Socialist Worker

Islamophobes fail to hijack anger against homophobia in Berlin

by Phil Butland
Issue No. 2449

Activists from radical left party Die Linke at the demonstration last Sunday

Activists from radical left party Die Linke at the demonstration last Sunday

Several thousand people demonstrated against homophobia in Berlin on Sunday of last week—and resisted attempts to pit LGBT people and Muslims against each other.

The very interesting and inspiring demonstration was called by a young Muslim who had experienced problems in his family and community. He had organised a similar demonstration last year with around 150 people.

But this time highly dubious people rushed to offer their support, and t became clear that this had the potential of turning quite nasty indeed.

There were countless posts associating Muslims with homophobia on the event page for the demo on Facebook, though many were deleted.

Some repeatedly posted lies about the supposedly homophobic Palestinians. In Germany, Islamophobia is frequently tied to support for Israel.

And a gay magazine published an article about a “demo against homophobic Muslims”.

A number of activists—including both Muslims and Israelis who had attended last year’s protests for Gaza—understandably stayed away.

But a group of socialists from radical left party Die Linke turned up anyway, with leaflets reading “united against homophobia, united against anti-Muslim racism”.

These generally went down well, and the people who didn’t want to take them were visibly in the minority.

All three speakers at the opening rally attacked Islamophobia and said that groups like Islamophobic protest group Pegida were not welcome.

Though they undoubtedly spoke from the heart, the Die Linke intervention had showed them that they were not alone and likely boosted their confidence.

This was a demonstration where socialists really made a difference.

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Article information

Tue 14 Apr 2015, 16:52 BST
Issue No. 2449
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