02 May 2016

German establishment rounds on anti-immigration party over Islam

German politicians from across the spectrum criticised the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) on Monday after the party declared Islam incompatible with the constitution.

The AfD, which has surged onto the political scene since its launch three years ago, backed a manifesto pledge at a congress on Sunday to ban on minarets and the burqa, the full face and body-covering gown worn by some Muslim women.

With concerns about Europe's migrant crisis fuelling the AfD's rise, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats led criticism of the party.

"What the AfD has decided on is an attack on almost all religions," Armin Laschet, deputy chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told ARD television.

"They have identified Islam as a foreign body in Germany," he said. "That is divisive, and startling to a Christian Democratic party for which faith has meaning." [Reuters] Read more