Germany's right-wing populist AfD party ramped up attacks Monday against immigration and Islam as its poll ratings jumped in the final stretch of election campaigning, while Chancellor Angela Merkel's party dipped.

The Muslim religion "does not belong in Germany", said a top candidate of Alternative for Germany, Alexander Gauland, who argued that its "political doctrine is not compatible with a free country".

"Islamist rhetoric and violence and terror have roots in the Koran and in the teachings of Islam," he told reporters.

Gauland and the other top AfD candidate, Alice Weidel, have stirred controversy before Sunday's general election.

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