Leading German far-right AfD politician converts to Islam

German Chancellor Angela Merkel locks eyes with AfD chief whip Bernd Baumann in the Bundestag in November

German Chancellor Angela Merkel locks eyes with AfD chief whip Bernd Baumann in the Bundestag in November

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party secured the chair of the country's powerful budget committee Tuesday, after being repeatedly being shunned for top parliamentary jobs which were shared out among more established parties.

In an email, spokesman Daniel Friese said it was only after Wagner's resignation that the party learned of his conversion.

Alternative for Germany (AfD), who entered the German parliament for the first time previous year, adopted policies that included banning minarets, the call to prayer and the full-face veil. Suddenly far-right officials stress in public religion is very much a "private matter".

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported that Arthur Wagner left the Alternative for Germany (AfD), win which he was a member in the eastern state of Brandenburg, citing personal reasons for his decision.

Last summer he criticised Merkel's open border policy, suggesting Germany was mutating into another country.

As surprising as it may seem, Arthur Wagner, a politician in the eastern state of Brandenburg, has converted to Islam, reports DW, Germany's public global broadcaster. "We believe in religious freedom as stated in the constitution".

It argued that increasing the number of Muslims in the country was a danger to Germany's state, society and values.

The party won 94 seats in parliament, although two of those members have since left.

As more German papers began to report about Wagner's conversion on Wednesday, the AfD's Brandenburg branch took to Facebook to respond to the rumors.

He was previously a member of her Christian Democrats party. But he insisted that the AfD had not pressured him to leave its ranks. "Islam does not belong to Germany", it read.

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