Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called them ticking time bombs. But the most controversial part of the new measures is the creation of a new criminal offense that the government calls political Islam. If approved, this law would make it easier to close mosques or detain imams on charges of creating the breeding ground for terrorism.
The Islamic Faith Community of Austria representing around 700,000 people says some of the measures are incompatible with the Constitution and fundamental human rights.
Prominent Muslim personalities have raised alarm on social media. “The Muslim population has the impression that the term political Islam is used as a kind of code to send signals to certain groups of voters and foster resentment. There can’t be a penalty that addresses only one religion,” an activist said.
The Muslim community is still deeply shocked by the terrorist attack. Islamic cemeteries denied the perpetrator of the Vienna attack a funeral to show they not only strongly condemn the crime but also the attacker himself who committed a terrible crime in the name of Islam. The Imams instead, carried the casket of a young Muslim who was among the four people killed.
But in the days following the attack more Muslims are reporting cases of abuse both on the streets and on social media. The important thing now, says the Islamic community is that society does not allow itself to be divided.