Alternative for Germany (AfD) deputy leader Beatrix von Storch has said that while Muslim leaders should not be afraid to get involved in political debate, they should distance themselves from so-called sharia law, which she calls “unconstitutional”.
Speaking in an interview with Germany’s Welt, the senior member of the insurgent anti mass migration, and counter Islamification party was defending the movement from accusations that it is fundamentally Islamophobic. Mrs. von Storch said it wasn’t Islam itself, or individual Muslims who were against the German constitution, but sharia law, and political Islam.
Explaining the objection, Mrs. von Storch said that Muslim campaign groups such as the German Central Council of Muslims “has a political claim to power in most interpretations [of Islam]… that we do not recognise. This is not a ‘hatred of Muslims'”.
Because these Islamic associations had not made it clear they were against pushing sharia as “secular law, both criminal and civil, [in areas such as] the rules for divorce and the place of women”, these groups must now “distance themselves explicitly from the civil aspects of sharia”.
Mrs. von Storch said Muslim political groups should affirm that they recognise the primacy of what is known as the Basic Law — Germany’s written constitution.
The clarification of AfD’s position, and the call for Islamic groups to in turn to make clear their support for German legal traditions, comes after the AfD spring conference voted overwhelmingly to adopt the phrase “Islam does not belong to Germany” in their manifesto. The idea was mooted by Mrs. von Storch herself, and was a reaction to the statement by Chancellor Merkel after the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris that Islam does now “belong to Germany”.
Although the statement by Mrs. von Storch and the AfD has been treated as highly controversial by the German mainstream media, it does chime with the majority of Germans who are increasingly uncomfortable with the Islamification of Europe in the wake of the migrant crisis.
Breitbart London reported this month on a new poll which found 61 per cent of Germans rejected the notion that Islam belonged to the country. Another poll last week confirmed this result, with respondents from across the political and social spectrum disagreeing with the idea.
Just 34 per cent agreed that Islam was part of modern German culture.