EUROPE: Islamophobia or self-preservation? Anti-Muslim movement gaining momentum

AUSTRIA: Far Right storms election as Austrians back anti-Muslim policies.

Sept. 29, 2008–The far Right has made a grand return in Austria, emerging from yesterday’s elections as the second biggest parliamentary block, according to preliminary results. The two parties that campaigned on an anti-immigrant and anti-European Union ticket have captured about 29 per cent of the vote, pushing the country’s traditional conservative party into third place.

Heinz-Christian Strache and his Freedom Party, who were accused of xenophobia and waging an antiMuslim campaign, won 18 per cent — a rise of 7 per cent compared with the last elections.

The mainstream parties recorded their lowest share of the vote since the Second World War, with the Social Democrats dropping 7 per cent to 29.7 per cent, while the conservative People’s Party won 25.6 per cent of the vote — a decline of 9 per cent compared with 2006.

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GERMANY: Anti-Islamization Conference aimed at forging a European alliance against Islam and Muslim immigration.

A German far right group has stirred Muslim anger worldwide by holding a three-day “Anti-Islamization Conference” to protest against the construction of mosques and Muslim immigration.

Prominent members of Europe’s far right, including French “Front National” leader Jean-Marie le Pen and Belgian far-right politician Filip Dewinter, have said they will attend the meeting in Cologne which is aimed at forging a European alliance against “Islamization.”

Mosques are shooting out of the ground like mushrooms, the muezzin call and headscarves are flooding our streets,” Pro-Cologne said on its website. It said 150 “politicians and publicists” from all over Europe and 1,500 other participants will attend the conference at which it plans to launch a petition “against the Islamisation of our cities”.

Iran has appealed to France, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, to block the conference and complained that it reflects a “growth of anti-Islamic sentiments in Europe.” article4783532.ece

DENMARK: Danish People’s Party MEP: “Expel Islam from Europe.”

“Islam cannot be integrated. Islam will dominate Europe. And Islam is incompatible with our values. Therefore Islam will be thrown out of Europe. This little land is ours, we forged it ourselves. And we will govern it ourselves and decide ourselves who will live in it and how they will behave. And we will fight until Denmark is again free,” said Camre, to loud applause.

Last year a similar statement by DPP member Merethe Egeberg Holm caused a commotion, when she said “Out with all Muslims in Europe and in with Jews instead!”

BELGIUM: Another school bans headscarf.

The Brussels school Institut des Ursulines will ban the headscarf starting next year, according to Le Soir. The principal of the school says that his school is one of the few in Brussels that still allows the headscarf and therefore attracted more and more students.

Several petitions have already been started against the management decision, which was made without consultation with the students, teachers and educational staff.

According to the principal of the school, whose students body is 85% students of North African origin, the school attracted more and more students because they allowed the headscarf. Many students have already announced they will leave the school as a result of the decision.

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ITALY:  Muslims irked by Italian senator’s “pig” comments.

A far-right Italian senator outraged Muslims on Thursday by calling for a “Pig Day” protest against the planned construction of a mosque in northern Italy.

Roberto Calderoli of the anti-immigrant Northern League party said he was ready to bring his own pig to “defile” the site where the mosque is due to be built in the northern city of Bologna. “I am making myself and my pig available for a walk at the site where they want to build the mosque,” Calderoli, who is a deputy speaker of Italy’s Senate, said in a statement.

Calderoli also said he would eat “a nice plateful of pork chops to show my lack of sympathy for those who consider pork forbidden meat.”

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FRANCE: French minister denies citizenship to a Muslim woman who wears a burqa.

A Muslim member of the French government has backed a court’s decision to deny citizenship to a Moroccan woman who wears the burqa. Urban Affairs Minister Fadela Amara said she hoped last month’s ruling would “dissuade certain fanatics from imposing the burqa on their wives”.

She told the newspaper, Le Parisien, the head-to-toe garment was a “prison”. The Moroccan woman, Faiza M, was told that her practice of “radical” Islam was not compatible with French values. Social services reports said the burqa-wearing Faiza M lived in “total submission to her male relatives” 7509339.stm

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