Racism Rises in Austria Since Map of Islam Published

Vina, MINA – Racist attacks and labeling have increased dramatically since Austria released its controversial “Map of Islam” last month, said the head of a Muslim community group.

“Attacks against Muslims increased after this incident. Bad signs were hung in our mosques,” said Umit Vural, president of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGO) on Saturday as quoted from Anadolu Agency.

“We have said this website should be shut down as soon as possible that it could be dangerous,” Vural said.

“I’m sorry, but all of our worries have been proven true.”

After a digital map identifying the locations of more than 600 mosques and associations around Austria was launched on 27 May, racist attacks against Muslims increased, especially against mosques.

Anti-Muslim symbols have reportedly been hung in mosques in various cities, especially in the capital Vienna, in the past two days.

Vural said although maps are not a new phenomenon, the government’s continued support for the project through the Islamic Political Documentation Center has taken this issue to a new level.

He noted that the map, which can be drawn to show that “all Muslims are dangerous,” was prepared using one-sided data, supplemented by officials calling each Muslim a representative of “Political Islam” as they pleased.

“Requests to correct the information on the map were ignored by the research team,”‘ Vural said.

Vural underlined that his group was unable to explain to the authorities why various policies, such as the ban on headscarves in elementary schools and the establishment of the Center for Documentation of Political Islam were wrong.

“We see very clearly that Muslims are treated differently. If we are an officially recognized religion here, we want the same treatment as the other 15 religious communities, we don’t want any different or special treatment,” he said.

Vural also underlined that Muslims are part of Austria and that any problem can be solved through dialogue. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)