1.What is the legal opposition of this campaign which
the Austrian authorities rely on? What is the role of the Parliament, or the
For the time being, there is no indictment but only
judicial investigations. The orders of sequestrations and freezing of bank
accounts have, however, been justified by something that might be close to the
prosecutor’s indictment. The disproportion between the mediation-concerned
parties, the military-style raid, the massive and long preparations have shown
that there has been not a single person arrested on the other side, as it shows
very clearly how weak the judicial composition is.
Regarding the prosecution, we can say that it is a
very aggressive and political attack on basic political rights which had been guaranteed
by our constitution as well as the relationship of forces within society. The
prosecutor tries to accuse Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood Movement as a
terrorist organisations, then attempts to connect them with a range of humanitarian
associations and individuals. Eventually, no evidence for any money laundering
has been detected. It is very phoney and under earlier circumstances would have
led most probably to acquittals. But given the vicious anti-Muslim campaign of
the government the outcome is not clear.
Formally, the judicial case does not concern the
parliament. But at the same time the government is trying to radicalise what
they call anti-terrorist laws which is being designed on the patterns of 9/11 events.
The Christian-conservative chancellor of the leading OeVP wanted to impose a
law banning what they call "Political Islam” but is unable and unwilling to
define. The way they campaign is de facto targeting Muslims as such. The Green
coalition partner did not object the content of the law but removed only explicitly
singling out Muslims. So it is now called law against religious extremism and
will most probably passed next month.
The opposition parties do not much oppose the
legislative project either.
We, as part of the extra parliamentary opposition and
Palestine Solidarity movement, however, are planning to stage a street protest.
2.What are the expected impacts of this campaign inside
the Austrian territories?
It is part of a general identity campaign which has
been going on for more than two decades trying to construct Muslims as enemies.
This will go on especially under chancellor Kurz who has been operating this
campaign to take over votes from the far right.
But there is some specific and very dangerous reasons to
be understood. The political space to defend the Palestinian resistance against
the Israeli occupation is being more and more suffocated. We are on the edge of
And: all this is a political gift to the Egyptian
dictator Abdul Fatah Al Sisi. Kurz does so to please his close US and Israeli
3.Do you believe that Austrian authorities will hold
back or they will continue?
I do not believe that they can continue on this
specific court case as the composition is extremely weak and they might face
even judicial defeat. Actually the mediation impact has been already earned and
that might be enough for them.
Furthermore some of the persons accused are very close
to the authorities and have been their supporters for decades. By going against
their friends the government risks to destroy their network to control the
Muslim community in Austria.
4.Do you believe that states of the EU will do the same
thing or the European Court of Human Rights will prevent that?
Regarding the identity campaign against Muslims, I
fear that there is something quite similar going on across Europe relatively
With regard to the judicial procedures and the
legislative radicalisation, I believe that it is specific to Austria and this
government. Only France is even more aggressive.
The court procedure could last for years so the
possibility to concern the European Court for Human Rights lays in the distant
5.Do you consider that the development of Austrian extreme
right wing will destroy civil and democratic life?
No, not the extreme right wing is doing so. It is the
neo-liberal centre. The right would have encountered massive troubles in doing
so. The Greens to join the ruling coalition and to even control the ministry of
justice the resistance to the liberticidal jurisdiction and legislation will be
minor. Many voted Green to avoid such a scenario. Eventually they have been
instrumental to let it pass.
6.I would like to listen to your
The anti-Muslim identity campaign is ravaging Western
societies. It is a highly dangerous instrument in the hands of the neo-liberal
elites to split the lower classes and operate the rollback of social and
We have been used to that for decades as being the opposites
of the extreme right wing. But what makes it so acutely dangerous it that the
campaign is being led from the heads of government offices with the support of
forces which call themselves leftists.
We will stand for the defence of Muslims as integral
parts of our societies as democratic and communist forces did in the 30’s with
But this is not enough. We need to understand that the
anti-Muslim campaign at large and the specific judicial operation now is
directed against Palestine and in favour of the Israel power dispositive. Our
government is moving more and more towards full support not only for Israeli
interests but also their colonial narrative describing Western aggression as
self-defence and popular resistance against imperialism as barbaric (and Anti-Semitic).
So we call upon our Muslim friends here in Austria not
to back down but to join hands in defending the just resistance of the
Palestinian people against Israeli occupation.