Arthur Wagner quits Alternative für Deutschland, which campaigns on anti-Muslim ticket
A politician for Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) regional branch – once a critic of Islam and “an engaged Christian” has embraced Islam and is now a Muslim convert, he says it is a private issue local media reports.
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which entered the Bundestag last year riding a wave of anti-migrant and anti-Muslim sentiments, is now at odds with one of its local branch leaders. Arthur Wagner, a 48-year-old member of the party’s regional branch in the state of Brandenburg, has embraced Islam, the local press says.
Now Wagner, who earlier remained a prime member of AfD’s legislative committee in Brandenburg, says he took the decision to conversion by his own and did not reveal what led him to become a Muslim. He briefly told Tagesspiegel “This is my private issue.”
The AfD has confirmed Wagner is now a Muslim neophyte and underlined that it tolerates his decision.
“Religion is a private issue,” party spokesman Daniel Friese told Berliner Zeitung, adding the AfD stands for religious freedoms.
“Mr. Wagner could choose any other religion.”
However, the party also confirmed that Wagner was no longer a member of the executive committee.
According to Friese, Wagner recently stepped down from the committee “for personal reasons.”