Islam teachers survey in Austria

1 in 5 Muslim teachers ´fanatical´

Muslim teachers in Austria have largely anti-democratic beliefs and one in five are "fanatical".

These are the findings of a new study by Professor Mouhanad Khorchide from the Islamic Religion and Pedagogical Institute at Vienna University.

Khorchide, himself a Muslim, said yesterday that 22.6 per cent of the 210 Muslim teachers he had surveyed had "fanatical attitudes" and that 21.9 per cent rejected democracy as incompatible with Islam.

The older the teacher, Khorchide said, the more likely he was to reject the principle of the rule of law.

According to Vienna weekly "Falter", the study shows 8.5 per cent of the Muslim teachers said it was understandable for violence to be used to spread Islam, 28.4 per cent said there was a contradiction in being both a Muslim and a European, and 44 per cent said they had to make their students understand they were better than non-Muslims.

In addition, 29 per cent said it was impossible for Muslims to integrate in Austria without losing their Muslim identity, and 55 per cent called Austrians xenophobic.

On the other hand, 85.7 per cent said they did not believe Muslims had to keep to themselves in order to avoid losing their Muslim identity.

Anas Schakfeh, the president of the Islamic Denomination in Austria, called study results "out of order." He added: "I have nothing to do with it as long as it is a matter of private opinions."

Khorchide’s study is entitled "Islamic religious instruction between integration and a parallel society."

Source: Austrian Times