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Islamic headgear; Wolfgang Sedlmeier, Aalen Marienkirche

German priest wears Islamic headgear to protest AfD

A German priest has protested against the AfD by wearing an Islamic headscarf during a Christian sermon. His Islamic headgear was met with applause from his audience.

Published: May 23, 2018, 9:05 am

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    The priest of Our-Lady of Aalen, Wolfgang Sedlmeir, said he was defending “human dignity”.

    On social media, the message of the headscarf-wearing pastor, however, has triggered some fierce criticism. “This Catholic priest defends the headscarf, which is a symbol of the oppression of women,” wrote a user on Facebook.

    Others expressed their muddled solidarity, showing themselves with headscarves on photos: “The oppression of the woman takes place exactly where you want to forbid her to wear a headscarf or forbid her to be without a headscarf.”

    Sedlmeier caused a media sensation with a headscarf during the Pentecost Mass on Sunday in the Aalen Marienkirche. The congregation applauded after his sermon.

    “Anyone who discriminates against any faith would violate human dignity and thus the spirit of the Gospel of Pentecost,” according to Sedlmeier. He did not mention those who discriminate against women without headgear.

    His criticism is directed, he said, “against a member of parliament, thus an elected woman, who spoke in a condescending and insulting manner in the Bundestag of headscarf wearers”.

    Sedlmeier was evidently referring to Alice Weidel, without mentioning the name of the deputy. Weidel had commented in the Bundestag on the cost of immigration last Wednesday.

    In his sermon, Pastor Sedlmeier distanced himself from people who condemn a headscarf or a burka. At the church exit he said goodbye to the worshipers – but this time with a headscarf. He was thanked “for his brave opinion”.

    Sedlmeier, who has been a pastor in Aalen for about one and a half years, loves spectacular things and actions, as he himself often emphasizes.

    But the bishop of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Gebhard Fürst, distanced himself from the Aalen pastor because he wore a headscarf in the Pfingstmesse.

    “The form in which Pastor Sedlmeier expressed his protest against the discrimination of headscarves by the leader of the AFD in the German Bundestag during the Pentecost Mass in the Aalen Marienkirche is certainly marginal and not very fortunate. I will therefore have a clarifying conversation with him in the next few days,”said Fürst.

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