From the German far right to Islam

A curious conversion from Alternative für Deutschland to Islam – from Deutsche Welle German far-right AfD politician resigns after converting to Islam:

Arthur Wagner, a politician in the eastern state of Brandenburg, has become a Muslim. His Alternative for Germany (AfD) party entered the Bundestag last year following a populist, anti-Islam campaign.

The far-right, anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) party on Tuesday confirmed reports in the German media that one of its politicians, Arthur Wagner, has converted to Islam.

Wagner, a leading AfD member in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, resigned his position on the party’s national executive committee on January 11 for personal reasons, AfD spokesman Daniel Friese said.

Wagner, a German of Russian origin, had been a representative of the AfD since 2015. He was a member of the state committee with responsibility for churches and religious communities.

Before joining the anti-Islam, anti-immigration party, he was a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Wagner refused to answer questions from the German daily newspaper Tagesspiegel, who first reported his conversion to the Islamic faith.

“That’s my private business,” he told the newspaper. But he said there had been no attempt by the party to force him to resign.

Wagner is not the first far-right politician to convert to Islam, according to the German daily Die Welt.

Arnoud van Doorn was asked to leave Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders‘ Freedom Party (PVV). It later emerged he had taken up the Muslim faith and traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform the Haj (a pilgrimage to Mecca), the Guardian reported.

The AfD campaigned against Muslim immigration.

Support for the party surged after Germany admitted more than 1.5 million refugees and migrants in 2015 and 2016 at the height of the European migration crisis.

The AfD argued that the country was under threat of “Islamization” and demanded stricter border controls to stem the number of newcomers arriving from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Ironic then that one of their own politicians has been Islamified.

Related links from DW:

Alternative für Deutschland (AfD):

Founded in April 2013, the AfD narrowly missed the 5% electoral threshold to sit in the Bundestag during the 2013 federal election. In 2014 the party won seven seats in the European election as a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists. After securing representation in 14 of the 16 German stateparliaments by October 2017, the AfD became the third largest party in Germany after the 2017 federal election, claiming 94 seats in the Bundestag, a major breakthrough for the party as it was the first time the AfD had won any seats in the Bundestag.

The party has been described as a German nationalist,[2][3][4] right-wing populist, and Eurosceptic party. Since about 2015, the AfD has been increasingly open to working with far-right extremist groups such as Pegida.

Parts of the AfD also have racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and/or xenophobic tendencies linked to far-right movements such as Neo-Nazismand identitarianism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_for_Germany

It seems odd to me that even the English version of Deutsche Welle calls the AfD ‘Alternative for Germany’.

It would be a bit like the Herald calling parties here Die ArbeiterParty or Neuseeland Erst.