Germany’s growing far-right party is likely to adopt a platform that calls for the banning of Islamic practices from public life. Open Europe reports:
Germany’s right-wing populist party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), is set to adopt an anti-Islamic manifesto at its party congress in Stuttgart this weekend — openly challenging German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s position that, “Islam is part of Germany today.” AfD Deputy Leader and MEP, Beatrix von Storch, labelled Islam, “A political ideology that is incompatible with the German constitution,” and said the party will call for a ban on Islamic symbols such as minarets, muezzin’s call to prayer and full-face veils for women. Founded in 2013, AfD is polling between 11-14% nationwide.
There are obvious parallels in the 2009 Swiss decision to ban minarets and the 2010 French ban on the veil. However, taken together, this is one of the more full-throated rejections of Islam to emerge from European politics. And unlike, for example, the French decision, it does not appear to be part of a broader, equally enforced tradition of laïcité in public life; this appears to be a forthrightly anti-Islamic manifesto.
To paraphrase Joseph Fouché (Napoleon’s chief of police), adopting this wouldn’t just be wrong, it would be a blunder. It’s hard to think of a series of steps that would more antagonize and alienate the refugee/migrant population, however you feel about the circumstances in which they arrived, from their new homeland, while delivering little practical gain.
Yet when responsible politicians fail to take responsible steps to keep immigration and integration within the bounds of public opinion, inevitably irresponsible people will advocate irresponsible measures. And while the AfD is not challenging the centrist parties in Germany for dominance yet, in other places in Europe that’s not true—and even at current levels, AfD can cause a lot of mischief in a parliamentary system.