Government website pinpoints more than 620 mosques and Islamic associations, with location, address, and names of officials, drawing criticism from Council of Europe which has called the map "extremely discriminatory."
Calls are growing for Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to withdraw the controversial "Islam map" that pinpoints more than 620 mosques and Islamic associations across the country, with Council of Europe calling it "extremely discriminatory."
Publication of the map is hostile to Muslims and potentially counterproductive, the top European human rights body said in a statement on Monday.
Countering extremism and ideologies that spread dangerous narratives under the guise of freedom of religion is an important national security task but the map serves "existing resentments" and many Muslims feel it as "extremely discriminatory," the statement noted.
"They feel stigmatised and threatened in their security by the publication of addresses and other details."
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Map pinpoints more than 620 mosques
Last week, Austria's Integration Ministry launched a website providing details of the country's 620 mosques and Islamic associations, with the location, address and names of officials.
Minister Susanne Raab defended the publication, saying the objective was to fight the political ideologies and not religion.
But local Muslim organisations have accused the government of stigmatising the country's roughly 800,000 Muslim population as a potential danger to the society and threatened to file a lawsuit against Chancellor Kurz.
Kurz has vowed to criminalise "political Islam" through a legislation. The controversial anti-terror law has however dropped the term "political Islam" with "religiously motivated extremism."
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Lawsuit against government
Meanwhile, a prominent Muslim group in Austria plans to sue the government.
"The publication of all names, functions, and addresses of Muslim institutions and institutions that have been read as Muslim represents an unprecedented crossing of boundaries," said Muslim Youth of Austria.
Meanwhile, Islamic Religious Community in Austria, which represents the interests of Muslims in Austria, warned against stigmatising all Muslims living in Austria "as a potential danger to society and the democratic legal order in the country."
This campaign is stoking racism and "exposes Muslim citizens to a massive security risk," it added.
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