27 September 2016

Swiss parliament votes to ban Muslim women from wearing the Burka in public

THE Swiss parliament has voted in favour of banning Muslim women from wearing the Burka in public.

The National Council passed the vote 88 votes to 87 with 10 abstentions.

Earlier this year a government committee had voted strongly against the ban, Swiss news service 20 minuten reported.

The ruling will have to undergo further scrutiny and votes before it could be made law.

Members voted in favour of a ruling that “no person shall cover his face in public places and in places or hide in the public domain or the provision of public services (excluding sacred sites).”

The Burka has already been banned in the Tessin region of Switzerland with people facing fines in excess of £7,000 for breaching the rule.

Following the introduction of this ban earlier this year a national committee was set up and began collecting signatures to expand the ban across the rest of the country. [The Sun] Read more

‘Islamic law demanded it’ Istanbul uproar after nurse kicked in HEAD 'for wearing shorts'

Aysegul Terzi was assaulted on a bus after the man claimed Islamic law demanded he attack the young woman.

Abdullah Cakiroglu confessed to the attack following his arrest, but the thug was incredibly freed by prosecutors when he said he was following Islamic law by assaulting the woman.

However as shocking footage the 23-year-old girl being brutally kicked in the face emerged he was again detained by police last week.

Following his first release, the thug said: "She was dressed against my traditions.

"Friends, everything is under control. Everything happened according to Islamic law."

And during his prosecutor’s testimony, Cakirogu reportedly said: "I beat people whose outfits I do not like. The state should punish those who dress like this." [Daily Express] Read more

New poll suggests 60 per cent of Australians would be concerned if a relative married a Muslim

Co-author of the Deakin University paper, Dr Matteo Vergani, said the randomly selected Australians - who were not asked for their religious background - would be less worried if a relative married someone with a Jewish (33 per cent), Buddhist (29.4 per cent) or Christian (8.1 per cent) background.

Of the 304 people interviewed, more than a third also agreed with statements such as 'practicising Muslims pose a threat to Australian society' (40.4 per cent) and 'practising Muslims should be searched more thoroughly than others in airports and stations' (36.5 per cent).

The preliminary findings were based on the first of three pieces of data from the 2016 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (AuSSA).

Dr Vergani said the findings showed that education was needed to fight Islamophobia in this country.

“We found that across the board – among conservative or progressive individuals, people of different age, education and country of birth – there was an association between someone’s level of knowledge about Islam and their prejudice against Muslims," he said. [Special Broadcasting Service Corporation] Read more

26 September 2016

What Would It Mean for France to Accommodate Muslims?

A philosopher grapples with Islam, secularism, and their place in society.

.... We have ... borrowed from Islamic propaganda the notion of Islamophobia that now plays a major and troubling role in our social and political life. It has no meaning, but it has a function. The notion of Islamophobia makes it possible tendentiously to disqualify all speech on Islam or on the Muslims.

Anyone who begins a sentence by the term “Muslims” knows that he must be careful about the words that follow, for an offense is in the making. It is possible to speak calmly of Muslims only in order to give voice to legitimate complaints that they address or could address to the rest of the social body. …

We can speak of Muslims to say that they have too few mosques and of Christians to say that they have too many churches. Once the notion of Islamophobia is established and validated, it is impossible to speak of Muslims except to state their grievances, and they cannot speak except to complain. [217 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Why is it that in every country that has a muslim population they create problems? Take a look at Albania, France, Germany, Sweden, and here in the US with the muslim terrorist.

[ANOTHER] France has made great strides in evolving beyond religion. Why should they take steps backwards by pandering to backward stone age beliefs?

[ANOTHER] In France, the concept of secularism, or laïcité, is a little bit different than it is in America. The French conceive of secularism as freedom from religion, rather than freedom of religion. It entails that religion be a private affair, removed from public life. It was formally adopted in 1905 in order to dismantle the power of the Catholic Church. The idea that laïcité somehow targets Muslims is laughable given that it was originally intended to exclusively target Catholicism.

On another note, I have quite a few good friends in France, most of whom are refugees or the children of refugees who fled South East Asia during the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge.

Since arriving in France, these people have become doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. - all productive members of French society. Absolutely no one from this community has ever committed any terrorist attacks in France, nor do they complain about being "marginalized" by French society. They chose to integrate, despite coming from circumstances at least as difficult and a culture at least as foreign as more recent migrants from the Islamic world.

