Austria: Civil Law vs. Sharia Law

The Austrian government has unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the country’s century-old “Islam Law” that governs the legal status of Austria’s Muslim community.

The proposed revisions—which are aimed at cracking down on Islamic extremism in Austria—would regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran, among other changes.

The government says the modifications would give Muslims legal parity with other religious groups in Austria. But the leaders of Austria’s Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to “institutionalized Islamophobia.” Continue reading

Friend and Foe

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – New reports are confirming the close cooperation of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) with the National Security Agency (NSA). According to these reports, BND agents have repeatedly visited the NSA headquarters at Fort Meade to discuss technical issues. The NSA has also furnished the BND instruments for analyzing intercepted data. A former head of the Austrian intelligence service has confirmed that it was a “common understanding among all European intelligence services” to be “aware” of the NSA Prism surveillance program. Already years ago, officials of the US military have been quoted saying that the US military espionage center that is being established in the Hessian capital Wiesbaden – and that will reportedly also be used by the NSA – is destined to gather information “on the current situation of friend and foe, and everything that can influence our mission.” The German government has also admitted that the Western block’s cooperation of the intelligence services – which includes abduction and torture of suspects in the so-called war on terror – dates back to secret agreements between the leading NATO powers during the post-WW II decades. Continue reading