MSM Starting to Pay Attention to Anti-Muslim/Anti-Government Groups and Individuals
In some ways this should cause us some degree of optimism. PEGIDA Canada's coming out party in Toronto was tiny and dwarfed by a much larger contingency of anti-fascists and progressives who opposed them (thus earning "antifa" the antipathy of PEGIDA Canada from that point on). Their subsequent two "flash" demonstrations have been pathetically small and even by their own accounts opposed by most of the people who came across them. Still, the violent rhetoric of groups like PEGIDA Canada and other similar anti-Muslim, anti-refugee, and anti-government groups is still of concern because of their online support. In the case of PEGIDA Canada at the time of the writing of this article the group has been "liked" by a little over 10,000 individuals:
That number, 10,135, may include people such as ourselves who are monitoring the group as well as some who were merely curious. It may also include individuals who are concerned about the refugee crisis but who don't actually look at the group page and are unaware of the toxicity of the rhetoric of PEGIDA as well as those who actively support it, though we are perhaps being kind. However, even the in the best case scenario, this number indicates that there are a number of people who may be and already have been radicalized by PEGIDA Canada's (and like-minded movements) message.
We understand that this term has been used almost exclusively when referring to Muslims radicalized by extremist interpretations of Islam, but it hold true for the individuals who have been fed a steady diet of fear and loathing directed at Muslims, be they Canadian born, immigrants, refugees, or Muslims living outside the country as well. They have been convinced to distrust any contrary information that does not conform to their pre-existing prejudices and those prejudices have been reinforced in an echo chamber that demonizes and dehumanizes Muslims and/or any who doesn't view Muslims with hatred. Once this happens, anything is justified as evidenced by some of the screen shots we've taken from PEGIDA Canada's Facebook page over the past number of months:
Anti-Racist Canada: The ARC Collective: MSM Starting to Pay Attention to Anti-Muslim/Anti-Government Groups and Individuals