[ANOTHER] France - as does the US and the rest of the EU - has absolutely no obligation to accept immigrants from any particular place. The logical position would be to end immigration from places whose people have the most difficult time reconciling the way they want to live their lives with the norms of their prospective host country.

France is not just a place on a map, it's a culture. It's sad to see it willingly let that heritage be subsumed by a vague globalist credo that anyone should be able to move anywhere they want and impose their values.

[ANOTHER] Remigration works better than accommodation. [The Atlantic] Read more

British Muslims 'should be allowed to bypass police' when reporting hate crime, Andy Burnham says

British Muslims should be given a new way of reporting hate crimes that bypasses the police, because the Government’s controversial Prevent anti-extremism strategy has ruined trust between the two parties, Andy Burnham has suggested.

The shadow Home Secretary called for a “root and branch review” of Prevent and said the true scale of Islamophobic hate crimes was being hidden because Muslims were reticent to report such crimes to an institution involved in monitoring them.

Mr Burnham, who is Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester, compared Prevent to the French ban on the burkini swimming costume and said it “singles out one community for different treatment”. He said such an approach risked legitimising or inspiring Islamophobic hate crime.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Report straight to the Sharia Court. Good one.

Muslims do not believe in the Primacy of the UK Courts, why continue to dance around the problem.

How low can you go to get a Vote.....almost there Andy

[ANOTHER] Can the rest of us bypass the police when it comes to reporting Islamic inspired hatred directed at non-Muslims or even other Muslims who aren't 'Muslim enough'?

[ANOTHER] For the most part "hate crimes" especial when Islam is involved are a symptom. The people who commit these crimes are individuals that have seen friendly areas becomes super intolerant because of Islam or understand that when you have an Islamic population of over about 3% there are problems that start coming with it.

So instead of trying to close debate on the issue by having strict laws if you decide to speak up against Islam the politicians should go after the problem - Islamists, a rising Islamic population and the problems that come with it.

[ANOTHER] Burnham is a total nut case. No one should be allowed to bypass the police - they are our law enforcing agency. Why should a (currently) minority religion be given such a right

[ANOTHER] So, Mr Burnham, should Slovakian Roma in Page Hall be given a special way to report attacks on them when they are being plotted by British Muslims?

Why make one group so special that they are untouchable? Won't this just fuel the anti-muslim sentiment arising from the refusal of many of them to integrate fully?

Why should just muslims get special treatment? Why not Hindus, West Indians, Blacks, the Jewish community being targeted by Labour supporters and muslims, and what about the sects within Islam being targeted by muslims such as the shopkeeper and imam recently murdered?

Why oh why, Mr Burnham, would you want to divide Britain further? Is there a large muslim community in Manchester you need the support of to become Mayor and to use it as a base to oppose Corbyn.

No, Andy, your approach is totally wrong and divisive. One rule of law for all. [The Independent] Read more

I Watch The Growing Puritanical Attitudes Of Young Muslims With Apprehension

.... Various factors have allowed extremism to brew under the radar in South Wales.

The few mosques across Wales that welcome fundamentalist speakers to preach, radicalisation in the home and online, the liberal left sense of political correctness thrust upon us by many Government officials with no real understanding of different communities and the denial of the wider Muslim community that this is even going on is a volatile combination.

Only by acknowledging problems within the already fractured Muslim community will we stand a chance of rooting them out and going back to living peacefully with each other as we once did.

Many migrants came to the UK in the 1960s. They maintained their faith and culture and gained the respect and trust of their communities by integrating.

Now is the time we have to look to our history to find solutions for the future. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Preacher guilty of calling Muslim woman 'prostitute' who will 'burn in hell' for wearing tight jeans

A preacher who called a Muslim woman a prostitute who would "burn in hell" for wearing tight jeans has been found guilty in court .

Krissoni Henderson, 31, subjected "absolutely terrified" Noor Alneaimi to a barrage of abuse - telling her he would 'blow up her house'.

Henderson was convicted of religiously aggravated threatening behaviour at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

He called Ms Alneaimi a non-believer before branding police "disgusting" atheists, the court heard.

