Nationalist party declares Islam doesn't belong to Germany

Members of the nationalist Alternative for Germany party have backed a political program that says Islam doesn't belong to Germany and supports a ban against minarets, muezzin calls and headscarves for women and girls in school.

The party, also known by its acronyms AfD, has been growing in popularity and political influence as it campaigns on an anti-Islam platform. It was holding a conference on Sunday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly said Islam does belong to Germany and religious freedom is also part of the country's constitution.

An estimated 16 million people — 20 percent of Germany's population — have an immigrant background with a majority coming from Muslim countries like Turkey, Lebanon or Morocco.

Germany also saw over 1 million asylum-seekers enter last year, many from Syria.