Islamic Religious Community in Austria Concerned about Attacks on Religious Places of Worship

PeopleOther ♦ Published: August 23, 2022; 20:21 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGÖ) appeals to take crimes such as acts of vandalism and attacks against places of worship seriously.

Mosques have recently been the victims of vandalism. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Bwag [CC BY-SA 4.0]

In recent weeks, there has been an increase in attacks on mosques and other places of worship according to the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGÖ). According to ORF, there was also a recent act of vandalism at Vienna's "Campus of Religions", where three boys tore down a Jewish flag and posted this online via TikTok video.

These are acts of vandalism and damage to property, as well as the posting of threatening and hate messages with deeply racist, inciting and in part also glorifying National Socialist crimes, explains the IGGÖ.

Mosques are places of encounter and prayer, says IGGÖ President Ümit Vural. Any form of endangering the coexistence of cultures and religions is to be condemned, he said. "The treatment of our places of worship fills us with concern, fear and resentment."

IGGÖ President Vural makes it clear that mosques are not places for political conflicts and mood-mongering, but places of encounter, communal prayer and devotion, and strongly condemns any threat to the coexistence of different cultures and religions in our country.

Every single act was reported to the police. "I thank the relevant security authorities who took the incidents seriously and started investigations, as well as those community councils who expressed their solidarity with the affected communities," Vural said.

Vural, therefore, calls for a "clear commitment" by those with political responsibility "to respect the dignity of places of worship of all churches and religious communities in Austria" and "to ensure the necessary protection and thus also that of the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right of free exercise of religious practice."

In the press text, the IGGÖ explains that, on the occasion of the recent increase in attacks, the tradition of an "Open Mosque Day will be revived this fall" to create opportunities for encounters "and to contribute to an exchange that is indispensable in our pluralistic society."

Islamic Religious Community in Austria