Henderson was arrested in July after his victim - a former social worker who had recently undergone eye surgery - made a complaint to West Midlands Police about his behaviour. [Daily Mirror] Read more

Saudi women file petition to end male guardianship system

A petition signed by more than 14,000 Saudi women calling for an end to the country's male guardianship system is being handed to the government.

Women must have the consent of a male guardian to travel abroad, and often need permission to work or study.

Support for the first large-scale campaign on the issue grew online in response to a trending Twitter hashtag.

Activist Aziza Al-Yousef told the BBC she felt "very proud" of the campaign, but now needed a response.

In the deeply conservative Islamic kingdom, a woman must have permission from her father, brother or other male relative - in the case of a widow, sometimes her son - to obtain a passport, marry or leave the country. [BBC] Read more

Swiss politician says hijab should be banned from passports

Mr Wobmann claims it is 'unequal treatment' that headscarves are allowed in passport photos while headbands and caps are not.

A Swiss politician has signalled that women should not be allowed to wear the hijab in passport photographs.

Walter Wobmann, a member of the right-wing populist Swiss People's Party, said it was unfair that headscarves were allowed in passport photos while other headwear, such as hair bands and caps are not.

Mr Wobmann, who has campaigned against minarets and the burka in Switzerland in the past, claimed the policy was an act of "unequal treatment", according to Swiss daily newspaper Blick.

He said: “It is unacceptable that you can wear a hijab in a photo but not a cap. This is not a question of religious freedom but of equal treatment."

The official guidelines for passport and identity card photos in Switzerland, outlined by the Swiss federal police (FedPol), rule that headscarves are permitted in passport and driving licence photographs for reasons of faith - so long as the face is identifiable. [The Independent] Read more

‘We cannot live among people who support Islamic law’ – Nicolas Sarkozy

FORMER head of state, Nicolas Sarkozy has said France will never accept Sharia and that any radical muslims should be “kicked out”.

An opinion poll carried out by the Montaigne Institute, a liberal think tank, revealed that 29 per cent of Muslims living in France were hardline – known as “ultras” in France - who believe the country should respect Islamic law.

Sharia is widely considered as unsecular and flying in the face of the country’s liberal values.

Responding to this “troubling” poll during a radio interview with Europe 1 today Mr Sarkozy, said that the “zealous” Muslim community – the 29 per cent – should be deported from France, or be forced to assimilate – not just integrate – into French society.

He said: “The Montaigne Institute’s poll is extremely troubling. It proves that a quarter of young Muslims are being seduced by radical ideology.”

According to the right-wing presidential candidate, it would be “irresponsible” for the government to allow these pro-Sharia youngsters to follow their Islamic law dream and said: “I’m not being over dramatic.

"The truth is this, simply integrating radical youngsters into France’s Republican society has not worked, it will never work. They must assimilate into French society and culture.” [Daily Express] Read more

25 September 2016

Nahed Hattar shot dead: Prominent Jordanian writer charged with offensive Facebook post killed

A Jordanian writer who was arrested for posting a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam has been shot dead.

Nahed Hattar was assassinated in front the Supreme Court in Amman with local media reporting he was shot three times in the head.

The shooter has reportedly been arrested by security forces.

Mr Hatter had turned himself in to authorities after the Jordanian Prime Minister, Hani Mulki, ordered an investigation into a cartoon he had shared on Facebook.

The cartoon depicts God in paradise, being treated as a servant by an Arab man, who is in bed with two women and asking for wine.

Saed Hattar, a relative of Mr Hatter, said the cartoon was posted to illustrate the twisted religious views of Isis extremists and was deleted after the post received angry responses. [141 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] To some of us Jordanians Mr Hattar is and will always will be a martyr in the name of our plight for free speech. He lived a writer, an activist for secular government, and worked against the political islamist tide.

They shot him because they could not tackle his ideas, they shot an unarmed defenseless. During his trial he received many death threats and his family asked him to flee, he refused citing he did not fear death, simply that he was saddened that his country had come to this. That is the Nahed Hattar we will remember, a man who in the face of death thought of his country first.

[ANOTHER] This is islam folks. Stop fooling yourselves with the "it is just a lone wolf" or "not all muslims" or "religion of peace" fallacies. History has proven this for over 1000yrs. [The Independent] Read more

Jordanian writer shot dead as he arrives at trial for insulting Islam

A prominent Jordanian writer, who was on trial for sharing a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam, has been shot dead outside a court in Amman where he was due to appear.

