Austria has a problem with Muslims, not just their mosques

flowers and mosque

People leave flowers at the entrance of the Turkish mosque, Rotterdam to protest the anti-Islamic Pediga group’s plan to roast pork in front of it during the fast-breaking meal, June 7. The Muslim Times has the best collection to refute Islamophobia

Suggested reading by the Muslim Times: Europeans’ Attitude Towards the Muslims: The Glass is More than Half Full

Source: Daily Sabah

By Yahya Bostan

The mosque scandal in Rotterdam is a symptom of the enmity towards Muslims across the whole European continent and not just a protest organized by a group of Dutch racists

On Thursday evening, the racist PEGIDA movement attempted to roast pigs outside the Laleli mosque in Rotterdam, Holland. The group was hoping to insult local followers of Islam, which bans the consumption of pork, and to provoke violence. Luckily, the Islamophobic protest was called off after a slew of complaints.

This victory against right-wing extremism was indeed welcome, but it is hardly the only attempted attack against Muslims, who are a small minority in Europe. Across the continent, lurking Islamophobia has shaped laws and actions taken by public authorities to evolve into a systematic assault.

Most recently, the Austrian government announced that it was going to close seven mosques and expel 40 imams. Six of those mosques are operated by Salafi groups, which, Austria says, preach violence. The remaining place of worship, frequented by the Turkish community, will be shut down because it lacks a “special permit”. Meanwhile, Austrian authorities decided to deport 40 imams, who worked with the moderate Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria (ATIB), because the organization allegedly received financial support from abroad. The Austrian government is expected to expel all 60 imams within its borders.

It would appear that those decisions are in line with Austria’s laws. In 2017, the country passed the so-called Islam Law, a piece of legislation that came under fire for violation of religious freedoms, which requires religious organizations to obtain a special permit from the authorities in order to disseminate religious teachings. Moreover, it stipulates that imams serving in Austria cannot receive funding from abroad.

But there are two problems here: First, the Austrian law on Islam violates universal principles by making it possible for the authorities to shut down temples at will. Secondly, imams working with ATIB receive funding from a private foundation with a headquarters in Belgium.

To be clear, the Austrian government’s decision would not be justified even if the imams were paid by a foreign government, since it is in violation of the constitutional principle of equality and Austrian jurisprudence on the financing of religious communities. After all, it is no secret that the various groups and civic associations, which follow a range of religions and faiths, receive funding from abroad.

But let us leave aside all those legal arrangements for a moment – mainly because we already know that those laws serve as a smokescreen to ensure the “legitimacy” of the government’s controversial decisions. Muslims across the European continent, especially in Austria, struggle with rising xenophobia every day. European Muslims know perfectly well that the continent has a problem with them rather than their mosques. As a wave of racism and xenophobia targets Muslims in Europe, the European Union remains crippled by a few thousand refugees. When it comes to Muslims, it seems Europe stops caring about human rights, freedom of thought and religious liberties.


4 replies

  1. Sorry, wrong botton—
    Before 9/11-2001, Muslim could enjoy so much to live in Europe countries, US and Canada— women was free to wear burqa and hijab—

    After 9/11- the world has been changing dramatically— the extremist Muslim has created fear by killing innocent people in Europe and US as well.

    Whom to be blamed?
    Obviously they blame Muslim, even not all Muslim—this is the fact. As long as Muslim cannot iliminate the extremist Muslim among Muslim community, other oarties will do it as we see today—

    Unfortunately as long as Saudi Arabia abd Iran lead by extremist Islamic leaders there is no peace in Muslim community who live in Islamic countries and non Islamic countries.

    Ahmadiyyah should lead Muslim around the world to iliminate the extremist Muslim groups in Non Islamic countries. Ahmadiyyah know well who the extremist Muslim and who are not.

    All love ❤️

    • You are going on about Iran. In fact every one who visited Iran says that the Iranians are very nice people. I recall my successor as Chief Delegate of the very Catholic NGO Caritas Kosovo: He went to Iran for assistance during the Bam earthquake. He saw a very sweet and beautiful girl and fell in love, as they say. He contacted me for help and urgent guidance what he should do. I told him there is no other way but go and ask the father. If he agrees fine, if not just run (out of the country). He came back named Mohammad Ali and is now living in Switzerland, happily married to the Iranian lady. Besides that I have heard from several visitors who all said ‘Iran is not like that’ (what we usually hear about). Somi: Go and visit! and afterwards talk about Iran. – And please stop talking about the conspiracy theory of 9/11. Yes, who-ever did it managed to create ill-will and disorder, as planned. (And got lots and lots of orders for the American war industry).

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