Islam in Austria
|Islam by country|
Islam is a minority religion in Austria with 4.22% of the population in the 2001 census. In 2010, it is estimated to be around 400,000 to 500,000 Muslims in Austria, or up to about 6% of the total population. Most Muslims came to Austria during the 1960s as migrant workers from Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are also communities of Arab and Pakistani origin.
The westernmost Bundesland Vorarlberg with its industrial small towns and villages has the highest share of Muslims in the country with 8.36% (it resembles the neighboring north-eastern parts of Switzerland in this respect). It is followed by the capital Vienna with 7.82%. The central Bundesländer Salzburg, Upper Austria, Tyrol and Lower Austria follow with the share of Muslim population at around the average. South-eastern states of Styria, Carinthia as well as Burgenland in the east have fewer Muslims whose numbers are below the national average.
Austria is unique among Western European countries insofar as it has granted Muslims the status of a recognized religious community. This dates back to the times following the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878. Austria has regulated the religious freedoms of the Muslim community with the so-called "Anerkennungsgesetz" ("Act of Recognition"). This law was reactivated in 1979 when the Community of Muslim believers in Austria (Islamische Glaubensgemeinschaft in Österreich) was founded. This organization is entitled to give lessons of religious education in state schools. It is also allowed to collect "church tax" but so far it has not exercised this privilege and does not build, finance or administer mosques in Austria. In 2013 Austria has granted the status of a recognized religious community to Alevism.
Parallel structures exist within the Islamic religious group. The religious life takes place in mosques belonging to organisations that represent one of the currents of Turkish, Bosnian and Arab Muslims. Among the Turkish organisations the "Federation of Turkish-Islamic Associations" is controlled by the Directorate for Religious Affairs, whereas the other groups, such as the Süleymancıs and Milli Görüş, may be considered as branches of the pan-European organisation centered in Germany.
Muslims in Austria according to their ethnic groups
- "Anerkennung der Anhänger der Islamischen Alevitischen Glaubensgemeinschaft als Religionsgesellschaft" (in German). Legal Information System of the Republic of Austria. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
- Refworld | Continuing Human Rights Abuses Force Chechens to Flee to Europe
- Abid, Lise Jamila (August 2006). "Muslims in Austria: Integration through Participation in Austrian Society". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 26 (2): 263–278. doi:10.1080/13602000600937770.
- Kroissenbrunner, Sabine (July 2003). "Islam and Muslim Immigrants in Austria: Socio-Political Networks and Muslim Leadership of Turkish Immigrants". Immigrants and Minorities 22 (2-3): 188–207. doi:10.1080/0261928042000244826.
- Study for Bundesministerium des Innern: Perspektiven und Herausforderungen in der Integration muslimischer MitbürgerInnen in Österreich, Mathias Rohe, Universität Erlangen. May 2006 (summary by MilitantIslamMonitor.Org: Radical Islam in Europe: Austrian government study concludes 45 % of Muslims unwilling to integrate)
- Anna Strobel: Unique Legal Status - Muslims in Austria From: Herder Korrespondenz, 2006/4, P. 200-2004
- Census 2001: Population 2001 according to religious affiliation, languages, origin and nationality (PDF)(German), Statistik Austria.