Nahed Hattar, 56, was charged with inciting sectarian strife and insulting Islam after posting the cartoon on Facebook this year.

The cartoon, entitled The God of Daesh (Isis), depicted an Isis militant sitting next to two women and asking God to bring him a drink.

Hattar was arrested in August and released on bail early this month. On Sunday, he was shot in the head three times as he arrived for a hearing. [The Guardian] Read more

Jordan writer in blasphemy case Nahid Hattar killed

A Jordanian writer charged with offending Islam after allegedly sharing a satirical cartoon on his Facebook page has been killed.

Nahid Hattar was hit by three bullets outside the court in the capital Amman where he was standing trial.

Police have arrested the suspected shooter, Riad Abdullah. Jordanian media said he was local imam who had been upset by the cartoon.

But security sources told the Jordan Times he was a known extremist.

A witness told the Associate Press news agency that Mr Abdullah had a long beard and was wearing a long robe, common among conservative Muslims.

Nahid Hattar was detained in August for 15 days on charges of insulting God after he published a cartoon depicting a bearded man lying in bed with two women and smoking, asking God to bring him a drink. [BBC] Read more

24 September 2016

Swedish Police Admit Losing Control Of 55 No-Go Zones

Police in Sweden continue to lose control of more suburbs in major Swedish cities as they have now admitted that there are more than 55 no-go areas where they have major problems enforcing the law.

According to a new report, crime rates are rising sharply in the no-go areas with police unable to react to crimes. Cases of thefts, sexual assaults, and gang violence are rising and Sweden’s top police authority notes the significant increase of migration in the past year and the number of crimes committed have seen a parallel rise, reports Kronen Zeitung

The report even mentions the number of attacks on emergency services workers has gone up as well. Police spokesman Peter Larsson reiterated the news from earlier in the week that suggested some 80 per cent of the police in Sweden were seriously considering a new career due to the escalation of violence and fear for their own safety. [Breitbart London] Read more

23 September 2016

Muslim teacher quits her job after she was told she had to shake hands with male members of staff at Swedish school

A Muslim teacher has quit her job at a school in Sweden after being told she would have to shake hands with male members of staff.

Fardous El-Sakka had been working as a substitute teacher at the Kunskapsskolan school in Helsingborg, when she was asked to shake hands with a male teacher.

But the 20-year-old refused as her religion forbids her from touching any member of the opposite sex who is not related to her.

The man then reported Miss El Sakka to the school's principal, who told her that if she wanted to work there, she would have to abide by the institution's values of shaking hands.

However, she decided to quit rather than go against her religious beliefs and has now referred her case to the Swedish trade union Unionen. [166 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1071 votes] Perhaps it would be better for all concerned that those holding ideological views which are at odds with the dominant culture leave to find a country more tuned to their preferences.

[2ND 875] If you don't like the societal rules of a country you have moved to, simply move to a country with rules you can abide by.

[3RD 791] There's no rule in Islam about not shaking hands. This is a modern doctrine which is quite frankly ridiculous for people living in Western countries to adhere to.

[4TH 633] Backward self-centred idiot. We're in the 21st century. [Daily Mail] Read more

Muslim woman offered job on condition that she remove her hijab

.... The text message from the municipality, sent on behalf of the employer, reportedly read: "Hi, I have spoken with [name redacted] and he said that if you are comfortable with working without the hijab then you can have the job with him.

"Is that something that could be relevant for you?"

In response, the woman is said to have written: "I must unfortunately decline. [The hija]B is a big part of my identity and I can not give it up."

Speaking to NRK about the incident, the woman said: "I was sorry and disappointed. I was unmotivated to seek other jobs and I see now in retrospect that it has gone beyond my mental well-being.

"I've always thought that Norway is so wonderful and that I have the same opportunities as any Norwegian, but I now realise that it is not as idyllic as I thought." [The Independent] Read more

The price of free speech in Bangladesh

In February this year the authorities in Bangladesh took Shamsuzzoha Manik, a 73-year-old publisher, into custody for publishing a book titled “Islam Bitorko” (“Debate on Islam”).

His arrest and the shutting down of his stall marked a sour moment in the nation’s largest book fair, Ekushey Boi Mela, held annually at Bangla Academy in honor of the International Mother Language Day. While the book, deemed to be offensive to Islam, has been taken out of circulation, seven months later the publisher remains behind bars.

