Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Austrian State Bans Mosques

"Islahonline" islahonline@gmail.com

Austrian State Bans Mosques


IslamOnline. net & News Agencies


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Rawi said the legislation violated principles of equality and religious freedom and put Austria's reputation on the line

VIENNA — The southernmost Austrian state of Carinthia has passed a law effectively banning the construction of mosques, drawing fire from the opposition and Muslims for religious freedom violations.

"I can only recommend to all to have the courage to stand up effectively against this Islamisation that is creeping through Europe and represents a totally different culture," Governor Joerg Haider was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"We are really the pioneers on this," added Haider, also the leader of the far-right Alliance for the Future of Austria party.

The law requires plans for any building of "extraordinary architecture or size" to be approved by a commission to judge its compatibility with the standard look of towns.

This means that mosques would stand little chance of permits.

Haider make international headlines in the 1990s with xenophobic remarks when his rightist Freedom Party became the second biggest in Austria.

After an internecine power struggle, he broke away from the Freedom Party and founded the Alliance in 2005.

But the new party's national impact has been negligible since Haider decided to focus on his home region of Carinthia.

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