A leading politician with anti-Islam Alternative for Germany has quit the party and become Muslim.
Arthur Wagner, who previously campaigned against Islam, has had a change of heart and resigned from the board of AFD, the party confirmed on Wednesday.
‘Mr. Wagner resigned on January 11 from the state board on his own volition,’ party spokesman Daniel Friese said.
‘Only afterwards was it known that he had converted to Islam,’ Friese said.
Wagner declined to comment on his conversion.
‘He does not want to speak with the press. He believes it is a private affair,’ the party spokesman said.
The party said it stood for the constitutional right of religious freedom, regardless of Wagner’s conversion.
Far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is known for its anti-Muslim rhetoric, saying Islam is incompatible with Germany’s constitution and calling for a ban on minarets and the burqa.
Wagner previously had a leadership post in the eastern state of Brandenburg.
The AfD became Germany’s third largest party in parliament after last September’s general election.
Earlier this month, an AfD lawmaker caused a furore after accusing police of ‘appeasing the barbaric, Muslim, rapist hordes of men’ by tweeting in Arabic.