Muslims to sue Austrian government over controversial 'Islam map'

Campaign aimed at fueling racism and stigmatizing Muslims living in Austria is 'potential danger to society,' group says

Oliver Towfigh Nia  | 01.06.2021 - Update : 01.06.2021
Muslims to sue Austrian government over controversial 'Islam map'


A prominent Muslim group in Austria plans to sue the government for unveiling a controversial "Islam map,” according to local media reports. 

The Muslim Youth of Austria has harshly criticized the government for publishing a “political Islam map” that identifies the location of mosques and Muslim associations around the country.

"The publication of all names, functions and addresses of Muslim institutions and institutions that have been read as Muslim represents an unprecedented crossing of boundaries," the group was quoted saying over the weekend.

Last week, Integration Minister Susanne Raab launched a website called the "National Map of Islam" with the names and locations of more than 620 mosques, associations and officials and their possible connections abroad.

According to the Raab, the map was not aimed at "placing Muslims in general under suspicion.”

The objective was "to fight political ideologies, not religion," she said.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has repeatedly lashed out at what he calls "political Islam."

The group the “Islamic Religious Community in Austria” (IGGOE), which represents the interests Muslims in Austria, warned against stigmatizing all Muslims living in Austria "as a potential danger to society and the democratic legal order in the country.”

This campaign is stoking racism and "exposes Muslim citizens to a massive security risk," it added. 

Facing mounting racism in the aftermath of a deadly attack by Muslim militants in Vienna last November, Austria’s Muslim community is deeply concerned over government attempts to instrumentalize political Islam for its far-right political objectives.

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