“Whoever wants to let refugees, men, women and children be shot at the border, they represent inhumane positions,” according to Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas, who says there is a case for the country’s intelligence services to monitor anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
Offering an alternative and somewhat extreme rhetoric to the refugee crisis, the head of the Afd party, Frauke Petry, recently suggested that Germany “must prevent illegal border crossings and even use firearms if necessary” to stop the influx of refugees entering the country.
The AfD party recently reached 13 percent in opinion polls, helping push the party’s anti-refugee rhetoric onto the mainstream political agenda which is being used to stoke up more support.
However, the comment made by Petry that refugees should be shot at, albeit as a last resort, has led to criticism against the party and the likelihood it could be monitored by the BfV.
“We cannot prepare the ground for people who have waited for the increase of refugees or the series of events on New Year’s Eve in Cologne to find a justification for xenophobia and racism,” said Germany’s Justice Minister, Heiko Mass.
Mass is referring to allegations that refugees were responsible for sexually assaulting women on New Year’s Eve. The event led to a rise in vigilante groups marching through the streets carrying “rapefugees not welcome” slogans, stocking anti-immigrant sentiment.
“The AfD is likely to continue to use immigration as an issue to exploit division between the coalition partners and within Merkel’s own ‘Union’ parties, the CDU and the CSU”, writes academic Julian Horner, researcher at the London School of Economics, in a blog, suggesting that the rise in support for the AfD will put pressure on Angela Merkel’s refugee policy for Germany.
But despite the suggestion by Germany’s Justice Minister that the AfD could be monitored by the intelligence services, responsibility for BFVs activities actually falls to the Interior Ministry.