Since the last few months the amendment of the Austrian Islam law is critically discussed by constitutional lawyers, academics as well as members of the Islamic community. However, according to the daily newspaper standard the minister of foreign affairs Sebastian Kurz and other party members of the ÖVP are willing to discuss key points of the Islam law.
Additionally, the Austrian government wants to involve the Islamic community, their leader Fuat Sanac, much stronger in their ambitious project.
In Austria, Islam was recognized as a religious corporate body by the Hapsburgian Monarchy in 1914, later on it was also recognized by the Austrian state.
However, since recent upcoming radical terrorist groups like IS, the Austrian government partly changes or adds new provisions to the existing Islam law. For example Muslim holidays will be included into the “Christian” calendar. However, the new law forbids Muslim clubs in Austria to accept money from Muslim organizations outside Austria; additionally it also forbids Muslim clubs to support Muslim organizations outside Austria financially. Several Professors in constitutional law, like Theo Öhlinger, criticized the new amendment; according to him the new law would be against the freedom of Religion. Christians, Jews and Buddhists clubs are not facing the same requirements.The mentioned groups are allowed to support their religious groups outside Austria financially and also receive financial support from outside. The Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz defended the states decision by arguing, that currently some Muslim groups are a great threat to the Austrian government.
July 10, 2014
Austrian foreign minister Sebastian Kurz is against a Burka ban in Austria. Kurz stresses that a ban of the Burka will not solve any of the challenges the Austrian community currently faces. The right wing party FPÖ spoke out in favour of a ban on the Burka.
14 September 2010
Following his earlier statements calling for exclusively German-speaking imams in Austria, the leader of the youth division of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), Sebastian Kurz, is now saying that only individuals with an Austrian background be allowed to preach in Austrian mosques.
Kurz criticized that too many imams are trained in Turkey, and are under the authority of the Turkish prime minister. The socialist politician and integration spokesperson for the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGiÖ), Omar Al-Rawi, responded by calling Kurz “ill-informed,” and by pointing out there as long as there was no Islamic theological institution in Austria, those wishing to become imams would have to go abroad to pursue their studies.