Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Muslim organisations on collision course with Austrian government

Muslim organizations set on confrontation course with the government because of the proposed law. IGGiÖ President Fuat Sanac is not considering resignation. (there is pressure from his youth movement)

The President of Austria, second from left and Mr Sanac second from right.

The much-touted harmony is fragile: Austria's Muslims are increasingly on a collision course with the Federal Government and its draft for the new Islamic law. On Monday, the Supreme Council, the highest governing body of the Islamic Community in Austria (IGGiÖ) made a statement - with a protest against the decision. They were disappointed with the approach taken by the government, was stated in a joint press release of the Supreme Council and the IGGiÖ President, Fuat Sanac. 

The procedure "is neither customary for Austria's political culture of a modern democracy, nor is it consistent with a minimum of respect for the law by the parties concerned."

In an interview with the "Die Presse" Sanac clarified that it was initially only a protest. A decision will be taken by them only at a meeting of the Supreme Council on Wednesday and by one of the Upper Councils on Sunday. Legally, however, there is no requirement that something will be placed in the new Islamic law. "We are waiting for the answer," says Sanac. "And we believe that a number of points can be changed." Indeed, one had heard for some time in government circles that there will be no move away from the fundamental points of the law that were considered on January 21 in the National Council. 

 A coalition of many Muslim societies wants to build up pressure on the government, which has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday. "The Muslims feel left out," says Yakup Gecgel of the Islamic Federation, one of the great Muslim umbrella organizations. On the one hand, it involves both substantive criticism of the new Islamic law – each religious community to be able to resolve the prohibition on foreign funding to the rights of the Federal Chancellor. On the other hand, they want to also question in a critical manner the approach of the government. "We do not wish to permit," says Gecgel that "Muslims should be seen as propaganda for the election campaign." 

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