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Islam in Austria

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Title: Islam in Austria  
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Islam in Austria

Mosque and Islamic centre in Vienna.

Islam is the second most widely professed religion in Austria, practiced by 7% of the total population according to 2014 estimates.[1] The vast majority of Muslims in Austria belong to Sunni denomination.[2] Most Muslims came to Austria during the 1960s as migrant workers from Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are also communities of Arab and Afghan origin. By various counts, Austria appears to have the highest percentage of Muslims in Western Europe.

Most Muslims live in the capital Vienna (12.5%) followed by the westernmost state Vorarlberg. Its industrial small towns and villages have the second highest share of Muslims in the country with 11.5% (it resembles the neighboring north-eastern parts of Switzerland in this respect). The central states Salzburg, Upper Austria, Tyrol and Lower Austria follow with the share of Muslim population at around the average. The South-eastern states Styria, Carinthia as well as Burgenland in the east have fewer Muslims than the national average. Of the 300 Ahmadi Muslims in Austria, about one third reside in Vienna.[3]

Austria is unique among religious education in state schools. It is also allowed to collect "church tax" but so far it has not exercised this privilege and does not build, finance or administer mosques in Austria. In 2013 Austria has granted the status of a recognized religious community to Alevism.[4]

Parallel structures exist within the Islamic religious group. The religious life takes place in mosques belonging to organisations that represent one of the currents of Turkish, Bosnian and Germany.

In February, 2015, a new Islamgesetz (Islam Law) was passed by the Austrian parliament, illegalizing foreign funding of mosques and paying salaries of imams, and regulating the version of the Koran that may be used in Austria.[5] It however also gives Muslims additional rights, such as the rights to halal food and pastoral care in the military. The minister for Integration, Sebastian Kurz, said the changes were intended to "clearly combat" the influence of radical Islam in Austria.[6] The leader of Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, called the law "positive and productive (befruchtend) for the discussion in Germany".[7]

Muslims in Austria according to their ethnic groups

A Mosque in Telfs.
Nationality Population Year
Turks 500,000+ [8]
Bosniaks 128,047 [9]
Afghans 31,300
Kurds 26,770
Chechens 25,000 [10]
Iranians 12,452
Arabs 12,100
Pakistanis 8,490

See also

References

  1. ^ Muslime in Österreich
  2. ^ Islam in Österreich
  3. ^ Jørgen Nielsen, Samim Akgönül, Ahmet Alibašić, Egdunas Raciu. Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, Volume 5. p. 55. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Anerkennung der Anhänger der Islamischen Alevitischen Glaubensgemeinschaft als Religionsgesellschaft" (in German). Legal Information System of the Republic of Austria. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  5. ^ Muslims in this country allowed only German language Qurans, Reuters, February 28, 2015 – via India Today 
  6. ^ Elahe Izadi (February 26, 2015), "'"Austria is taking controversial steps to tighten a 100-year-old 'Law on Islam, The Washington Post 
  7. ^ "Wie Österreichs Islamgesetz die deutsche Debatte befruchtet",  
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Bosnian Austrians
  10. ^ Refworld | Continuing Human Rights Abuses Force Chechens to Flee to Europe

Further reading

  • Abid, Lise Jamila (August 2006). "Muslims in Austria: Integration through Participation in Austrian Society".  
  • Kroissenbrunner, Sabine (July 2003). "Islam and Muslim Immigrants in Austria: Socio-Political Networks and Muslim Leadership of Turkish Immigrants".  
  • Study for Bundesministerium des Innern: Perspektiven und Herausforderungen in der Integration muslimischer MitbürgerInnen in Österreich, Mathias Rohe, Universität Erlangen. May 2006 (summary by MilitantIslamMonitor.Org: Radical Islam in Europe: Austrian government study concludes 45 % of Muslims unwilling to integrate)
  • Anna Strobel: Unique Legal Status - Muslims in Austria From: Herder Korrespondenz, 2006/4, P. 200-2004
  • Census 2001: Population 2001 according to religious affiliation, languages, origin and nationality (PDF)(German), Statistik Austria.
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