The far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), rose to prominence on the back of its anti-immigration, anti-Islam rhetoric. It is currently the third-largest party in Germany after bagging 94 seats in the 2017 federal elections.
As they campaign for elections in the southern German state of Bavaria, they have come back with new, incredibly fascist poster, which reeked of Islamophobia — a stance particularity aligned with AfD.
The party in its campaign poster promised “Islam-free schools,” which featured five white schoolchildren.
The poster was widely panned by critics as poses more problems for the far-right party for its connection with neo-Nazi organization even as it keeps zapping votes from more traditional conservative parties in camaraderie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Almost 800 people took to streets in Chemnitz, which is a stronghold of the AfD. Reports of assault on people who “did not look German” made rounds, with alleged attacks with bottles.
According to Bild, protesters were recorded shouting, “We are the people", "get lost" and "you're not welcome here," at people that looked like migrants. They also chanted a Nazi-era term, “lying press,” which has been recently made very famous by U.S. President Donald Trump.
For a poster so blatantly Islamophobic, critics rightfully called termed it dangerous for the Muslim population of the country.
A British hate crime monitoring group termed the poster as “the new face of fascism.” An Austrian member of the European Parliament accused the party of wanting to “segregate” schools.
Im bayrischen Landtagswahlkampf wird die "Rassentrennung" in der Schule gefordert. Wer den Faschismus nicht sieht, will ihn einfach nicht sehen. pic.twitter.com/chRdVx7WKP— Michel?Reimon (@michelreimon) September 6, 2018
Critics on social media compared the “Islam-free” schools with Nazi-era discrimination against Jewish students.
AfD on the other hand denied the assertions, claiming they were not barring Muslim students from schools but Islamic education and face veils.
However, this is not the first controversial, Islamophobic poster by the far-right party.
During the previous national elections they came up with a series of similar offensive campaign poster, with thinly veiled — if at all — racism and Nazi-like fascism.
One poster showed three white women from behind, clad in skimpy swimming suit, and the words in German, “Burkas? We prefer bikinis,” superimposed on the image.
Another ad showed a pregnant white woman lying on the grass with the words, “New Germans? We’ll make them ourselves,” printed alongside her image.
The poster with a piglet on the grass read, “Islam? Doesn’t fit with our cuisine” — a reference to the fact that Muslims don’t eat pork.
The AfD has repeatedly found itself embroiled in controversy, after some of its officials, downplayed the Holocaust and aligning themselves with white supremacists and far-right activists.
Exhibit A: During the far-right riots in Chemnitz, a well-known AfD official marched with the founder of anti-Islamic extremist group PEGIDA against immigration.
The far-right party’s success has other conservative parties, shifting to farther right in order to secure more votes in the upcoming elections. Christian Social Union (CSU), a conservative party allied with Merkel, is one of them.
CSU leader Horst Seehofer demanded tighter border laws, calling immigration the “mother of all political problems.” He also wished to join the anti-immigrant protests and said he had done so if he was not an elected official. CSU also called for crucifixes to be hanged in every government building and drafted a law which would ban sporting full-face veils in public spaces.
However, Seehofer’s inclination to the father right did not really work as the party is set to lose in Bavaria, a state which it had dominated since World War II.
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