Ismail Olgun, the head of Austria’s official body that represents country’s Muslims, said about the semi-racist Vienna government’s planned bill to ban headscarf in kindergartens would pave the way for outlawing Jewish kippah or Hindu turban in the future so the communities of all faiths should stand up against the planned government bill.
“The government prepares to take an action about our religion, makes an attempt to regulate our lives but it does not consult us or even the opposing parties,” said Olgun, the head of Austrian Islamic Community which officially represents the whole Muslim population in the country. Olgun points out that the number of girls at kindergarten-age wearing headscarf is near zero so there is no need for such law. “However it might lead to headscarf ban of adults or similar ban in public buildings,” warned the Turkish-educated young man.
Olgun received his university education in prestigious Ankara University Theology Faculty in Turkey and returned to his home city Vienna to serve the Muslim population of Austria. “Things have been more difficult for us since far-right FPO became the coalition partner of the government says Olgun. The Austrian FPO is known for its anti-refuge and Islamophobic stand.
The government has been working on a draft bill to ban headscarf in kindergartens since April which drew harsh reaction of Muslim communities of Austria. The young chancellor, Sebastian Kurtz, labels headscarf-wearing Muslim women as “parallel society” according to Reuters.
If any such plan became law it would apply to girls of up to around the age of 10 years.
Many Muslims believe their religion requires girls to wear a headscarf from puberty. Headscarves are rarely worn before then.
Ismail Olgun believes racist policies of the government would turn on other beliefs in the future as it has in the past so members of all faiths should react to this draft.