06:34 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Bjoern Hoecke, chairman of the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) in the German state of Thuringia, leaves after a press statement in Erfurt, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017

    ‘German Caliphate’ Picture by Right-Wing Party's Branch Prompts Backlash

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    One of Alternative for Germany’s branches in Berlin marked the end of the European Parliament elections with a Facebook post. The published collage suggested that the western and southern states, where the party had less support, had been taken over by Islamists.

    The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party’s branch in Berlin’s Lichtenberg district has prompted anger and outrage online over its alleged graphic Facebook post on the European Parliament election results. They reportedly uploaded a picture showing their country split into the “republic of Germany” and the “German caliphate”. Although the post was apparently deleted several hours after the publication, the purported screenshots are still circulating on social media.

    ​On these pictures, several eastern federal states are blue, which is AfD’s colour, and has the German flag over them, while the western and southern regions are painted green and marked with a black banner featuring the Islamic declaration of faith. The division mirrors the vote results as the AfD, promoting stricter migrant control, succeeded in the “republic of Germany’s” states. The caption reads “Pictures speak louder than words”.

    AfD has pointed out that the picture is “a satirical prediction of future developments following the still-ongoing mass migration from North Africa and the Middle East to Central Europe”. They confirmed to Sputnik that it was posted in response to the results of European Parliament elections.

    “The division of Germany along the lines of the former Iron Curtain follows the electoral success of the Islam-critical AfD in the Eastern parts of Germany. In the West, the ecologist, pro-refugee Greens party is currently flying high above most other parties and are set to increase their political influence”, the party’s spokesperson on Federal and European Affairs in the Berlin House of Representatives, Hugh Bronson, told Sputnik.

    He also noted that in the Muslim-dominated city of Duisburg in the Ruhr valley, the Muslim party BIG (Alliance for Innovation and Justice) had secured up to 35.7% in some districts, pointing out that it is closely linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party AKP. 

    According to Bronson, this is neither the first nor most likely the last attempt to call Germany a “caliphate”.

    “In 2016 and prior to the American elections, a mock ISIS propaganda video, called ‘Welcome to the Islamic State of Germany – book your ticket now!’, presented a vision of Germany as a place taken over by Islamists”, he recalled.

    Commenters on Twitter slammed the message, tearing into AfD and their agenda.

    “They are so sick.”

    Others mocked the party.

    “AfD still gladly accepts the money that the ‘caliphate’ pays to the ‘Federal Republic,’ does it not? They are so stupid, you cannot think of anything serious anymore!”

    “I cannot read Arabic, but, maybe, AfD is promoting the terror caliphate?”

    There were those who took aim at both AfD and their adversaries.

    “For me, both AfD and caliphate are the same. Both are stupid humans destroying humanity. Ones with hatred of others’ thinking and looking, while others on rivals’ ideas”.

    There were even those who jokingly opted for the “caliphate”.

    “If I had to live under AfD in something titled "The Federal Republic of Germany", then I would take the green caliphate, please. There is sun and delicious food!”

    Many pointed out that this split recalled Germany’s painful past before the Berlin Wall fell.

    “AFD splits Germany, deliberately and with calculation. It builds an ideological wall between East and West. And yet, the phrase, ‘nobody plans to build a wall,’ was not so long ago…”

    The right-wing AfD has taken a hardline stance on migrant control and Germany’s refugee policy since the European migrant crisis. The influx of migrants brought over a million newcomers, predominantly from Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, to Germany. The tensions peaked a year ago when protests against Angela Merkel’s refugee policy were prompted by acts of violence, including gang rape and murder, allegedly perpetrated by migrants.

    AfD also called for a stricter migrant policy in the course of the European election campaign as it put up posters in Berlin featuring an 1866 painting called “Slave Market”. The poster was emblazoned with the words: “Europeans vote AfD!” and “So Europe doesn't become Eurabia!”, prompting an uproar in Germany. The party rebuffed criticism, including accusations of anti-Islam rhetoric, and stated that the German public has the right to find out the truth about the possible consequences of illegal mass immigration.

    READ MORE: ‘There's Demand for a Right-Wing European Bloc and We'll Achieve It’ – AfD

    AfD won 11 percent of the vote, coming in fourth place after the conservative Christian Democratic Union and the Greens with 28.9 percent and 20.5 percent respectively. The Socialists, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners, were third with 15.8 percent. Notably, in the states of the former East Germany, the right-wing party secured much better results than nationwide and even came in first in Saxony and Brandenburg.

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    Tags:
    social media gaffe, caliphate, Facebook, Twitter, 2019 European Parliament Elections, Alternative for Germany (AfD), Germany, Berlin
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