Anti-Islam Party Politician Resigns, Converts to Islam

25 January, 2018, 02:55 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel locks eyes with AfD chief whip Bernd Baumann in the Bundestag in November

A spokesperson for the party said he had converted to Islam and he had officially quit his leadership role in the eastern state of Brandenburg as of 11 January.

A senior figure in Germany's far-right anti-Islam party has resigned his post after converting to Islam. Suddenly far-right officials stress in public religion is very much a "private matter". In the party's first bill since its electoral success in September, the AfD proposed amending Germany's Residence Act by barring refugees from bringing their relatives from the war-ravaged countries they fled.

In February of that year, then party leader Petry Frauke sparked outrage when she proclaimed that German border guards should use fire arms if necessary in order to prevent illegal border crossings by refugees and migrants.

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At the time of the migration crisis - when Angela Merkel unilaterally declared that over a million people could come to Germany from around the world - Wagner said the chancellor was making a "huge mistake", Tagesspiegel reported.

As the result of Merkel's 'open-door policy', Germany "mutates into another country", Wagner alleged at the time.

Kalbitz told CNN that while "lots of Muslims in Germany are well integrated, Islam itself is not part of German culture", a point he reiterated in a Facebook post Wednesday.

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Kalbitz said there was "no pressure from the party" for Wagner to resign.

Also, the party calls for the dissolution of the Eurozone and opposes what the AfD describes as "the Islamization" of Germany. "We have taken note of this development not without surprise", wrote Andreas Kalbitz, the AfD's regional head, before echoing previous remarks it was up to Wagner to make this decision. But he insisted that the AfD had not pressured him to leave its ranks. "Islam does not belong to Germany", it read.

Originally founded in 2013 as a Eurosceptic party, the AfD took the lead as the most aggressive anti-refugee voice in the country while almost a million asylum seekers arrived in Germany in 2015.

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