Frauke Petry wants to meet the Central Council of Muslims, federal board member Alice Weidel withdraws her promise. Because of an NSDAP comparison.
Aiman Mazyek wants to know why the AfD does not like Muslims Photo: dpa
The leaders of the right-wing populist AfD and the Central Council of Muslims will meet next Monday for a debate in Berlin. A spokeswoman for the Central Council said Wednesday that the date proposed by the AfD had been accepted. Central Council Chairman Aiman Mazyek has called on AfD leaders to meet to discuss the party’s dismissive attitude toward Islam. AfD deputy chairman Albrecht Glaser said he and party leader Frauke Petry wanted to take part in the conversation.
Mazyek accuses the AfD of being the first party since Hitler’s NSDAP to discriminate against an entire religious community. "We want to know: Why do you hate us Muslims?" he said, explaining the desire to talk to the AfD. In its party program, the AfD rates Islam as not belonging to Germany. At its party convention in early May, delegates called for a series of restrictions on Muslims, such as bans on minarets and the full-face veil. In Erfurt, the Thuringian AfD wants to prevent the construction of a mosque.
While Petry and Glaser want to communicate with the Central Council, federal executive committee member Alice Weidel refuses to meet. The Central Council initially did not want to comment on the withdrawal of a participant.
According to a report in the Bild newspaper, Weidel justified her cancellation by referring to the comparison drawn by Central Council chairman Aiman Mazyek between the AfD and the NSDAP. She also criticized that the Central Council "by no means represents all Muslims in Germany".
Von Storch calls for distancing from Cairo declaration
The Central Council of Muslims had invited the AfD to a meeting shortly before its party conference. At the Stuttgart party congress, the AfD had adopted a basic program stating that "Islam does not belong to Germany." The party leadership subsequently agreed to a meeting. In addition to party leader Frauke Petry and federal executive board member Albrecht Glaser, Alice Weidel should also have attended.
Meanwhile, party vice chairwoman Beatrix von Storch has called for a clear commitment by the association to the Basic Law. "The prerequisite for talks is the permanent and above all unrestricted recognition of the Basic Law and all fundamental rights," von Storch said on Wednesday. Mazyek sees the Basic Law so far only as a "temporary contract to be observed."
Von Storch called for a distancing from the so-called Cairo Declaration, which places all human rights under the reservation of Sharia law. "If Mazyek is sincere about interpreting Islam in accordance with the Basic Law, then he must also distance himself from the Cairo Declaration," she said.