London – The Austrian government has unpublished a shocking Islamophobic ‘Islam Map’ following condemnations and numerous legal challenges. The map charted over 600 Muslim and ‘Muslim-marked’ organisations, associations, charities and identified their locations, inviting Islamophobic attacks on Austria’s Muslims.
Officials have indicated that the map, which echoes the Nazi imposition of the ‘yellow badge’ on Europe’s Jewish communities, has only been removed temporarily, and will again be made available for registered users only.
The targeting of Muslims is the latest move in the government’s racist policies and follows on from the Operation Luxor raids of November 2020. These raids targeted 60 homes of prominent Muslims, including high profile academic Farid Hafez. Over 130 people, including 60 children were traumatised during these violent and armed incursions into Muslim homes. To date no charges have been brought against anyone from these raids.
Muhammad Rabbani, Managing Director of CAGE, who are assisting local groups in Austria, said:
“The “Islam Map” is an astonishing act of state sanctioned islamophobia in the form of an official blacklist of one religious faith group. Through this Nazi-style policy of charting Muslims and publishing a list of locations publicly Austrian Ministers have demonstrated brazen disregard for fundamental rights and an a tacit approval of vigilante attacks against Muslims.”
“We are encouraged to see that Muslims in Austria have challenged these policies. These efforts must continue until the Government confirms that it has abandoned its blacklisting policy both overtly and covertly.”
Nura Al-Izzedin, spokesperson for Austria based child rights group, ACT-P, said:
“The “Islam map”, has given neo-Nazis the green light for Islamophobic attacks. It must be abolished. Defining Austrian citizens as a security threat purely based on their religion must end.”
A spokesperson for Al Hidaya Mosque in Vienna said:
“Since the launch of the so called “Islam Map”, several other mosques, including ours were targeted by neo-fascist groups. The community feel threatened that this announcement by the Government has given the green light to far right racists to target religious institutions. We call for the complete and immediate removal of the “Islam Map” and for an end to the government‘s Islamophobic approach towards its Muslim citizens.”
“I cannot imagine a similar register of names and organisations being produced for other faith groups. Local police have been helpful and present but it is not enough when senior government officials are effectively marking mosques such as ours for targeting. We expect the integration minister Susanne Raab to condemn the attacks at our mosque and issue public reassurances to Muslims across Austria.”
Image courtesy of Flickr/Number 10
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)