Manik’s imprisonment adds to a series of recent attacks on freedom of expression in the country, which have included a number of killings perpetrated by extremist groups. There are laws that allow the government to ban or confiscate any publication that may be considered blasphemous.

The law extends to any form of publication — in print or online — and led to the arrest of four bloggers in 2013 for “hurting religious sentiments” with their blog posts. Self and state-censorship coupled with lack of protection for writers at risk have meant free speech and freedom to publish are in dire straits.

Bangladesh is not unique in facing the threat of terrorism, which is now a global issue, but it is sadly the only country where writers and publishers are specifically on the hit lists of the killers. [Los Angeles Times] Read more

Swiss politician argues against hijab in ID photos

Should the Islamic headscarf be banned in photographs for official Swiss documents? One politician is suggesting so.

At the moment a person may wear a headscarf in an official photograph – for example for a passport or driving licence – for reasons of faith, as long as the face is identifiable.

However headbands and baseball caps are forbidden.

The official guidelines for passport and identity card photos set out by Swiss federal police (FedPol) say “headcoverings are in principle unacceptable... exceptions are only made for medical or religious reasons.

"In those cases the face must be visible... and there should not be shadows on the face”.

Walter Wobmann of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) thinks that’s unfair, reported Blick on Thursday. [The Local] Read more

22 September 2016

Nicolas Sarkozy’s bigotry cannot define our worth as children of immigrants

“If you want to become French, you speak French, you live like the French. We will no longer settle for integration that does not work, we will require assimilation.” These were the words of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy this week. He went on: “Once you become French, your ancestors are the Gauls. ‘I love France, I learned the history of France, I see myself as French,’ is what you must say.”

This week, personalities from both sides of the political spectrum expressed their concern over this statement, made by Sarkozy on Monday night during a meeting in Franconville, a north Paris suburb.

Curiously, the part that stirred up most controversy was the idea that, once you become French, the Gauls are your ancestors. This declaration is historically incorrect: Gaul is actually a geographical construct conceptualised by the Romans to refer to a territory bringing people of varied origins together. This notion was later used by the Third Republic, after defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, to rally the French around symbols such as courage and strength. [627 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 397 votes] "If you want to become French, you speak French, you live like the French. We will no longer settle for integration that does not work, we will require assimilation.”

What exactly is wrong with this sentiment?

[2ND 272] ".... to become French, you speak French, you live like the French. We will no longer settle for integration that does not work, we will require assimilation."

Well done, Mr Sarkozy. Honest and frank statement from him without caring one jot about how psuedo liberals that infest the Western society would react. Their crowing and whining won't protect us from those who wish to destroy our society. It is high time that the shackles of political correctness that are so entrenched in our everyday conversational paradigm are broken and the society faces up to some harsh and bitter truths.

I could start with a couple:

1. Sod moral relativism. Not all cultures are equal.

2. People emigrating to a new society must follow the rules and regulations of their host nation at all times even if those very laws go against the culture of the migrants' forefathers.

Nation states can't be expected to make accommodations in their constitutions as per whims and demands of the immigrants.

[3RD 181] “If you want to become French, you speak French, you live like the French. We will no longer settle for integration that does not work, we will require assimilation.”

Sounds about right.

[4TH 177 ] Denying one's ancestry as an immigrant is a iridiculous thing to ask.

However, expectation that one speaks French and conforms (within reason) to French norms is not unreasonable...

[5TH 166] I was at a National Trust property last summer.

Someone from an ethnic background came past with a big family in tow.

The head of the family took an interest in a motorcycle I had.

We talked at length.

I shook his hand in the standard British greeting, then wishing to be friendly, extended the same greeting to his wife (what else could I do?).

She put her hands behind her back and said that her culture forbid her to make such a greeting.

I stood there, hand extended, more than miffed as you can imagine, indeed shocked.

If this is your "multiculturalism", such that I have to impolite to a woman to avoid offending your culture, then you can keep your multiculturalism. I want nothing to do with it. [Guardian Cif] Read more

New hijab discrimination case hits Norway

A 21-year-old woman was offered a job as a nursing assistant in the Ullern district of ??Oslo, but only if she would work without her hijab.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, applied for the in-home care position in January, but the person who would receive her help did not want an assistant who wore a hijab.

