKIP argues that the UK should leave the European Union as this would result in less external regulation of British policies and in major economic benefits. Moreover, UKIP proposes that an exit from the EU would enable the UK to tighten its migration laws. The party advocates a point-based system, similar to the one in Australia and Canada, to ultimately limit the overall number of immigrants.
The latter argument is very much in line with the requests of Pegida—the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (or, rather, the Occident). Since October 2014, thousands joined the movement’s weekly demonstrations; these take place primarily in the East German town Dresden but spread as well to other cities all across Germany and Europe. Pegida campaigns in particular against an increasing number of Muslim immigrants in Europe. Banners that were held up during the protests in Germany called for “the preservation of our culture“ and “against religious wars on German ground“.