Austria’s Muslim Community have spoken out against the rhetoric of the current election campaigning, calling it “hostile towards the Islam”. Carla Amina Baghajati, spokeswoman of the Islamic Community of Austria, said: “Austria’s Muslims have to endure quite a lot at the moment. A lot of what is said in this campaign is hostile towards the Islam.” Religious Muslims are currently celebrating Ramadan, the Muslim religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Baghajati said: “It is worrying when hair-raisingly wrong interpretations of our religion or statements, are being used to create fear.” Baghajati refers to a claim calling the Islam the “fascism of the 21st century”. Baghajati also criticised the conservative ÖVP for being involved in passing regulations that prevent the construction of Mosques in the provinces of Carinthia and Vorarlberg. Baghajati called on all Muslims living in Austria to ballot at the general election of 28 September. Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer welcomed representatives of the Islamic Community at his offices yesterday (Wed) due to the current Ramadan celebrations. Last year, a similar event hosted by Federal President Heinz Fischer sparked controversy when media claimed that up to 28 terror suspects attended the welcome at the president’s Hofburg office.
FP_ General Secretary Harald Vilimsky said Wednesday that the Islamic death threat against Graz FP_ politician Susanne Winter had justified her Sunday attack on Islam. Winter had claimed at the FP_’s New Year’s meeting in Graz six days before the municipal election there that the prophet Mohammed had been “a child molester” and written the Koran during “epileptic fits.” A death threat against Winter claiming to be from European Al-Qaeda appeared on the internet on Monday. The head of her party’s list in the January 20 municipal election, she has subsequently received protection from members of the elite Cobra security force. Vilimsky added that the FP_ was awaiting “a clear response” to the death threat from Austrian President Heinz Fischer and SP_ Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer. The party general secretary declared that he would not distance himself from Winter’s remarks and that Austria needed a tougher policy against radical Islam.