Oslo Municipality agreed to honour the person’s wishes and a municipal employee sent the 21-year-old woman a text message offering her the job on the condition that she would remove her headscarf, NRK reported.

Although the incident occurred in January, the woman only shared her story with the broadcaster this week and provided a screenshot of the conversation. [The Local] Read more

Man who murdered Glasgow shopkeeper for 'disrespecting Islam' calls for beheadings in prison YouTube video

A man who murdered a Glasgow shopkeeper for “disrespecting Islam” has released messages from prison calling on supporters to behead other “insulters”.

Tanveer Ahmed, 32, admitted stabbing Asad Shah to death in his shop because he felt his victim was “disrespecting the prophet Mohamed” with his beliefs as an Ahmadi Muslim.

Now, he is encouraging others to do the same in extremist audio messages that appear to have been recorded and released after he was jailed for life.

In Ahmed’s most recent speech, uploaded to YouTube earlier this month, he celebrates sending Mr Shah “to hell with the help of Allah, the prophet, angels and saints”. [The Independent] Read more

Leicestershire Police bosses would consider including the burka in the uniform

Leicestershire's chief constable and its police and crime commissioner have said they would both consider Muslim officers' wishes to wear full Islamic dress while on duty.

The controversial topic was brought to public attention last week when West Midlands Police said it would allow female officers to wear a full-face veil, after it launched a recruitment drive to increase diversity.

The news drew criticism from a number of public figures and organisations, including MP David Davies, who worked as a police officer in London for nine years.

He was reportedly "horrified" by the suggestion.

However, the county's top cop Simon Cole and PCC boss Lord Willy Bach have been more open.

They said if a member of the force asked to incorporate the burka into their uniform their request would be considered. [The Leicester Mercury] Read more

The Islamophobic attacks you don’t hear about

Incidents of ‘Islamophobia’ are really getting out of hand in Britain. In fact there has been such a wave of attacks that it’s amazing that politicians and commentators across the political spectrum, (not to mention all those supposed ‘anti-fascist’ groups) aren’t grand-standing like crazy. Perhaps their problem is that this wave of attacks does not consist of people writing nasty and mean things on Twitter, but of Muslims killing other Muslims and still other Muslims extolling such killings.

.... And who is surprised that the Imams who toured the UK are supporters of the murderer rather than the victim? On the positive side, non-Muslims in the UK can take comfort from the facts that (in the words of the Imam of one of the mosques this pair spoke at) they have ‘hundreds of thousands of followers in the UK.’

In the meantime I cannot be alone in finding the general silence over this recent wave of ‘Islamophobia’ truly perplexing. [The Spectator] Read more

Women defy fatwa on riding bicycles

Iranian women have reacted with defiance to an edict by the Supreme Leader that they must give up cycling because it “contravenes chastity”.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that women cyclists were likely to stir impure thoughts in men. “Riding a bicycle often attracts the attention of men and exposes the society to corruption, and thus contravenes women’s chastity, and it must be abandoned,” he told state media.

His fatwa enraged liberals in the country, dozens of whom posted videos or pictures on social media of women on two wheels. A mother and daughter, both disguised with masks and dark glasses, filmed themselves cycling on Kish island, an Iranian holiday resort in the Gulf.

“Bicycle riding is part of our lives,” said the younger woman. “We were here when we heard about Ayatollah Khamenei’s fatwa banning women from bicycling. We immediately hired two bicycles to say we’re not giving up cycling. It is our right.” [The Times (£)] Read more

German anti-immigrant AfD party gets 16 percent, highest ever, in new poll

The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party would capture 16 percent of the vote if a federal election were held now, according to an opinion poll on Friday which showed it drawing more support than ever before.

The poll released by public broadcaster ARD said Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives would get 32 percent of the vote, while the Social Democrats, junior partner in the ruling coalition, would get 22 percent. Together they would have 54 percent, enough for the ruling "grand coalition" to continue.

The AfD made huge gains in two regional elections this month and will now have seats in 10 of 16 state assemblies, benefiting from a backlash against Merkel's open-door refugee policy and the arrival of nearly a million migrants last year.

The next federal election is a year from now. The party's latest score of 16 percent is more than three times the 5 percent it would need to win seats in the Bundestag or parliament for the first time. [Reuters] Read more