Germany's SPD moves to expel anti-Islam author


Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) has launched a new bid to expel a well-known anti-Islam author from its ranks.

The ideas expressed by Thilo Sarrazin, who has also been an executive at Germany's central bank, could not be reconciled with the party's principles, said SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil in Berlin on Monday. Sarrazin gained notoriety for books that attack Islam and its influence on German society. He has caused the SPD "serious harm," Klingbeil said.

The SPD is a member of Germany's governing coalition, alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and her sister party, the Christian Social Union.

Sarrazin, 73, described the move as "part of the power struggle within the SPD over the party's future policies," in remarks to be published in German newspapers on Tuesday.

He said he would wait to see what the SPD executive wrote to him and reserved the right to take legal advice on any action to expel him.

"I know that I have not infringed any basic social-democratic principles in my new book. And the same applies to my previous publications," Sarrazin said.

The SPD executive called on Sarrazin, an SPD member for 45 years, to resign from the party of his own accord earlier this year after he published his book, "Hostile Takeover: How Islam Impedes Progress and Threatens Society."

The party set up a working group to examine the book's contents.

"The investigation committee has now presented a comprehensive and well-founded report," Klingbeil said.

The SPD executive decided on the basis of the report to initiate a disciplinary process with the aim of excluding Sarrazin. The party has twice in the past sought to expel Sarrazin, who gained an international reputation with his 2010 bestseller "Germany Abolishes Itself." The controversial author has previously occupied executive positions in the Berlin Senate and Germany's national rail
company.    (dpa)

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