The Central Council of Muslims in Germany has likened the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party to the Nazis over a proposed ban on minarets.
Over the weekend the European Parliament leader for the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Beatrix von Storch said that “Islam is in itself a political ideology that is incompatible with the Basic Law,” in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine.
Ms. Von Storch also said that the AfD plans to introduce a proposal in its new manifesto that would include a ban on the building of minarets.
“We are for a ban on minarets, muezzins (those who sing the Islamic calls to prayer) and for a ban on full-face veil,” she told the paper and maintained that she was only interested in a ban on the public symbols of Islam. “Many Muslims belong in Germany,” but she added, “Islam does not belong in Germany.”
The reaction from the Central Council of Muslims was immediate condemnation. The council chairman Aiman Mazyek told Germany’s state funded radio station NDR, “for the first time since Hitler’s Germany there is a party that once again is discrediting a whole religious community and threatening its existence,” reports The Local.
The remarks come after the German ambassador to Canada had made a similar comparison. The ambassador said, “we have for the first time in the post war history of modern Germany a right wing political party called the Alternative for Germany that is about to, well, be elected into the federal parliament. We had neo-Nazi parties in the past that made it into some provincial parliaments but never ever has a right wing party actually elected into the federal parliament,” during a lecture he gave at a Canadian university on the subject of the migrant crisis.”
Ms. Von Storch was not the only leading member of the AfD to come out over the weekend calling for stricter laws regarding Islam. The party’s Deputy Chairman Alexander Gauland also spoke to the Frankfurter Allgemeine and said, “we are a Christian-secular state, Islam is a foreign body. A Euro-Islam does not exist in reality,” and implying that Islam in its current form is simply not compatible with the enlightenment ideas the AfD is founded on.
“Islam is not a religion like Catholic or Protestant Christianity,” he said, “but it is always intellectually linked with taking over the state.” Mr. Gauland also spoke of the need to shut down mosques that preached radical Islam and jihad.
“It is necessary to trim the proliferation of Islamic religious teachers and Islamic schools which are privately financed. There must be controls on who finances it and who teaches there,” he said stressing the need to monitor foreign born Imam’s from areas like Saudi Arabia who are paid by Saudi interests.
The AfD will vote on the new proposals for their upcoming manifesto ahead of the 2017 Federal elections. The AfD shocked the German establishment in the recent local elections earlier this year where they surged to third place in many areas.