German far-right AfD politician converts to Islam

26 January, 2018, 02:39 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Member Of German Nationalist Anti-Islamization Party Resigns After Converting To Islam

Germany's populist right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, known for its harsh anti-Islam rhetoric, has repeatedly claimed that Islam does not belong to Germany.

"The party has no problem with it", said Daniel Friese, a spokesman for the Brandenburg branch of the AfD.

'Only afterwards was it known that he had converted to Islam, ' Friese said.

Founded in February 2013, the AfD focuses on so-called "soft" Euroscepticism, generally supporting Germany's membership in the European Union but slamming further European integration, unchecked immigration and the existence of the euro.

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"For us that is not a problem", said AfD party spokesman in response to the report.

Suddenly far-right officials stress in public religion is very much a "private matter".

Mr Wagner declined to comment on his conversion.

His previous attitudes about Muslims is likely the reason why it was such a shock to his former party members to hear about his conversion to Islam.

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He was a leading member in the eastern German state of Brandenburg since 2015.

AfD's basic program, which was adopted a year ago, claimed that "Islam does not belong to Germany".

Making plain that he hadn't stepped down because of his new religious affiliation, Wagner said that "there was no pressure" and that "it has not changed anything". But he insisted that the AfD had not pressured him to leave its ranks. That regional committee occupies a particularly influential role; it is headed by Alexander Gauland, a major party figure who heads the AfD's delegation in Parliament. He left the party on January 11, AfD chairman Andreas Kalbitz wrote in a, adding the decision came as a surprise. "The AfD (views Islam) as a great threat to our state, our society and our values, due to its spreading and the steadily growing number of Muslims", it reads.

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