German Justice Minister Heiko Maas states that the AfD are “nationalistic, authoritarian and misogynistic,” and compares the party to Donald Trump.
Heiko Maas, German Federal Justice Minister and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), has upped the rhetoric against the insurgent anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) in a commentary written for Der Spiegel.
In the article, Mr. Maas states that the party is emulating Russian President Vladamir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and likely U.S. Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“The AfD – they are spiritual brothers of Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: nationalistic, authoritarian and misogynistic,” wrote Maas, who is seen as second to Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel in the SPD.
“Our country has a murky past, but our parents’ generation has created a modern Germany: cosmopolitan and liberal, good neighbours and peaceful partners with the world. Of course our country is not perfect, but one thing is clear: the right-wing populists are not a good alternative for Germany.”
Mr. Maas invoked comparisons to the Third Reich as many, including the German Ambassador to Canada, have done when talking about the AfD.
After the recent party conference in Stuttgart, which saw protests from left extremists, Mr. Maas dismissed the AfD’s manifesto as a “roadmap to another Germany, the Germany of yesterday.”
The Justice Minister also stated that the party was a misogynistic. He claimed that the AfD’s view on gender roles are akin to confining women to the kitchen while men go off hunting, and that the party’s mission statement is an “attack on women’s freedom.”
These comments were made despite two of the AfD’s most prominent leaders, Frauke Petry and Beatrix von Storch, being women.
The AfD position on Islamisation is well known and the party is one of the few in Germany to call for a ban on the building of minarets in German cities. Referencing comments made by the AfD’s Alexander Gauland – who said that Islam is not a party of Germany – Mr. Maas said that Germany has always been a land of immigrants.
The criticism of the German leader is highly redolent of comments made recently by former United States President Bill Clinton of other European anti-mass migration movements.
Accusing Hungary and Poland, who both have conservative governments taking steps to protect their own people from the ill effects of mass migration, President Clinton said they had rejected democracy and “want [Russian President Vladimir] Putin-like leadership” instead.
Recent polls have shown that the majority of Germans totally reject the idea that Islam is a part of Germany, and scepticism of Islam is high.
Mr. Maas’s SPD is facing its biggest challenge since the Second World War and are polling at all time lows, with SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel unsure if he will run for the position of Chancellor in federal elections next year.
Mr. Gabriel was forced to deny allegations that he would be stepping down as leader following the resignation of his socialist counterpart in Austria, former Chancellor Werner Faymann, only days before.
Mr. Faymann and his Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) lost huge numbers of voters, largely due to their migrant crisis policies. At the recent Austrian presidential elections the party saw one of its worst results since 1945 as Norbert Hofer, of the anti-mass migration Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), swept the first round of elections.
Mr. Hofer goes into the second round of elections this Sunday against Green Party candidate Alexander Van Der Bellen.