Austria Islamophobia: Fear grows as anti-Muslim hate crimes spiral
Austria is famous for its stunning architecture and artistic legacy, boasting to be the home of great German composers, including Mozart and Beethoven.
Sadly, however, Austria has built up another reputation in recent years: that of growing intolerance towards its Muslim minority.
According to data released in June 2022, over 1000 Islamophobic incidents were reported the previous year; a shocking increase, which has grown year upon year.
Research into anti-Muslim hate crimes in Austria have found that the overwhelming majority of the attacks, which take place are men targeting women: with a staggering 69% of victims being female, many of whom wear the hijab. However, it's not only street level crimes being carried out, which target Muslims.
The sharp spike of 2021 was allegedly assisted by controversial state implemented "Islam Map," introduced by authorities to highlight the location of all mosques across Austria. Critics believe it aided in the spread of hate crimes.
In November 2020, Austrian authorities launched Operation Luxor, which saw homes and offices of Muslim charities and activists raided as part of a so-called war on "political Islam."
But critics claim its only achievement is dehumanizing Muslims and fueling growing public fear towards Islam. An increase in fear almost certainly leads to more hate.