300 imams representing the mainstream Islamic Religious Authority of Austria unveiled a text that “condemns terrorist and extremist acts of violence all over the world,” and “holds that the atrocities of the Islamic State terrorists are contrary to Islam and must be condemned most severely.” 180 imams, or local religious leaders, gathered in Vienna for a signing ceremony, and an additional 120 endorsed the declaration through email.
The document placed particular attention on reaffirming Austria’s secular values.
“We emphasize the adherence to constitutional principles in the Republic of Austria, including the equality of all citizens before the law, pluralism, democracy and the rule of law,” the declaration says, which insists that “freedom is an indispensable asset for people and that the task of every society is to work for freedom at any time and place.”
According to government statistics, about 22 percent of the country’s 8.7 million population are “of a migrant background.” The exact number of Muslims is harder to calculate – with estimates varying between 5 and 10 percent – though all sources agree that demographic profiles and birthrates mean that they are overrepresented among the young.
“Every Muslim man and Muslim woman is to play an active part in the security and peace of the country and its citizens,” the imams say. They also “call upon Muslims to participate actively…Read More