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The elections in Austria have shown a sharp move to the right. They are a further warning of the danger of the far right exploiting the bitterness in society. The leading position, the chancellor, is set to be taken by Sebastian Kurz, of the right wing Conservative People’s Party (OVP). Preliminary results show the OVP with around 31.5 percent of the vote. Two parties are close for second place. One is the fascist Freedom Party (FPO)—whose founders included former Nazis, and whose first...

At a Vienna metro station, two women aged 41 and 26 harassed a young Muslim girl on the grounds that she had violated the burqa ban law, effective October 1, Austrian media reported Friday. Police were called to the scene as confrontation became physical.

Police spokesman Daniel Fürst said in a statement to the press that the covered woman did not resist the police and uncovered her face for identification. The police kept record of the woman, however, as her refusal to comply with...

Austria’s new ban on the burqa claimed an unusual victim — a man dressed in a shark costume. Since October 1, it has been illegal to wear the full-face veil in public, and breaking the law is punishable with a €150 fine. The law extends to other face coverings, including costumes and even people on motorbikes who protect themselves against the wind with a scarf, according to Die Welt.

A man hired to carry out promotional work by electronics store McShark was stopped by police on...

Austria's prohibition on full-face coverings - commonly called the "burqa ban" - went into effect Sunday. The government says the new law helps uphold Austrian values and promotes integration, despite the fact that such veils are rarely seen in public. Women are now banned from hiding their face in public - this includes wearing the burqa, which veils the entire face, and the niqab, which reveals only the eyes. Those who are stopped by police and refuse to take off their veils face a penalty...

The far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) played on fears of a growing Muslim population in Austria on Saturday as it launched a parliamentary election campaign aimed at becoming part of the next government. FPOe leader Heinz-Christian Strache said a vote for the FPOe was the only way to reverse the open-door migration policies of the current coalition of the Democratic Party (SPOe) and the centre-right People's Party (OeVP). "They would lead us further into the abyss in the next five years," he...

Female Muslim students in Austria make up over 73 percent of the total number of people subjected to discrimination at schools, a report by an Austria-based association said Monday, as Muslims express concern over growing Islamophobia throughout the country. According to the report by the Initiative for Discrimination-Free Education (IDB), Muslim female students faced the most discrimination at schools in the past year, Anadolu Agency reported. Entitled "Discrimination Report in the Austrian...

A study commissioned by an Austrian government minister critical of Vienna's Muslim-run kindergartens has ignited a political fight between the minister's party and rivals seizing on allegations that his staff rewrote parts of the study to make it more negative. The study's author, a professor at the University of Vienna, says he would never allow his work to be changed, while Foreign and Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz has indirectly denied the allegations. But the alleged tampering...

The Austrian cabinet has approved a law that will condemn refugees who make false statements in their applications to six months in prison and a fine of 5,000 euros ($5,373). Children whose applications have false information will be sentenced to three months in prison. The law was prepared by the interior ministry and passed with the support of the coalition parties in government and the opposition Team Stronach Party.

An explanation of the law's purpose specified that it is designed...

Austria’s Foreign Minister expressed his opposition to Islamic kindergartens in the country, claiming these schools limit the integration of the immigrants. Speaking at a panel discussion organized by Vienna-based German language newspaper Kurier, Sebastian Kurz argued that these schools raise individuals isolated from the society. When asked if these schools should be closed down, Kurz said that the schools were getting aid from the state. If the criteria are made difficult to get the...

Austrian members of parliament have approved a new bill that bans garments that fully cover the face of women - the latest restriction for the country's Muslim population. The provision, adopted on Tuesday night, was backed by both ruling parties and means that people wearing full-face veils in public will be subject to 150-euro ($166) fines starting in October.

The measure was first announced by Austria's coalition government in January as part of wider proposals aimed at countering...

A primary school in western Austria's Vorarlberg state has distributed anti-Erdoğan magazines to its students before the upcoming April 16 referendum in Turkey.

The magazine called "Break Newspaper" was handed out with a special permit to third and fourth grade students as part of a pilot project of a private publication organization.

The project, which aims to promote reading habits among children, mainly focused on the upcoming elections in Europe.

However,...

Islamophobic attacks in Austria increased 62 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, a report has suggested.

The research from the Documentation and Consultancy Center for Muslims said the number of attacks against Muslims reached 253 in 2016, compared to 156 in 2015.

A large majority of incidents involved Muslim women, researchers said, with well over half taking place on public transport or other public spaces.

According to the report, 31 percent of attacks were...

Members of a far-right group hung a banner reading "Erdoğan, pull your Turks back" over the roof of Turkish embassy in Vienna on Wednesday.

According to information gathered from diplomatic sources, two suspects jumped over the roof from a neighbouring building.

After realizing that they were detected, the two suspects immediately fled the scene.

Sources also stated that Turkish embassy is in close touch with Austrian officials for capturing the two suspects.

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Ahead of an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern called for increased pressure on countries in the 28-member bloc that continue to fail to take in refugees. "In future, the money from the EU budget must be distributed more equally among the member countries," Kern told German daily "Die Welt."

"If countries continue to duck away from resolving the issue of migration, or tax dumping at the expense of their neighbors, they will no longer be able to...

Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern on Sunday called for a European Union-wide ban on campaign appearances by Turkish politicians to avoid having individual member countries like Germany come under pressure from Ankara. Turkey said on Saturday it would defy opposition from authorities in Germany and the Netherlands and continue holding rallies in both countries to urge Turks living there to back an April 16 referendum. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized German and Dutch...