Austria’s Kurz vows to tackle ‘political Islam’ after Turkish teens storm Vienna church
Austria’s right-wing leader Sebastian Kurz on Friday vowed to fight “political Islam” after dozens of Turkish youths stormed a Vienna church, kicking the furniture but dispersing after police arrived on the scene.
A group of 30 to 50 youths gathered at St. Anton church in Vienna's Favoriten district earlier this week, after organising on social media, AP reported, citing local reports.
The incident arrives at a time ofheightened tensions in France following a move by the country’s president to defend the right to display cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which has sparked international protests. Emmanuel Macron has for years been calling for an “Islam of France,” and plans to integrate Muslims into French society.
“All Christians must be able to exercise their belief in Austria freely and safely!” Kurz said on Twitter. “We will continue the fight against political Islam with determination and will show no false tolerance.”
Alle Christen müssen in #Österreich frei und in Sicherheit ihren Glauben ausüben können! Wir werden den Kampf gegen den politischen Islam entschieden weiterführen und hier keine falsche Toleranz zeigen.— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) October 30, 2020
Danke an alle Polizisten für ihren Einsatz! https://t.co/1Psz3C82vn
In a separate incident on Saturday morning, an Afghan man walked into Vienna's cathedral, the Stephansdom, shouting unspecified “Islamic slogans,” AP reported, citing police sources. The man left a “confused impression,” and a medical examination was underway at the time.
Kurz heads the right-wing conservativeAustrian Peoples Party (ÖVP), which openly entertains nationalist and xenophobic sentiments.