Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics


Don’t take words out of my mouth! … or out of my protest sign!

Der Spiegel has posted a short video of a recent anti-Islam demonstration by PEGIDA, a German organisation whose name is an acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West. In one brief segment, starting at about 1:35, a journalist speaks with a demonstrator who is carrying a sign with the message “Islam = Karzinom” (Islam = Carcinoma, i.e., cancer).

Reporter: I wonder if you could explain your sign to me, why you draw this equivalence between Islam and a carcinoma?

Demonstrator: I don’t say they are equivalent, as you’re trying to suggest.

R: But it says there “Islam equals Carcinoma”.

D: Exactly.

R: Well, then, explain to me what you mean by that.

D: I’m not giving you any more information.

You really need to watch it — even if you don’t understand the language — to appreciate the mixture of befuddlement and hostility in this smug old protester, who seems to think that expecting demonstrators to account for their over-the-top slogans is just one of those devious tricks typical of highbrow lefty journalists. (I don’t think there’s a German word for lame stream media.)

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