Austrian chancellor predicts end to ‘wrongly understood tolerance’ for political Islam in Europe
VIENNA, Austria, November 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Chancellor of Austria believes that Europe will roll up its sleeves and begin to fight political Islam.
"I expect an end to the misunderstood tolerance and finally an awareness, in all European countries, of how dangerous the ideology of political Islam is for our freedom and for the European way of life,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, 33, told German newspaper Die Welt.
“The European Union must fight against Islamist terrorism, but especially against its political foundation behind it, namely political Islam, with all determination and unity."
Kurz’s remarks came a few days after a terrorist attack in Vienna that killed four people and wounded 23 others. Last Monday, November 2, 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, who held both Macedonian and Austrian citizenship, perpetuated the outrage. Fejzulai, who had previously been jailed for 22 months when he attempted to join the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, was shot dead. Islamic State claimed that it was behind the shootings.
The Austrian Chancellor said that he had spoken to Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, and “many other heads of government” in the European Union so that they could work together more closely against the problem political Islam poses. Kurz said that it would “definitely” be discussed at future EU summits.
“Now it is important that we continue the fight with determination,” he stated.
Austria has already begun to tackle the problem by creating the “Islam Act” in 2015.
Under this law, Kurz has closed mosques suspected of encouraging extremism and political subversion. According to Breitbart, the Islam Act also bans “foreign funding of religious activities in Austria.” In May 2019, Austria also banned the wearing of headscarves by girls younger than 10.
“But this attack in the heart of our capital shows that we must be vigilant and determined," Kurz told Die Welt.
The Austrian chancellor has also declared that it was “definitely wrong” for the Islamist Kujtim Fejzulai to have been released from prison, saying “If he had not been released, the terrorist attack in this form could not have happened.”
Fejzulai was released in December 2019, receiving early parole because of his youth. Austria’s Minister of the Interior, Karl Nehammer, has stated that Fejzulai had fooled prison authorities into believing that he had been de-radicalized. However, according to the BBC, the “Derad” association in charge of the deradicalization program has denied that they ever assessed him as “de-radicalized” and that he had been “subject to strict parole conditions.”
Meanwhile, Kurz has stated that the one person to blame for the “barbaric, cowardly, Islamist terrorist attack” is the dead terrorist himself.
“The guilt lies only with the assassin,” the Chancellor said.