A leading member of a German nationalist party committed to the anti-Islamization of Germany converted to Islam and resigned from his party position.
Daniel Friese, a spokesman for Alternative for Germany (AfD), announced Wednesday that Andrew Wagner resigned from his position in the party’s Brandenburg legislative committee two weeks ago, but party members had no idea of his conversion to Islam until after his resignation, according to the Associated Press. AfD gained seats in Germany’s parliament for the first time in 2017 and has openly opposed accommodation of Islamic culture and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow 1.3 million predominantly Muslim migrants into the country, according to EuroNews.
“We are committed to the German Leitkultur (leading or common culture). For us Islam does not belong to Germany,” the party’s website reads. “We see the ideology of multiculturalism as a serious threat to social peace and cultural unity. State and civil society must defend the German identity.”
Friese told German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, however, that the party was not opposed to Wagner’s conversion.
“Religion is a private matter. We stand by the freedom of religion of the Basic Law,” Friese said. “Mr. Wagner could also have chosen another religion.”
Wagner worked as an interpreter in a welcoming committee for refugees while serving as a member of AfD, mainly working with Muslim Chechens. He also actively opposed Merkel’s immigration policies, and said that under her leadership “Germany is mutating to another country” and that AfD’s mission in the face of that is “to save this country.”
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