Online retail giant Amazon has pledged to donate its share of revenues from the sale of a song by the anti-Muslim song to a nongovernmental organization that helps refugees. The German group Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, released an instrumental song through Amazon on December 1st titled “Gemeinsam Sind Wir Stark” (“Together We Are Strong”).
The wordless hymn sold for 1.29 euros ($1.40) and managed to knock off British pop star Adele’s “Hello” from the top of Amazon’s top 100 singles chart.
The retail giant was put under pressure through social media where it was criticized for making a profit from a song (released over Christmas) by a group that is known for anti-Islam and anti-immigrant sentiments in Europe.
Since last year, Pegida has held rallies on a weekly basis protesting immigration, Muslims, and Syrian refugees in Dresden and several other German cities. The group believes that there are too many immigrants in Germany and that the country needs to prioritize taking care of its own citizens first. The group wanted to donate the proceeds from the song to homeless German citizens.
Pegida’s founder, Lutz Bachman, started the organization as a Facebook group a year ago and faced criticism when a photo of him sporting a Hitler hairstyle and moustache went viral.
As a response to Pegida’s song, Amazon posted a note next to the “buy” button on the product detail page that reads, “Amazon helps. The proceeds of selling this song will go to a charitable organization supporting refugees.”
“Amazon’s profits from the sale of this song will go to a non-profit-making organisation supporting refugees,” the company said.
Pegida’s campaign demonstrations peaked in January when more than 25,000 people joined a protest march in Dresden. In recent weeks, the movement has drawn fewer participants in Dresden and has completely died down in other cities in Germany.