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Alexandros Michailidis /

Austrian government moves to ban ‘political Islam’

In more worrying signs for European Muslims after the French President Emmanuel Macron stated that Islam is in crisis around the globe, the conservative Chancellor of Austria has risked alienating law-abiding European Muslim citizens further.

A week after the Vienna attacks that left four dead and at least twenty-two injured, the rightwing Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, has proposed a raft of new anti-terror legislation seeking to target so-called ‘political Islam’.[1] [2]

Following a cabinet meeting yesterday, Kurz tweeted:

“In the fight against political Islam, we will create a criminal offense of “political Islam” in order to be able to take action against those who are not terrorists themselves, but who create the breeding ground for such.”

Amongst the measures set to be implemented is the power for Austrian courts to keep convicted terrorists behind bars for life. Even more alarmingly, Kurz plans to introduce the banning of interpretations of Islam that the state deems to be too ‘political’ or leaning towards incitation of violence. The legislation will be up for debate next month in the Österreichisches Parlament.

In a blow to advocates for reformative and rehabilitative penal systems that do not act as a counterproductive dumping ground for offenders, people who commit terrorism offences will potentially be imprisoned for the remainder of their lives. Furthermore, anyone who has already served time will have severe restrictions imposed, including electronic surveillance tags. Those who are dual citizens may be stripped of their Austrian citizenship. [3]

It is difficult to imagine that the proposed laws will do anything but disenfranchise Muslims in Austria. It goes without saying that the vast majority of Muslims, like the bulk of Christians and Jews, are not going to one day decide to launch an assault on innocent people.

To what degree will leaders such as Kurz go in demonising an entire religious group? In a country such as Austria – where the Muslim population makes up 8% of the 9 million population according to a 2016 study,[4] and where a mass Muslim surveillance program began in early 2020 – one may rightly pose the question: where does it end?[5]








About Shaheer Choudhury

Shaheer is a regular news writer for Islam21c. Alongside this position, he also currently works as a casework coordinator at the UK-wide charity, HHUGS. He maintains a strong interest in politics and current affairs, and on the varying worldwide situations of Muslim communities. Prior to working for Islam21c, he developed a number of years' experience in the health and social care sector, and has previously volunteered at the Muslim Youth Helpline.


  1. Ban Islam

  2. The unfortunate truth is over the last 20 years, the culture gap between Europeans and and European Muslims have grown wider and wider. Many 2nd and 3rd generation muslims in European countries are taught value systems which differ from the cultures of their countries. Even though this education system doesn’t promote violence directly; many nonmuslims are simply not comfortable with traditional Islamic values. They fear Islam, even when direct violence isn’t preached partially because the view among Westerners and many muslims is that their societies are incompatible.

  3. Political Islam is a failed political ideology on a par with Communism. There are a lot of empty feel good slogans and delusions of grandeur but the terrible results speak for themselves.

  4. Why would muslims object to being disenfrachised? After all, they maintain that elections are not a valid way of getting leaders or governors, so shy should they want to vote?
    Equally, as the aim of muslims if they fully accept the koran, is to impose by subterfuge, persuasion or force a world-wide theocracy, it is perfectly reasonable for nonmuslims to distrust them. Nonmuslim states may tolerate muslims as long as they live peaceably and obey the laws of the state they live in, but there’s no reason to allow them unlimited freedom or even equality with citizens of the state.

    • “Equally, as the aim of muslims if they fully accept the koran, is to impose by subterfuge, persuasion or force a world-wide theocracy, it is perfectly reasonable for nonmuslims to distrust them.”

      I can appreciate what you’re saying, but in the same way, I hope you can also appreciate why it is also perfectly reasonable for Muslims to distrust disbelievers, since they by subterfuge, persuasion AND force HAVE imposed across Muslim lands secularism, communism and nation states. Failing to appreciate it would be like ‘the pot calling the kettle black’.

      • Of course.
        “Muslim lands” became muslim as a result of muslim invasion, conquest and occupation. There’s no reason – except belief in the truth of islam and its right to rule the world – to object to counter-attacks or pre-emptive strikes against them. As you say, ‘the pot calling the kettle black’.

        • “There’s no reason – except belief in the truth of islam and its right to rule the world – to object to counter-attacks or pre-emptive strikes against them.”

          I never said I objected. I said that I can appreciate why they would feel distrust, but if you believe that the involvement of western nations in Muslim lands currently and over the centuries has been purely for the reasons of counter attacks or pre-emptive strikes then all I can say is,
          ‘Whatever helps you sleep at night’.

        • James Henry, Islam like Christianity is a proslytising religion. It spread in many ways throughout history. As you say through conquest but also through trade and cultural contact. a good example is the spread of Islam to the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia via trade routes.

          I don’t think Muslims and Non Muslims are in a existential threat and battle as you claim. Only a minority of Muslims are followers of political Islam. You have a whole host of Muslims on the spectrum from cultural Muslims to apolitical Sufi devotees. The Muslim world is nowhere nearly as monolithic as you seem to think. No need for ‘counter attacks’ or ‘pre-emptive strikes’. Look at the consequences of the Iraq war, it turbocharged Islamism in Iraq and subsequently Syria.

          • In fact, Farhad Mia, I agree with you that “the Muslim world is nowhere nearly as monolithic as [I] seem to think. ” However, Islam21C seems to think – or want people to think – that “political Islam” is “true” islam and that every muslim ought to adopt it. I was merely rhetorically pointing out the logical consequences of their argument.
            I think many muslims are believers in “political Islam” without thinking the logic of their position through – that is, they assume the truth of the claims for political islam without considering them or following them in practice.

  5. No such thing as “political Islam,” its just a generic fake term used to demonize Muslims. Europeans are incapable, incompetent degenerate lairs and bigots trying to shift attention away from their own failures. The end result of secularism and atheism, why is why westernization is what should be banned.

    • You are saying westernization should be banned in western countries?
      And you are surprised when they want you out?

  6. It seems like there are disbelievers who understand the potential of ‘Political Islam’ better than many Muslims do.

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