Isamophobia and Anti-Semitism in present-day Austria
Center for Jewish Studies University of Graz Graz, Austria
In November 2005 the German weekly Die Zeit published a lengthy article on Vienna, depicting it as a modern city where quality of life is extraordinary high. The most conspicuous aspect of Austria´s capital, however, that clearly distinguishes it from other major European cities, seems to be the exemplary way it tackles the issue of integrating its Muslim population. At a time when French banlieues were feared for their Muslim youth gangs, Vienna could boast of being a safe capital, lacking neighbourhoods in which Muslims are penned up, segregated from the non-Muslim population, and doomed to lead a socially marginal life.
In the meantime, conditions have changed. The paper traces the development from sporadic anti-Muslim statements to full-fledged Islamophobia in the sense of an hostile attitude towards Islam and Muslims that influences public discourses and affects political decision-making processes. It also points out that anti-Semitism has come along with anti-Muslim hostility, thus finding a new - and seemingly widely accepted - way to be articulated again in public.