The leader of the anti-mass migration Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) Heinz-Christian Strache has vowed to ban Islamism in Austria as he sets his sights on the chancellor position.
Mr. Strache has said he wants to ban political Islam in Austria at the New Year’s celebration of the Freedom Party in a keynote speech in Salzburg. Strache said that Austria needs to pass a law along the same vein as the anti-Nazi laws to ban what he called “fascistic Islam” including Muslim symbols, saying that Islam could threaten European civilisation, Kurierreports.
The FPÖ chief told the packed meeting of party officials that Islamism is “antagonistic to women, antiliberal and corresponds to a fascist worldview”. He added any migrants who don’t respect the freedoms and values of Austria “may go back to their Islamic country, we have forced no one to come here”.
“Let us put an end to this policy of Islamisation… otherwise we Austrians, we Europeans will come to an abrupt end,” Strache said.
He also slammed Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and other members of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) who have requested a lowering of the migrant ceiling to 17,000 asylum seekers per year. “We do not need an upper limit, nor a halving of the upper limit – we need a zero-migration, in fact, a minus-migration, because of all the illegals and criminals who are in the country,” Strache said.
On the subject of the European Union (EU), Strache said the political bloc needed serious reform and reaffirmed his commitment to national sovereignty for European nations. “The national state is not dead, it is a cultural achievement ‘A model of success’,” he said.
Media in Austria and elsewhere have spread rumours there may be an upcoming battle for leadership of the FPÖ between Strache and former presidential candidate Norbert Hofer, but Strache put the rumours to bed.
Claiming he and Hofer were so close that “a single sheet of newspaper” couldn’t fit between them, he said both he and Hofer were on the same page looking toward the next Austrian federal election that could take place this year or next year.
Hofer also spoke at the conference and took the opportunity to slam Austrian media saying, “The more you attack us, the stronger we become”. Hofer also supported the idea of a ban on Islamism saying, “this is something that we will implement when we are in power”.
The FPÖ plan echoes statements made last year by the Dutch politician, and European Parliament ally of the Freedom Party, Geert Wilders who said he would close down mosques and ban the distribution of the Quran in the Netherlands. Wilders’s party, the Party for Freedom (PVV), is set to win the most seats in this year’s national elections according to recent polling.