Monday, August 27, 2007

Haider: Ban Mosque-Building

Expect plenty of seething to follow.

By the way, why is it always "rightwingers" who are considered "firebrands"?

Arent't there any leftwing firebrands?

Austria's Haider says to ban mosque-building
Austrian right-wing firebrand Joerg Haider said on Monday he plans to change building laws to prevent mosques and minarets being erected in his home province of Carinthia.

Haider, Carinthia's governor, said he would ask its parliament to amend the building code to would require towns and villages to consider "religious and cultural tradition" when dealing with construction requests.

"We don't want a clash of cultures and we don't want institutions which are alien to our culture being erected in Western Europe," Haider said in a statement.
Oooh, those are fighting words. How insensitive of him, wanting to actually preserve his own culture.
"Muslims have of course the right to practice their religion, but I oppose erecting mosques and minarets as centers to advertise the power of Islam," he said.

His spokesman, Stefan Petzner, said that there were no plans to restrict Muslim prayer rooms, as this would violate Muslims' human rights, and the planned change applied only to dedicated mosques and minarets.

Muslims in Europe are meeting increasing resistance to plans for mosques that befit Islam's status as the continent's second religion after Christianity, with petitions in London, protests in Cologne, a court case in Marseille and violence in Berlin.

However, while all those places have significant Muslim minorities, Haider's Carinthia has the second lowest share of Muslim citizens of all Austrian provinces -- 11,000 out of a population of around 400,000, a Muslim spokesman said.

"It's a ridiculous statement to say he fears a clash of civilizations (in Carinthia)," said Omar al-Rawi, a centre-left lawmaker who is spokesman for the Austrian Muslims' Initiative.
I guess if you're "centre-left," you don't qualify for firebrand status.
"We don't know of any mosque plans there. His move is meaningless, populist, racist and anti-Islamic," he added.
You forgot "Islamophobic," Omar.

Whatever the case, Haider isn't exactly the best spokesman to come out with this, considering his history. Especially this part:
Despite his rhetoric against Islam at home, Haider also praises himself for his close ties to Muslim leaders including Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, whom he calls a personal friend.

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