In May 2016, the AfD vice-chairman sparked controversy when he asserted that "people wouldn't want Boateng as a neighbor," referring to German national team defender Jerome Boateng, whose father is from Ghana.  Co-chairwoman Frauke Petry distanced herself from that statement at the time, but an interview in September 2016 with "Die Welt" similarly prompted accusations of racism - even from within her own party. 
Gauland has declared AfD ‘the natural allies' of the anti-Islam PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West) movement and attended one of its demonstrations in December 2014
On Muslim immigration
Gauland has called for a stop to the migration into Germany of Muslims from the Middle East who 'aren’t willing or able to integrate'.
- Gone boy on the right, The Economist, 24 January 2015
- Anton Troianovski, Upstart German Party Considers Anti-Islam Stance], Wall Street Journal, 28 January 2015
- Von Alan Posener, 'Bei Gauland hat die „FAS“ Fehler gemacht', Die Welt, 06 June 2016. Accessed 14 September 2016.
- Jefferson Chase, AfD co-chair Petry wants to rehabilitate controversial term, Die Welt, 11 September 2016. Accessed 14 September 2016.
- Adam Withnall, Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West, The Independent, 15 December 2014, accessed 5 Jan 2015