Online retail giant Amazon announced Thursday that it would donate all profits from the sales of an 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 Dec. 1 called “Gemeinsam Sind Wir Stark” (“Together We Are Strong”).
Sold for 1.29 euros ($1.40), the song managed to knock British singer Adele’s “Hello” from first place on Amazon Germany’s top 100 chart for several days.
But the German arm of Amazon soon faced backlash on social media for selling the track. Critics argued that Amazon should not profit from a song sold by a group that perpetuates anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hysteria in Europe.
For the last year, Pegida has staged weekly rallies protesting Muslims, immigration and Syrian refugees in Dresden and other German cities. The group says there are too many immigrants in Germany, and that the country should take care of its own citizens first. Its founder, Lutz Bachmann, started the organization as a Facebook group a year ago — and faced criticism when a photo of him bearing a Hitler hairstyle and moustache went viral.
On Thursday, Amazon posted note next to the “buy” button for the song which reads, “Amazon helps. The proceeds of selling this song will go to a charitable organization supporting refugees.”
For its part, Pegida had said that sales from the song would be donated to homeless Germans. Neither Amazon nor Pegida has commented further.
Germans haven’t left glowing reviews for the song on Amazon, either.
"What can I say? Stupid, embarrassing, irrelevant, a little reminiscent of a poorly made copy of the Henry Maske song," wrote one reviewer, referring to a song a German boxer uses for his entrances into the ring.