We demand a fundamental change of course from our federal government
Palestine-Solidarity condemns the attack in Vienna of November 2, 2020 and mourns the victims.
The question of causes and consequences must not be ignored however. The perpetrator came from Austria, is a citizen, grew up and went to school here, etc. This highlights the growing socio-cultural segregation of our country. The government likes to use the term "parallel societies" both as a reproach and an accusation. But such social structures are first and foremost phenomena linked to poverty and a lack of social mobility. If, in affirming our own identity, Muslims are constantly portrayed as “the others”, “the threats”, “the terrorists” it should be no surprise that a counter-identity develops in line with an equally exclusionary pattern.
Europe has not only failed to come to terms with its colonial history vis-à-vis the Arab world. It continues this history with uncritical support of Israeli colonialism – a policy that has now advanced to the status of reason of state or national interest. Resistance to foreign occupation, which is legitimated by international law, is automatically proscribed as "anti-Semitic" - Chancellor Kurz in particular, stands out in this respect.
Moreover, the justification for the raids conducted in recent days is wrongheaded. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are demonized across the board as terrorist organizations and deliberately taken out of the context of the ongoing colonial and imperialist conflict - all in the face of the very concrete and democratically legitimate reasons why Hamas, for example, has strong popular support.
The Palestinian people never ceased resisting Israeli occupation, which is justified under international law. And Hamas is part of this self-defense. The fact is that Palestinians were not only robbed of their land and livelihood in the past and will continue to be in the future, but they are also denied the most important of all political rights, that of self-determination. Why is it said that the occupiers pursue "legitimate security interests" while those who defend themselves against foreign occupation are without any differentiation labeled "terrorists"?
The Muslim Brotherhood largely represents conservative positions. If this movement has gained strength in certain states of the Islamic-Arab region in recent decades, it is largely because poverty and oppression have increased massively under the regimes supported by the West. The Muslim Brotherhood is not involved in terror. In fact, it is the military rule of general Sisi, installed by a pro-Western coup, which is one of the world's bloodiest dictatorships.
It is no coincidence that the pro-Western dictatorships in the Gulf, and especially the ultra-reactionary Saudi regime, led a campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood and orchestrated the coup against their elected government in Egypt. Obviously, for Kurz and Co, this represents the “good” kind of fundamentalism. European governments and media have often accused Hamas of being undemocratic, but when it won a convincing victory in the 2006 elections, the US and the EU preferred to disregard this result of democracy.
We demand a change of course: the government should stop using the vague combat term "political Islam" to make Muslims into enemies in general. Although they disavow such intent, their substantive arguments show that this is in fact their goal:
- The internationally recognized right of self-determination of the Palestinian people enjoys majority support among Arabs and Muslims, but this support is defamed across the board as “imported/Muslim/left-wing anti-Semitism.”
- The ÖVP is historically the party of political Catholicism. In their case, faith and religion legitimated politics as a matter of course. But in the case of Muslims, who mostly see it the same way, the corresponding term “political Islam” is regarded as terrorism, and countered with a new law for its prohibition.
In this battle against (political) Islam, basic political rights are also targeted. The trend towards the surveillance state becomes ever stronger, as illustrated by recent efforts to ban encryption. Twenty years of the "war on terror" have left their mark and achieved the opposite of security.
The government's project to introduce detention for certain beliefs/ideas/attitudes, i.e. "preventive detention" as practiced by Israel, calls into question one of the basic principles of the rule of law, namely habeas corpus that dates from 1679, and according to which no one may be imprisoned without trial.
Muslims are part of Austrian Society!
No support for Israeli colonialism! Return to neutrality as called for in the constitution!
No to preventive detention!
• Antiimperialistische Koordination
• Dar al Janub
• Frauen in Schwarz Wien (Women in Black, Vienna)
• Steirische Friedensplattform (Styrian Platform for Peace)
• Stefan Bartunek, member of SÖZ party
• Leo Gabriel, social anthropologist and member of the Council of the World Social Forum
• Gernot Gauper, Ubuntu2020
• Stefan Grasgruber-Kerl, development policy activist, chairman of SPÖ section
• Boris Lechthaler, Solidarwerkstatt Österreich Executive Committee member
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