On 15/05/2019 CE, a law to ban the wearing of Khimar (headscarf) in Austrian primary schools passed the National Council’s hurdle. The request for change to Article 495 (a) of the Schools Act was approved and presented as an ordinary legislation to the Education Committee of the Federal Council of States, based on the votes of the Austrian People’s Party and the Austrian Freedom Party and of MP Peter Pilz and MP Daniela Holzinger-Vogtenhuber. The original plan, which was to raise the bill to the rank of a constitutional law, was rejected by the opposition, which demanded a “package of comprehensive integration measures”. The coalition government launched this legislative initiative in the fall of 2018, when the prime minister said: “The veiling of small children is definitely not something for which there should be space in our country.” And as expected, Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz received strong support from the former Vice-Chancellor and former leader of the Austrian Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache.
The law stipulates that: (To ensure the best possible progress and development for all pupils’ personalities, they are prohibited from wearing ideologically or religiously influenced clothing which is associated with the covering of the head, until they finish the school year in which they complete the age of ten. This would serve the social integration of children according to local customs and traditions, preserve the fundamental values guaranteed by the Constitution and achieve the goals of education and equality between men and women provided for in the Constitution.) This drafting unequivocally demonstrates that the “Republic of the Alps” (Austria) has decided to intervene directly in the socialization of Muslim children and young people, in order to impose their forced integration and assimilation into the Austrian civilization. This law will create a societal atmosphere that bans every different form of life and imposes a mono-civilization through coercive measures. Those who drafted this law did not bother to maintain the liberal facade of the alleged state of law. The law criminalizes differentiation due to different beliefs or heterogeneity of religions and compels everyone to embrace its view point about life and man.
What Austria is doing is a vivid example of the inability of Western countries to design a model for a society capable of accommodating human groups embracing different faiths and approaches to life, living together without conflict and in a sustainable manner. Despite the claim to protect the freedoms of individuals and even to take it as a pretext to legitimize the existing regime, the European mentality cannot expand to tolerate perceptions emanating from other doctrines or principles, but rather continues to see them as a threat to their existence. And believes that beliefs and views should be suppressed and even eliminated if necessary, to protect the cultural foundations of Western countries. Although no general legal legislation can be derived from the historical cultural obligations of the Constitution (as stated by the constitutional jurist Christoph Mueller), the de facto law is moving Europe to a historical cultural turning point, and this pivotal turning point will determine the general constitutional status of the future State. The policy of integration which is practically followed by its actions aimed at genocide and the use of aggressive terms such as the term “pioneering culture” is a policy that drains the liberal state of law from within it and serves to conceptualize that the state must be monolithic culture.
The consequences of this transformation in the way of thinking will not only be suffered by Muslims, but each and every individual and a human group with values and perceptions of life will suffer from it. The law prohibiting the wearing of Khimar in Austrian primary schools is the best testament to this. The final statement interpreting this law, which provided for the exclusion of the Jewish kippa and patka head covering worn by Sikh from the ban, besides the anti-Islamic racist character in this law, raises another important issue: that the legislative drafting of the law justifies action against any human group with a civilization appearance that contrary to that of the majority society. Therefore, the dangerous explosive energy of this integration policy in its hostility towards Islam is its internal logic, which allows the inclusion of any religion or group of principle under this hostility if political atmosphere calls for it. The growing polarization of society, the apparent degeneration of political controversies, the rise of populist right-wing movements, and the marked erosion of European institutions are all clear indications that this historic shift is on the doors, giving a first impression of the seriousness of what matters might be in this continent.
Accordingly, Hizb ut Tahrir in the German-speaking countries calls for an end to this destructive policy of integration and demands that politicians and intellectuals to open up to a dialogue aimed at reaching an understanding that achieves stability. It focuses on the interests of all participants and on the basic elements of peaceful coexistence. Apart from any historical cultural constitutional basis and from the abstract liberal idealism we must determine the required settlement, develop an acceptable model that respects the different viewpoints and end the current polarization process. If these efforts fail, a quick look at European history will be enough to realize the darkness that Europe will face and which in reality threatens both the small and the majority communities.
Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in the German-Speaking Countries
Tuesday, 16th Ramadan 1440 AH
Ref. 1440 AH / 07