The Atlantic

The Strange Cases of Anti-Islam Politicians Turned Muslims

Three recent incidents seem to highlight a quirk of sociology.
Source: Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters

Last fall, Arthur Wagner was part of something remarkable: His political party, the anti-Islam, anti-immigrant Alternative für Deutschland, entered the Bundestag, becoming the first far-right party in the body since the 1950s. This year, Wagner has done something even more remarkable: He has converted to Islam and left AfD.

Wagner was a leading party official in the state of Brandenburg, and had been a representative since 2015. that Wagner is of Russian origin and “was a member of the state committee with responsibility for churches and religious communities.” A party spokesman told the paper his departure was personal. “The party has no problem with that,” the spokesman said of the conversion. Still, one can imagine his new religious identity would create some awkwardness with the slogan “Islam does not belong to Germany.”

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