America is not the only "advanced" country that may be facing a constitutional battle over the legality of proposals to limit the religious freedom of Muslim immigrants. Just as Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslim immigration to the US purely on the basis of religion raises serious questions about possible conflict with the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion (see Kleindienst v. Mandel 408 U.S. 753 - 1972 for a discussion of related issues), a call by a far right wing German party for a ban on minarets and the burqa and its claim that Islam is not compatible with the German constitution are raising questions about the extent to which religious freedom is protected in Germany. See:

According to the above Huffington Post report, an anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany (AfD) is targeting Muslim refugees in a manifesto entitled:

"Islam is not part of Germany"

And at an AfD rally attended by 2,000 cheering supporters, one of the party's lawmakers, Hans-Thomas Tillschneider, stated:

"Islam is foreign to us and for that reason it cannot invoke the principle of religious freedom to the same degree as Christianity."

This statement conflicts with the view of German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, who, according to the same report, has said that freedom of religion for all is guaranteed by the German constitution.

AfD has also been condemned by the head of Germany's Central Council of Muslims as having the same attitude toward that community as the Nazis did toward the Jews, according to the same article.

Is Tillschneider on his way to becoming a German version of Donald Trump, who wants to ban all Muslims in the entire world (including US citizens, according to some reports) from the United States?

While neither Trump nor his supporters have had much to say about this so far, his proposal raises the question whether such a ban could create a constitutional crisis that has not been seen since the dark days in America's history when the Chinese exclusion laws, which barred immigrants solely on the basis of race, were upheld by the US Supreme Court.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants, from many diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is