Austrian Populist Interior Minister: Criminalise Sharia Law Advocacy

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Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) Interior Minister Herbert Kickl has floated the idea of charging radical Islamic adherents if they advocate for Sharia law over the constitutional law of Austria.

The populist Interior Minister laid out the proposal as part of a programme to fight against the spread of radical Islamic extremism in Austria, Kronen Zeitung reports.

“Those who want to pass the Sharia law over the Austrian laws and want to bring upon us a theocracy in place of our democracy belong in court!” Kickl, who has been long known for his fierce firebrand rhetoric, said.

The move also follows campaign promises made by FPÖ leader and current Vice-Chancellor Heinz Christian Strache who vowed to ban Islamism in January of last year arguing it was, “antagonistic to women, antiliberal and corresponds to a fascist worldview.”

“Let us put an end to this policy of Islamisation… otherwise we Austrians, we Europeans will come to an abrupt end,” he said.

While Austrian law already has provisions for those who are seen to be subverting the constitution and democratic order of the country, the government has argued the laws do not go far enough to tackle the spread of radical Islamic extremism.

The proposal comes after an administrative court overturned a government order to shut down several mosques linked to radical Islamic teachings and a scandal involving children dressed up as soldiers in prayer rooms linked to the Turkish cultural association ATIB.

The new policy would just be the latest to combat Islamisation and improve integration by Austria including the ban of the full-face Islamic veil last year which was backed by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who served as Foreign Minister in the previous government.

Mr Kickl has also been a firm proponent of reforming the asylum system and increasing the number of deportations of failed asylum seekers.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)





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