"Schild der Al-Nur-Moschee" by Martin Lindner (CC BY-SA 3.0)
It looks like in a city like Berlin, there's only one way the AfD can win in September's election.
In a surprising move, the Berlin branch of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) has started making contact with conservative Muslim leaders in Neukölln in an attempt to win new voters ahead of September's crucial vote for the new mayor of Berlin. The populist, right-wing, anti-Europe party is hoping to capitalise on the opinions they have in common – particularly on family values.
The insurgent AfD is on an unprecedented election roll after scoring double-digit results in all three state parliament elections in March (Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Baden-Württemberg) by campaigning on an anti-immigrant platform. But in Berlin with its large Turkish and Arab population, the AfD has chosen a different tactic for September's elections.
"Obviously Berlin has a different demographic profile than Saxony-Anhalt, so we have to try something different," AfD's press spokesman Christian Müsselmann told us. "We have reached out to some of the more conservative mosques to look for people who might support our policies."
"It turns out that the imams there also think there are too many single parents in Germany, and that too often the ARD and ZDF are promoting gay lifestyle choices," said Müsselmann. "They don't believe in climate change either."
The Al-Nur mosque in Neukölln is one of the mosques whose imams have agreed to campaign for the AfD during Friday prayers. "Thank God there is a party in Germany that does not believe in modern vices like feminism and the godless lies about so-called climate change," said imam Abdul Moez. "They also want to reintroduce conscription. This is exactly the kind of discipline that those young German men who keep breaking our windows need."
Obviously, there is a certain amount of friction between the two sides. One contentious point is the AfD's commitment to closing Germany's borders and allowing the border police to shoot refugees. They're also considering liberalising Germany's gun laws. "But to be fair, a lot of my friends don't mind using guns for self-protection either," said Moez. "Actually, the AfD wants to loosen Germany's gun laws too, so they'll probably vote for them as well."
"Basically, we need to join together to wipe out all the atheist dogs first, then we can finally start the real war," said Müsselmann. "Wait, did I say that out loud?"