Pro Köln

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Representatives of Pro Köln attended an event titled "City policy between ideology and reality" hosted by the Austrian Freedom Party at the Eschenbach Palace in Vienna on 19 April 2007, along with members of Vlaams Belang and the French Front National. The tenor of the event was reflected in a statement by Koenrad Dillen of Vlaams Belang that "Islam is exerting a growing influence on Europe."[1]

Pro Köln was described as a 'far right populist group' in German news magazine focus in July 2007, which reported its involvement in protests against construction of a mosque in Cologne.[2]

In November 2007, One of the group's leaders, Markus Beisicht, delivered a paper on the Cologne anti-mosque campaign to members of the Austrian Freedom Party at the Gothensaal in Graz. He invited members of the Freedom Party, the French Front National and Vlaams Belang to an 'Anti-Islam Congress' in Cologne the following September.[3]

In December 2007, Der Spiegel reported that constitutional protection official feared that Pro Köln would overtake their far-right rivals, the NPD, which had traditionally sought to ally with anti-Israel Muslims.

With their party "Pro NRW" [Pro North Rhine Westphalia], which has its roots in the association "Pro Koeln," the party chiefs Markus Beisicht and Manfred Rouhs are planning their leap into the North Rhine Westphalian Landtag [regional government] for 2010. In North Rhine Westphalian municipalities, almost a dozen Pro-Koeln branches have already been founded, which want to run in the 2009 municipal elections - among others, in Gelsenkirchen, Duisburg, Duesseldorf, Essen, and Bottrop. Where no new mosques are planned, we concentrate on the struggle against the existing ones, Beisicht says. The Cologne far-right populists have even set their sights on the capital: in October, functionaries had mass mails distributed in Berlin against a planned mosque in Charlottenburg and just in passing founded the civil movement "Pro Deutschland" [Pro Germany].[4]

Pro Köln hosted an anti-Islam conference in Cologne on 19-20 September 2008, which was attended by far-right representatives from Austria, Italy and Belgium. A rally on the second day of the conference was cancelled after thousands of people took part in counter-protests. The protests also meant that less than 50 delegates were able to attend the conference on the second day.[5]

2009 conference

Pro-NRW is due to host an 'anti-Islamisation conference' in Cologne on 9 May 2009.[6]

On 23 April, the Pro Köln website said that Pamela Geller, Lars Hedegaard and Paul Belien would be attending the conference.[7]

On 24 April, the conference website reported that Robert Spencer would be speaking at the event.[8]

In a post on JihadWatch the same day, Spencer confirmed he had been invited but added "I have not confirmed that I will be attending, and am looking into the group and the people involved".[9] The following day Pamela Geller wrote on her blog Atlas Shrugs that she would not be going to Cologne either.[10]

Scheduled participants

Markus Beisicht | Judith Wolter | Henry Nitzsche | Filip Dewinter | Robert Spieler | Harald Vilimsky | Andreas Mölzer | Carl Lang | Hilda Delobel

US 'CounterJihadists' on Pro Köln

The background is this: I was invited to speak in Cologne, Germany, by the group Pro-Köln. Johnson, who sees neo-Nazis hiding under his bed and behind the shrubbery, showed himself in top form, and immediately decided that this group must be neo-Nazi as well — despite the fact that real neo-Nazis despise and repudiate them for their pro-Israel stance.[11]

Finances

Der Speigel reported in 2007 that Pro Köln had received funding from businessman Guenther Kissel:

Meanwhile, the Pro NRW people have found a financial supporter. Recently, the head of a Solingen construction company, Guenther Kissel, 90, joined the party. Earlier, the old man's company premises already played host to an event where British holocaust denier David Irving could tell his stories. However, Kissel draws a clear line between politics and private business activities: the company, which he founded and whose managing director he still is, is currently working on a project that does not quite fit in with the party's intentions. For an estimated 7 million euros, the construction company is building a large mosque in Duisburg-Marxloh.[12]

External Resources



References

  1. Austrian Freedom Party hosts international event on "growing influence of Islam", Text of report by Austrian newspaper Der Standard on 21 April, BBC Monitoring Europe - Political, 23 April 2007.
  2. German city-dwellers resisting new mosque plans - magazine, Text of report by German news magazine Focus on 16 July [Report by Frank Hauke-Steller, Arno Heissmeyer, and Marco Wisniewski: "Islam: 'Places Under Shari'ah Law;' In the Catholic City of Cologne, in Berlin and Munich, Natives Are Resisting the Construction of Large Mosques"], BBC Monitoring Europe - Political, 128 July 2007.
  3. German far-right trying to gain support for "anti-Islam" party, Text of report by independent German news magazine Der Spiegel website on 31 December, [Report by Andrea Brandt and Guido Kleinhubert: "Playing With Fear; Cologne Radicals Want To Enter the Parliaments With the First 'Anti-Islam Party' - Constitutional Protection Officials Are Alarmed - And so Is the NPD"], BBC Monitoring Europe - Political, 31 December 2007.
  4. German far-right trying to gain support for "anti-Islam" party, Text of report by independent German news magazine Der Spiegel website on 31 December, [Report by Andrea Brandt and Guido Kleinhubert: "Playing With Fear; Cologne Radicals Want To Enter the Parliaments With the First 'Anti-Islam Party' - Constitutional Protection Officials Are Alarmed - And so Is the NPD"], BBC Monitoring Europe - Political, 31 December 2007.
  5. Richard Heister, German citizens protest against anti-Islam congress in Cologne, Agence-France Presse, 20 September 2008.
  6. Anti-Islamisierungs-Kongress 2009, Pro-NRW, accessed 26 April 2009.
  7. [http://www.pro-koeln-online.de/artikel09/230409_pam.htm Wilders-Vertraute Pamela Geller auf Pressekonferenz zum Anti-Islamisierungskongreß in Köln! BÜRGERBEWEGUNG PRO KÖLN E.V., 23 April 2009.
  8. Robert Spencer am 9. Mai in Köln, pro Köln - pro NRW Anti-Islamisierungskongress, accessed 26 April 2009.
  9. Robert Spencer, Hamas-linked CAIR defames me again, again using libelblogger Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs talking points, JihadWatch, 24 April 2009.
  10. Pamela Geller, THE PUNK IS PUNKED! CHARLES JOHNSON OF LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS SCAMMED! FALLS FOR FAUXTOGRAPHY, Atlas Shrugs, 25 April 2009.
  11. Robert Spencer, Hamas-linked CAIR defames me again, again using libelblogger Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs talking points, JihadWatch, 24 April 2009.
  12. German far-right trying to gain support for "anti-Islam" party, Text of report by independent German news magazine Der Spiegel website on 31 December, [Report by Andrea Brandt and Guido Kleinhubert: "Playing With Fear; Cologne Radicals Want To Enter the Parliaments With the First 'Anti-Islam Party' - Constitutional Protection Officials Are Alarmed - And so Is the NPD"], BBC Monitoring Europe - Political, 31 December 2007.