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Austria’s Muslims are Concerned After Election Results

By Bwag (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Bwag (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Austrian far-right has captured a majority of the vote

Austrian Muslims are concerned but not afraid of the rise of right-wing sentiment in Austria. Two right-wing political parties, the FPO and conservative OVP, successfully rode the anti-Muslim rhetoric to emerge as major political entities[/tweetit]. It is now anticipated the two parties will set up the next government in Austria. Omar Al-Rawi, a Vienna city council member, said that although it is not good to see 60 percent of Austrian voters stamp their approval for right-wing parties, it is not the end of days as Austria is robust enough to tackle such disruptive events. Al-Rawi himself was a candidate of the outgoing SPO party, a left-wing political party. It came in second place after the OVP.

Austria’s Muslims are Concerned After Election Results[/tweetthis]

Austrian Muslims reside in some parts of the city and are rarely found scattered all over the metropolis. One such Muslim-dominated area in the city is Favoriten. The first wave of Muslims migrating to this European country settled in this part of the city. The Attaysir mosque here is attended by Muslims from Chechnya and from the Middle East.

Not surprisingly, Muslims are aware of the antipathy towards them. Some of them even understand its cause. They are also okay with it, admitting that Austria, after all, is a Christian country and if a Christian migrates to Muslim countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and began to undermine the majority religion, then there will be a backlash as well. About 700,000 Muslims of different backgrounds and ethnicities reside in Austria.

The European country, unlike its counterparts in the region, is associated with Islam for a much longer time. The Austro-Hungarian empire gave formal recognition to Islam during the early 20th century. The Muslim community became part of Austrian society from the 1960s when workers started immigrating to Austria from a number of European and Asian nations.

The Austrian citizenry had no problems with Muslims at that time. Problems started only from 1990 when politicians found that the Muslim 'problem' is an excellent but nefarious way to appeal to the voter sentiment. Austrian Muslims expressed concern about how the refugee crisis or Islamic terrorism are mixed up with Muslims who have nothing to do with either one of them. Muslim leaders say that instead of demonizing people who follow Islam, efforts must be made by Muslim citizens to solve such problems.


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