German Anti-migrant Party Seeks to Curb Jewish and Muslim Ritual Slaughter

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People hold flags in Erfurt, central Germany, Wednesday, March 16, 2016, during a demonstration initiated by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party against the immigration situation.
Anti-immigration rally in Erfurt, central Germany, Wednesday, March 16, 2016, initiated by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Credit: Jens Meyer / AP

Germany’s leading right-populist party has included the banning of some Jewish and Muslim rituals and symbols in its convention platform.

The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party, or AFD, in the program to be presented at its party convention April 30-May 1 in Stuttgart, called for an end to the legal exemption allowing Jews and Muslims to slaughter animals for consumption without first stunning them with an electric shock.

The AFD made it into three state parliaments in March, shocking Germany’s political establishment.

Also, the party wants to ban minarets and Muslim calls to prayer, the wearing of burkas and niqabs by women in public places and in public jobs, and the wearing of headscarves in schools by either teachers or pupils.

The demands of the party’s Southern Bavarian faction to bar all non-medical circumcision of boys was not included in the final version of the party platform. Germany passed a law in late 2012 granting the right to religious circumcisions with certain restrictions negotiated with Jewish and Muslim religious leaders. Accordingly, infants older than 6 months must be circumcised by a medical doctor.

On ritual slaughter, the national board of the AFD wants to require stunning, which it incorrectly claims is accepted by both Jews and Muslims. Religious laws in Islam and Judaism require animals be conscious when their necks are cut.

The AFD faction from Lower Bavaria wanted to bar ritual slaughter entirely.

Several countries have banned or are attempting to ban ritual slaughter, including Holland, Britain and Poland.

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