Austria bans the veil in primary schools

Austrian deputies adopted Wednesday, May 15, a law proposed by the government coalition right-extreme right prohibiting the wearing of the Islamic veil in primary schools. To guard against accusations of discrimination against Muslims, the text refers to "Any clothing of ideological or religious influence that would cover the head".

The targeted Islamist scarf

Despite this very vague description, the representatives of the two parties in the government coalition – the Conservatives (ÖVP) of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the far-right (FPÖ) of Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christain Strache – made it clear that the Islamic headscarf was targeted.

FPÖ Education Spokesperson Wendelin Moelzer explains that the law is "A signal against political Islam" while ÖVP MP Rudolf Taschner assures that the measure is necessary to protect girls from"Servo". For its part, the Government states that the headdress of Sikh men or the kippah of Jews are not concerned.

Austria, exporting to exist

Almost all the opposition MPs voted against the proposal, described as "Shameful" and of "Tactical diversion" by the organization of Austrian Muslims IGGÖ. The law should be challenged in the Austrian Constitutional Court either on grounds of religious discrimination or because similar laws concerning schools have been passed by a two-thirds majority.

The theme of the "big replacement"

Since the ÖVP-FPÖ coalition came to power at the end of 2017, Austria has tightened its immigration policy. Just weeks before the European elections, Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache is openly campaigning on the theme of the "great replacement", the conspiracy thesis spread in far-right circles, referring to a "plan" aimed at "replacing The white and Christian European population by a Muslim immigrant population.

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