Midway through the election campaign Austria is discussing a study about the values and religiousness of Austrian Muslims. Although the study carried out by the Donau-Universität Krems is not representative, the conservative candidate Sebastian Kurz is using it to justify his demands for a "massive reduction" in migration. Is there more to this than campaign posturing?
It's hardly a coincidence that the study was made public now, writes Die Presse:
“But to use the results of the study, in which even the author sounds a note of caution on several occasions, to justify a 'massive reduction' in migration, as the Minister for Integration and the head of the ÖVP Sebastian Kurz is doing, is reckless. Studies are used as ammunition at election time to stir up emotions. And behind them are always organisations that are under the control of Kurz's ministry. The study's author Filzmaier can repeat as often as he likes that the presentation has nothing to do with the election. But it has certainly come at a very convenient time for the ÖVP boss.”
Muslims isolate themselves
The criticism that the results of the study are not representative is irrelevant in the eyes of Kurier:
“It really isn't all that important whether half of all Muslim men do not shake women's hands or just 40 percent, if a quarter of Muslim refugees want to introduce religious rules in Austria or a few less than that. What is clear is that we have a problem. Some of the immigrants, but also the many Muslims who have lived here for a long time, struggle with living in a liberal, secular society. The consequences are dissatisfaction and isolation. It is children who are disadvantaged most by this because they are never given the chance to become part of our society. ”