Vienna presented a “map of Islam” which lists mosques and associations in the country, causing an uproar among Muslims who denounce a “stigma” exposing them to “insecurity”. Ankara, for its part, deemed this card “inadmissible”.
On May 27, the Conservative Minister of Integration in Austria, Susanne Raab, announced a new website called “National Map of Islam”. The general public can now find the names of more than 600 mosques and associations, their addresses, the identity of their leaders and their possible links abroad.
This interactive map “testifies to a clear intention of the government to stigmatize all Muslims as a potential danger”, reacted the Representative Council of Muslims (IGGÖ) in a statement sent to AFP.
It is not a question of launching a “generalized suspicion on Muslims”, had assured Susanne Raab, but of unmasking “in the backyards [des] ideologies [remettant en cause] the values of liberal democracy ”.
This map is the result of a collaboration between the University of Vienna and the Documentation Center on Political Islam, an organization created last year by the coalition between the Conservatives and the Greens.
However, the latter have distanced themselves from this initiative. “No environmental minister or deputy has been involved or informed,” said integration spokesperson Faika El-Nagashi within the Greens party. “This project which mixes Muslims and Islamists is the opposite of what the integration policy should look like,” she added.
“Would you imagine that we could produce such a map of Judaism or Christianity in Austria?” expressed indignation on national radio Tarafa Baghajati, the representative of another Muslim organization, who speaks of an amalgamation between terrorism and the religion practiced by 8% of the 8.9 million inhabitants of the country, for the most part unrelated to structures.
“It is worrying and I am disappointed by this government which is taking up the program of the far right,” he added.
Scalded, the Turkish Foreign Ministry for its part denounced in a press release on May 28 as “inadmissible” the presentation by the Austrian government of this card.
Dışişleri Bakanlığı Sözcüsü Büyükelçi Tanju Bilgiç’in Avusturya Entegrasyon Bakanı Susanne Raab’ın Basın Toplantısında Yapmış Olduğu Açıklamalar Hakkındaki Soruya Cevdo/Hzjt.cdaki Soruya CevdoHSpic.twitter.com/QWYYljXXlx
– TC Dışişleri Bakanlığı (@TC_Disisleri) May 28, 2021
Ankara also called on Austria to give up “keeping Muslims” and adopt “a responsible policy”.