AfD Manifesto Criticized as “Unconstitutional”

AfD Manifesto Criticized as “Unconstitutional”AfD Manifesto Criticized as “Unconstitutional”

The hard-right manifesto adopted by Germany’s populist AfD party has been condemned by religious communities and trade unions.

A Muslim leader called it socially divisive and a Jewish leader dubbed it anti-religious.

Aiman Mazyek, who chairs Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, said the Alternative for Germany’s (AfD’s) “Islamophobic” agenda, including its call to ban minarets, would not help “one jot” to solve problems, but only split German society.

Reacting to the party’s weekend conference in Stuttgart, he told the Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung newspaper on Monday that the AfD’s agenda would neither solve social injustices nor repair Germany’s pension system, DPA reported.

The AfD set up its first formal election manifesto at the weekend conference, on the back of major gains in regional elections in three German states earlier this year.

Josef Schuster, the president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said resolutions passed at the AfD conference made the party’s hostile stance towards religion “crystal clear”.

“With this [manifesto], the AfD has departed from the foundations of our constitution,” Schuster said.

The agenda adopted by the AfD amounted to an attempt to “split our society and thwart peaceful coexistence”, he added.

In particular, Schuster said AfD’s anti-Islam policy showed the party’s intolerance and disrespect for religious minorities.

In Berlin, spokespersons for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel’s Social Democrats (SPD) early Monday ruled out any cooperation with the AfD.

A survey published on Sunday by the pollster Emnid showed the AfD polling 13% among voters nationwide, making it Germany’s third strongest party, just ahead of the ecologist Greens.

Gerda Hasselfeldt, a leading politician with the CSU Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s conservatives, told the “Die Welt” newspaper on Monday that no democratic party would work with AfD party leader, Fraucke Petry.

Her dream of being part of a government in 2017 at Germany’s next national elections whole would fail, Hasselfeldt said.

SPD deputy chairman and avowed left-winger, Ralf Stegner, described the AfD as a “divided and crazed far-right party”.

“Its policy is to identify scapegoats, but not to present solutions,” Stegner said.

At a May 1 Labor Day rally on Sunday, Reiner Hoffmann, who heads Germany DGB trade union confederation, indirectly denounced support for the AfD in German society.

“The demands of right-wing extremists have nothing to do with social cohesion, social justice, fair globalization or solidarity,” said Hoffmann.