November 7, 2013
Bernd Lucke, speaker of the new party “Alternative for Germany” (AFD), has questioned the comments of former president Christian Wulff who positioned Islam as an integral part of Germany. Since its foundation in February 2013, the party mainly focused on economic issues such as the Euro, the economic crisis and the free market. The party represents a free liberal position, but it is said to possess partial close ties to right-wing populist groups and initiatives such as the anti-Islamic Pro Cologne movement. These groups have been targeting Islam and Muslim immigration, positioning them as core challenges for western liberal democracies.
Bernd Lucke who has been trying to stay away from these tendencies in the public, refers to the German constitution, which is guaranteeing the freedom of religion. Having included a populist note, Lucke has defended the freedom of religion, saying that in contrast to Muslim dominated countries, where Christians suffer persecution, every Muslim would be free to practice its his/her religion, educate his/her children and gather in mosques. Nevertheless religion should be limited, as Islamic values and the Sharia would undermine the equality of men and women. This would be incompatible with the secular nature of the German State and its deep-rooted Christian orientation.
Die Welt: http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article121656967/AfD-Chef-Lucke-zettelt-Islam-Debatte-an.html