We present to our readers the conversation of Harun Sidorov, CEO Islam4Europeans (I4E) and former board member of the Brandenburg‘s branch of “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) Arthur Wagner, who recently accepted Islam

As-salamu aleikum, dear Arthur-Ahmad! First of all, let me congratulate you on the most important event in your life – the acceptance of the true religion of the Lord of the Worlds! May Allah strengthen you on the Straight Path and make your lot good in both worlds.

Please tell us about yourself. When did you move to Germany and what prompted you to take this step? How did you find the homeland of your ancestors upon arrival to it? What did you do? Do you have a family, children?

Wa aleykumu as-salam, thank you! My wife Elsa and I landed at Schönefeld Airport on June 22, 1993, and left by train to Friedland as late settlers.10 days later, after passing the second camp, we arrived in the city of Dresden. Dresden was the first city in Germany I visited in 1989 and where I accepted the Christian faith in the Lutheran church in August 1989.

I immediately went to the construction site as a laborer and entered the purely German team without problems. But in 1995 we moved to Hannover, where my daughter and son were born. In Hannover, he graduated from the institute as an economist, received a diploma and during his studies was bought by the concern “Continental”, where he worked for 8 years, mainly on business trips to post-soviet countries.

Then we built the house together with parents near Berlin. I worked for a small company under Heilbronn. There was an unsuccessful attempt to create my own business. Middle age crisis. Bankruptcy. Thanks to the Most High, my wife and I survived trough it.

Since 2013, I was in the board of the church and the orphanage in Willcomen. These three organizations did not allow my soul to die. Since 2014, a new life began, which has gradually flowed into today’s day.

I was born in Izhevsk, former Soviet Union and I grew up in Sverdlovsk. After that I studied at the Ural University, but did not managed to get to my diploma because of the lively nature and the events around me. I’m married since December 1990. In 1992, my parents and brother as ethnic Germans went back to Germany. Then Boris Yeltsin said that the Volga Republic (an autonomy of Russian Germans, which was abolished by Stalin and wasn’t restored by Gorbachev and Yeltsin) would be at the nuclear test site, then a gang war broke out in the Urals. After all of these events I gathered my things and a month later I left Russia.

Why did you decide to take up politics in Germany and how did it happen? What prompted you to join AfD? What are the strengths you see in this party, which other German parties do not have?

By 2013, I put an end to the future of Germany as a national state and on the Germans as a nation. On August 25, 2014 I spoke in Falkensee with Dr. Alexander Gauland (leader of the AfDI4E) for 5 minutes and for me a new era began. It turned out that there are Germans living in Germany who have the courage to think about their homeland. The strong side of the party … you will not believe – democracy and a wide range of professionals from life, not from politics. These are very specific and courageous people.

What was your religious outlook and the way to acceptance of Islam? Were you a practicing Christian and to which church you belonged? How would you describe the current situation of Christianity and church in Germany?

In childhood and adolescence, I was an atheist, a fighter against Christianity. By the age of 14, thanks to Dostoevsky and Deutsche Welle, I began to ask myself questions. At the age of 20 I became a Lutheran and studied for six months in Riga on a theological correspondence course. Participated in the Synod of the Lutheran Church of the USSR in Tselinograd in the summer of 1990.

In 1992 – 93 I participated in the creation of the communities of the New Apostolic Church in the Urals. I was the organizer of the visit of the Chief Apostle in Yekaterinburg in November 1992.

In 1997 I was baptized in the Orthodox Church.

Since 2005 I was an active member of the Evangelical community in Falkensee. Was released in February 2018. It is difficult to describe the assistance of this community for our family. It was very big.

I follow the development of Christianity in Germany for about twenty years. There is a constant reduction of both members of the church and believers. For the organization of the “Evangelical Church” in the long run, I do not see the future.

Why did you accept Islam? Were you looking for other religions and were you considering other alternatives? What convinced you of the truth of Islam and on what sources did you get information about it?

I grew up in the Ural. I never heard anything bad about Islam and Muslims. I’ve had, since childhood a positive attitude towards music and eastern culture, the Tatar language. In the summer of 2003 a very serious man said that in hard years for Germany I would accept Islam. Then I laughed. I made a lasting impression on the trip to Tashkent, Ashgabat and Baku in 2003. Then there was a lot of spiritual experience. I learned to pray, to hear. And in 2013 I first asked the Almighty to guide me to the truth.

In November 2015 something happened … I flew to Ufa, I went to the mosque. I bought books. I read and searched for knowledge for two years. Since 2015, I lead a sober lifestyle. In the summer of 2017, the craving for cigarettes disappeared after forty years, then the pork left the ration … I understood that Allah is calling and flew to Ufa. Into the mosque. Where on October 29, 2017, Shahada was pronounced in front of Hassan-hazrat.

As the German patriot or nationalist didn’t it stop you from accepting of Islam a view on it as a religion of foreigners? Given that the AfD, in which you were a member, is the main anti-immigrant movement, how did you decide for yourself this conflict between the craving for Islam and the desire to protect Germany from immigrants?

Germany does not need to be protected against immigrants. Germany needs to protect Germanness. Islam was never an enemy of the old Germany of the times of the Kaiser. Islam is the beautiful creation of the Almighty, where one small part is religion and the thought that Islam has never occurred to me as a religion for foreigners. The fact that the Germans, who have not yet forgotten that they are Germans, are looking for the answer to the Russian question: “Who is to blame and What to Do” is quite natural. When patriots view Islam as an enemy, it is ridiculous and very sad. We will explain it to them. For this, the project group “Analytical Center Idel” (a new project of Arthur Wagner, – I4E) is needed.

What do you think is the basis of Islamophobia of AfD? What part of it is the rejection of Islam as an ultra-conservative religion, opposed to the liberal values of feminism, LQBT, etc., and what part is simply the protective reaction of Germans on mass-migration of culturally and ethnically alien foreigners? Is it possible to separate one from another and conduct a call for Islam to the second category, if German Muslims themselves do this, which do not cause cultural and ethnic rejection?

The German society underwent Americanization, individualization and atheism in the last 40 years.This process is stopped. But all, who are dissatisfied, came to us in AfD. There are a lot of disillusioned Christians, forgotten the faith, atheists and those Christians,who claim that Muslims have a different God. People of Islam could be heard in AfD by thinking people, conservatives, based personalities. We have them. But the native German should speak with them. A convert. Thoughts and the program have to be prepared.

In your opinion, how important and possible is it that Islam in Germany would be associated not so much with migrant compatriots, but with families and communities of Germans who accept Islam? Is it in your plan to promote this?

This is an interesting question. The goal of the “Analytical Center Idel” is the development of methods for normalizing the relations between the people of Islam in Europe and state structures. There should be order in the country.

Have you already established contacts with German Muslims? What are your immediate plans as a Muslim?

To study. I have a lot to learn. Praying Salah and reading the Quran. I found the mosque in Berlin. It’s very good there. Very calm place.

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