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BERLIN – A surging German nationalist party has sharpened its rhetoric against prominent Islamic groups and is suggesting limiting the religious freedom of more than 4 million Muslims in the country.
Senior members of Alternative for Germany cut short a meeting Monday with the Central Council of Muslims, accusing the group of failing to renounce religious beliefs that clash with the German constitution.
Party co-leader Frauke Petry told reporters that "Islam, the way it is mostly practiced, doesn't belong in a democratic Germany."
Aiman Mazyek, chairman of Central Council of Muslims, said AfD's stance was reminiscent of Germany's dark Nazi past.
The party launched a campaign last week against the construction of a mosque in the eastern city of Erfurt, joining forces for the first time with the anti-Islam group PEGIDA.