Austria: Islamophobic Racism on the Rise!

Austria: Islamophobic Racism on the Rise!

Solidarity with the Muslim Brothers and Sisters! No to the Closure of 7 Mosques and the Expulsion of 40 Imams and their Families!

Statement of the RKO BEFREIUNG (Austrian Section of the RCIT), 8. June 2018,

  1. The Austrian government announced in a press conference on 8 June a series of racist, Anti-Muslim measures. These include the closure of seven mosques as well as the expulsion of 40 imams and their families. Furthermore it aims for the dissolution of the Arab Religious Community.


  1. The RKO BEFREIUNG (Austrian Section of the RCIT) condemns these decisions utterly. They represent a new level of Islamophobic racism against our Muslim brothers and sisters. We see once more that this government is on the right-wing edge of Europe – similar to Hungary’s Orban or the Italian Lega Nord. Chancellor Kurz and Vice Chancellor Strache represent a bonsai imperialist state compared to the U.S. – but on the political level they are on the same wavelength like the world-wide No. 1 of all racist dumbasses, Donald Trump.


  1. The explicit reference of Austria’s minister Gernot Blümel to the notorious “law on Islam” underlines once more the repressive character of this law. The Austrian Section of the RCIT already stated at the time of its decision (in 2015) that the “law on Islam” results in massive discrimination of Muslims and transforms them into second-class citizens.


  1. The right-wings governments’ justification for its measures against the Muslims is a mockery of common sense.Chancellor Kurz announced in an authoritarian way: “Parallel societies, political Islam and tendencies toward radicalization have no place in our country”. “Political Islam”? How can a representative of a party protest against this which explicitly characterize itself since the beginning of its existence as a “Christian” party and which has always been closely connected with the Catholic Church and defended its privileges?! And we remember very well when Strache raised the crucifix on the platform at an anti-Islam rally.“Parallel societies”? In this country, Austrians have the right to choose if and which church they want to join and if they choose to have Austrian or non-Austrian citizens as their friends. Why should Muslims not have the same right?! “Tendencies toward radicalization” – says who? A government of which half is an extreme right-wing party whose functionaries repeatedly express their sympathy for the Nazi regime and which has very close relations with the semi-fascist Jobbik party in Hungary as well as with Russia’s ruling party of the authoritarian Putin regime?!


  1. The grotesque attempts of the right-wing Kurz/Strache government shall hide that it pursues a neoliberal policy of systematic attacks on social and labor rights which is combined with a tightening of racist oppression against migrants. It shall furthermore legitimize the governments‘ pro-Israel policy which finds expression not only in repeated expressions of sympathy for this Apartheid and terror state but also in the official participation of the Austrian ambassador at the ceremony for the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem a few weeks ago – on the same day when Israel’s army slaughtered 61 unarmed Palestinians in Gaza.


  1. Our rigorous rejection of the governments’ anti-Muslim measures does not imply that we share the conservative-Islamist ideology of the associations affected (e.g. the Turkish ATIB association). On the contrary, as revolutionary socialists we reject the Erdoğan government in Turkey. We defend the right of national self-determination of the Kurdish minority. But only a political blind ignorant can fail to recognize the fact that the attack of the government is not about the political views of ATIB or any other association but rather the attempt of a neoliberal, racist government sympathizing with Christian fundamentalism which tries to secure its power via a hate campaign against the Muslim minority.


  1. Nobody should hope that today’s decision of the government might be a one-time, bad spook. Vice Chancellor Strache has already made clear that these measures “are only the beginning”. We must be prepared for a wave of racist repression against Muslim brothers and sisters. It is crucial to build resistance against this!


  1. We appeal to the Muslim migrant associations to resist resolutely against these government measures and to organize mass demonstrations on the streets. Their renunciation to mobilize against the”law on Islam” in 2015 was a serious mistake. This must not happen again!


  1. We appeal to the trade unions, to the progressive social democrats and the left not to stand idle by but to show their solidarity with the Muslim brothers and sisters. The social democratic racist road (of the Viennese social democratic leadership which calls for a headscarf ban) is the road into political nirvana helping coming into power of an authoritarian imperialist regime of a “strong man” which will loot the laboring people even more. Progressive activists must overcome the widespread Islamophobic prejudices and enter the road of fighting shoulder to shoulder of Muslims and non-Muslims against racism. Act in the spirit of solidarity because consider: today it is the Muslims, tomorrow it is you! TheAustrian Section of the RCIT calls all activists to get active in the spirit of solidarity!

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