Austria is concentrating on harmless Muslims for nefarious functions – Center East Monitor

Anybody wishing to attempt to perceive the logic and technique of Western governments and their safety companies within the open-ended and intentionally undefined warfare in opposition to their Muslim communities, will discover Operation Luxor: Unraveling the myths behind Austria’s largest-ever peacetime police raids important studying.

The groundbreaking report is authored collectively by CAGE and Vienna-based ACT (Aiding Youngsters Traumatised by Police), two distinguished NGOs campaigning on behalf of communities affected by the warfare on terrorism. It particulars how the Austrian authorities used a terror assault in Vienna carried out by Daesh in November final 12 months as a ploy to clamp down on its Muslim neighborhood. Cops raided the houses of 70 harmless Muslim households — typically terrorising and traumatising their youngsters within the course of — beneath the false pretext of them being a part of a terror-financing ring. Following this, and regardless of the Graz Greater Regional Courtroom declaring that no less than 9 of the raids had been utterly unjustified as there have been zero grounds for suspicion, draconian anti-terror laws was handed, very intentionally, at a time when Austrian society was in shock as a result of assault and whereas its anti-Islamic media was in overdrive.

It’s nicely documented that the passing of this laws was really pre-planned, and that the fear assault served as a handy alternative to introduce it. To make issues worse, so targeted was Inside Minister Karl Nehammer on the raids, that, “Within the ensuing weeks and months [post-attack], the Austrian state exploited the tragedy to legitimise its crackdown on Muslims in Austria. A list of failures on the a part of the federal government in relation to the shootings have since come to mild, and it has emerged that… Nehammer didn’t act on the intelligence offered to him, in an effort to give attention to Operation Luxor.”

Ali, a sufferer of the police raids, associated in his testimony to CAGE and ACT that when he requested a police officer why he had been focused as an alternative of actual criminals and terrorists, the officer replied, “We wish extremism, as a result of we’re going after the moderates, which retains the moderates weak and mute and offers room to the extremists.” It is a solution completely in sync with the actions of Nehammer.

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This appears like an insane coverage launched by the Austrian authorities, however the report lays naked why it has taken this path: the scapegoating of a minority neighborhood is a small value to pay to cowl fraud, corruption and mismanagement, and when there may be an election to be gained, in fact, nothing wins votes like concern and xenophobia. It isn’t tough to conclude that this can be a repeat of Austria’s insurance policies in opposition to one other of its minorities a century in the past.

An vital device for reaching this intention was the Austrian authorities’s use of particular language and terminology. Defining the enemy as “political Islam” made each Muslim honest recreation, and all the pieces from the hijab to the Qur’an and the actions a Muslim makes in prayer had been all scrutinised and brought as indicators of radicalisation and a potential path to terrorism. The report offers particulars of how beliefs and practices which can be common to all Muslims had been chosen for such scrutiny. When the Austrian authorities confronted a backlash within the courts because of its lazy definition of “political Islam”, it revised it into the extra generic “felony offence” of “religiously motivated extremism”, which really served to widen the web and criminalise much more harmless actions and beliefs.

Muslim males maintain banners as an estimated of ten thousand French residents march from Gare du Nord to Place de la Nation in opposition to islamophobia on November 10, 2019 in Paris, France [Pierre Crom/Getty Images]

There may be additionally a international connection: a lot of the anti-terror laws being launched was impressed by the infamous Stop technique that the British authorities has used in recent times, whereas there are additionally reviews of shut coordination with the federal government of Egypt, itself no stranger to brutal crackdowns on residents.

“Operation Luxor is an extension of actions coming from the Arab area to erase any sort of Islamic id,” defined Bilal, one other sufferer of the police raids. “It’s all about concentrating on energetic actors and minds that unfold an accurate Islamic understanding, and to smash them simply in order that later you are able to do something you need to do with Muslims at giant.” Understanding this, the identify that the Austrian authorities gave to the operation appears like a sick joke.

The report additionally describes how politicians have manipulated the media and endeavoured to exert undue affect over the justice system, in addition to detailing the position of government-funded organisations equivalent to Islam Map. This listed names and addresses of Muslim organisations and people and served to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment, serving to to create the situations beneath which the Austrian authorities’s insurance policies could be tolerated and even welcomed by giant sections of society.

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Farid Hafez, one other sufferer of the operation and a distinguished Austrian Muslim tutorial, summed up his views on the report by saying: “For the Austrian public, instigated by important media discourse that had initially reproduced state propaganda after which largely was critically protecting this investigation, the first-year anniversary of the nonetheless ongoing Operation Luxor might be a welcoming alternative to replicate critically upon the state of the rule of regulation, human rights and the position of politics vis-à-vis Muslims, particularly by the present corruption-tossed political circles.”

Anybody fascinated about residing in a harmonious society could be shocked on the findings of this report because it reveals how lots of the Muslims who had been victims of the police raids couldn’t in any method be described as isolationist. These had been upstanding members of society – teachers, docs and different professionals — and really a lot into neighborhood motion and political participation. In a wholesome democracy this must be praised, promoted and guarded, whereas the Austrian authorities labelled it cynically as an try to successfully take over the world.

The report accommodates useful classes and proposals for Muslim organisations, a key one being that there must be no cooperation in or backing for programmes equivalent to Stop or Operation Luxor, or any acceptance that the state ought to outline who is an effective Muslim and who’s “problematic”. As Operation Luxor reveals, all this will result in is larger distress for all the neighborhood.

The views expressed on this article belong to the creator and don’t essentially replicate the editorial coverage of Center East Monitor.

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