Austrian politics sees significant rise in Islamophobia

23rd Jan 2019
Austrian politics sees significant rise in Islamophobia

By Askin Kiyagan

 

VIENNA (AA): A study by an NGO revealed that in 2018 senior politicians in Austria participated in 20 campaigns against Muslims.

SOS Mitmensch in a news conference on Tuesday shared with journalists its study on Islamophobic and anti-Muslim campaigns in 2018 in Austrian politics.

It said that ruling Freedom Party Chairman and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, the party’s Group Chairman in the parliament Johann Gudenus, Minister of Social Affairs Beate Hartinger-Klein have played a role in the spread of anti-Muslim campaigns with impunity.

Spokesman of the NGO Mitmensch Alexander Pollak also said that hate campaings against Muslims, because of their religious orientation, has risen to an “unimaginable level” compared to a few years ago.

In June last year, Austria’s far-right prime minister, Sebastian Kurz, decided to shut down seven mosques and expel 40 imams from his country.

It would appear that the Austrian government’s controversial decision, which was based on the country’s recently adopted “Islam Law,” represents a beginning. Hailed as a step to “combat political Islam and radicalization,” the decision was not surprising since Kurz has been calling for a fight against political Islam.

The controversial decision made by Kurz’s government is part of a broader attempt to bring the Austrian Muslim community’s religious life under state control.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: People hold placards and banner during a protest against policies of Freedom Party of Austria, right-wing populist and national-conservative political party, in Vienna, Austria on January 19, 2019. Photographer: Aşkın Kıyağan/AA]

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