Saturday

16th Feb 2019

German populist party adopts anti-Islam manifesto

  • The AfD has gained popularity with its tough stance against immigration and Islam (Photo: AfD)

The German right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has adopted an explicitly anti-Islam platform, saying Islam is not a part of Germany.

The document adopted on Sunday (1 May) calls for a ban on the full body Islamic veil, minarets and the Muslim call to prayer as “Islamic symbols of power”.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

AfD, which has representatives in eight of 16 state assemblies, has gained popularity with its tough stance against chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming refugee policy.

The party was founded in 2013 to oppose the use of German taxpayers' money to bail out other eurozone countries. After much infighting, it has increasingly shifted to the right, harnessing German concerns over some one million asylum seekers who have arrived to the country since last year.

Some 2,000 delegates gathered for a two-day conference in Stuttgart to mark the launch of the manifest, in a hall decorated with banners declaring: “Courage, Truth, Germany”.

The manifesto called for an exit from the euro, reaffirmed traditional family values, proposed to reinstate military service for young men and better border control, and rejected the “ideology of multiculturalism”.

The party also opposed the presence of nuclear weapons in Germany and the deployment of German soldiers overseas.

“Our party programme is the road to a different Germany,” party co-leader Joerg Meuthen told the conference.

Hundreds protest

Delegates who called for a more moderate wording, spelling out a need for dialogue with Islam, were booed at the conference.

Meanwhile the party, trying to fend off criticism of extremism, disbanded its group in Saarland after it emerged they had ties to neo-Nazi groups.

The start of the conference on Saturday was interrupted by at least 1,000 leftist protesters. Some 400 of them were detained by police, who used pepper spray on the crowds.

It came as hackers revealed the addresses of some 2,000 AfD members on a leftist website.

AfD is now the third largest party in Germany, according to recent poll by the Emnid Institute for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, surpassing the Greens.

They are yet to have representation is the federal parliament, but are hoping for a strong showing at next year’s general election.

Merkel has said before that “Islam is part of Germany”, and critics of AfD point out that the German constitution defends freedom of religion. The country is home to some four million Muslims.

Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table

EU probes into Hungary and Poland on rule of law and democracy are back on the agenda of EU affairs ministers - but with little guidance from the Romanian presidency, without a clear idea where the procedures are headed.

Calls for Tajani's resignation over Slovenia, Croatia row

The European Parliament's Italian president referred to Croatia and Slovenia as former Italian regions at the weekend, sparking outrage. Although Antonio Tajani apologised, somer former leaders and MEPs are now calling for his resignation.

News in Brief

  1. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Opinion

Italy will keep blinking in 2019

Italy's 'marriage of convenience' coalition government likes picking battles with Brussels. But with the economy now in recession, and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini needing to keep the business lobby on board, expect Rome to blink first.

Opinion

The test for Sweden's new government

While the formation of a new government ends Sweden's fourth-month paralysis, it doesn't resolve the challenge from radical-right populists in Sweden. A key question remains: will treating populists like pariahs undercut the appeal of their, often anti-rights, politics?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  2. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  3. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  4. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk
  5. EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency
  6. Saudi Arabia, but not Russia, on EU 'dirty money' list
  7. EU agrees draft copyright reform, riling tech giants
  8. Rutte warns EU to embrace 'Realpolitik' foreign policy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us