FPÖ Forced to Pay for Anti-Islam Seminar

One year ago, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) was found to have been using state funds for an educational seminar on Islam in which the religion was equated with fanaticism and extremism. During the seminar in question, entitled “The Basics of Islam,” the speaker Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was quoted as having said that “Islam is hostile. The Koran is evil. Muslims hate us and are in a long-term war with us.” As a result of this, the responsible funding council has recently decided that the FPÖ will have to pay back the funds they received for the seminar, though the final decision will come from the Council of Ministers.

Despite the sum in question being estimated at only between 1000 and 3000 Euros, Klaus Nittmann, the director of the FPÖ educational institute at which at seminar was held, has stated that the party is ready to take the case to court. According to him, more than anything it is a “matter of principle.”

Council broods over funds for “Islam seminars”

The Grants Council of the Party Academies has not yet reached a definitive conclusion with respect to the controversial “Anti-Islam Seminars” of the FPÖ Educational Institute. The members of the council decided first to consult more information concerning the debated seminars, while a motion by the Greens demanding the return payment of funds used for the seminars was not passed. Klaus Nittmann, director of the FPÖ Educational Institute stated “that the debate in the council has not been objective. Of course we represent a critical perspective with regard to Islam, but the Greens are solely interested in making us repay these funds.”