The Austrian state’s attack on Muslims shows no sign of easing

Published on 11 Mar 2024

This article originally appeared in The Middle East Eye on Marc 10, 2024 and was written by Bridge Initiative Senior Researcher Farid Hafez

On 9 November 2020, seven days after a gunman in Vienna had shot dead four people, Austrian police carried out a substantial operation targeting individuals and organisations in its Muslim civil society, including aid organisations such as Rahma Austria and Muslim associations operating mosques, in what has become known as the infamous Operation Luxor.

It was a large-scale police operation involving 940 officers targeting more than 70 individuals and organisations. Two days later, Lorenzo Vidino, director of the programme on extremism at George Washington University, argued in a piece for Foreign Policy that “Austria, not France, is the model for Europe’s crackdown on Islamists”. In the article, Vidino praised the then-Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, for being ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron, who had been similarly draconian in his crackdown on what the French government had coined “Islamist separatism“.


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