Media across the Arab world has slammed the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party telling Muslims the AfD wants to wage a war on Islam.
“Islam is the new goal of German right-wing populists,” read the headline of Kuwaiti Al Watan News, and other media organizations followed suit. “The extreme right is spearheading a campaign to combat Islam in Germany,” said Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arab news, “German Extremist party is again at immigration and Islam,” said Al Jazeera who recently closed their American channel because of “economic challenges.” Media across the Arab world has said in a single voice that the AfD is simply hostile to and preparing to wage war against Islam.
This weekends AfD party conference was met with controversy and in some cases with violence by opponents of the anti-mass migration party. Left wing activists tried to bully party members and prevent them from attending the conference which took place in Stuttgart. The controversial proposals to ban minarets and the Muslim call to prayer has now attracted the attention of Arab media whose headlines Monday lashed out at the AfD reports Zeit Online.
Sky News Arabia, who are based in the United Arab Emirates, said they think the AfD is a “serious challenge to German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” and stated they expect the party to be a serious contender in the upcoming federal elections in 2017. The AfD has made huge gains in regional elections this year becoming the third most popular party in many areas.
Egypt’s Masr al-Arabiya was less flattering in their description of the right wing party. They said the AfD represented a, “rising tide of Islamophobia in Germany,” and spoke of, “the return of Nazism: German parties now compete about who can win more voters for themselves at the next general parliamentary elections with anti-Islam slogans.”
The accusations of Nazism echo the recent comments by the German ambassador to Canada who said the AfD would be the first “real right” party in the Bundestag since the fall of the Third Reich.
The Egyptian paper tried to fit the rise of the AfD into the narrative of a struggle of civilization between Europe and Islam. The paper expressed outrage that a member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union had dared go to Egypt to pressure the government to give more freedom to the often persecuted Christian Coptic religious minority.
The German politician was said to be a fan of the current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi by the author of the article. Al-Sissi overthrew former Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi and restored the rights of Coptic Christians, who had been persecuted under the Muslim Brotherhood, to practise their religion and rebuild churches torn down by Islamists.