Thursday, 18 April 2019 15:26

Austrian Minister dog-whistles Islamophobia at OSCE conference

The EUJS has reacted to an Islamophobic statement by the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karin Kneissl. At the opening conference of the Slovakian Chairmanship of the OSCE in February, which focused on the topic of antisemitism, Karin Kneissl, foreign minister in Austria's right wing, nationalist coalition government, stated that if we speak of antisemitism we should look to Muslims and immigrants.

The EUJS has reacted to an Islamophobic statement by the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karin Kneissl.

At the opening conference of the Slovakian Chairmanship of the OSCE in February, which focused on the topic of antisemitism, Karin Kneissl, foreign minister in Austria's right wing, nationalist coalition government, stated that if we speak of antisemitism we should look to Muslims and immigrants.

Ms Kneissl shared a personal story with the attendees and later summarised it in a tweet "[...]I personally cared for a refugee family and stopped doing so when I realized that they held strongly anti-semitic views.”

The implicit conclusion that she drew from her experience was that Muslims refugees are inherently antisemitic and that cannot be integrated.

As the Minister was delivering her speech, EUJS tweeted: "While we speak of coalition-building, FPÖ-backed @Karin_Kneissl, you are saying #Muslim children can't be integrated.”

The Minister's spokesperson issued a statement against the tweet by EUJS and Ms Kneissl replied on Twitter.

Following the tweet, the EUJS also published a statement on their website. “The language of the far-right populist politician is masterful. With tactful rhetoric, avoiding overt racism, and treading carefully the line between acceptable and unacceptable, the populist is well-versed in those dog-whistle catch-phrases that will immediately translate in the public's consciousness without forcing them to expose their racism literally. And with that, they are right. The dog-whistle does translate, and we're on to you.”

The EUJS also highlighted the fact that a Minister of a far-right government coalition delivered remarks at a conference on the topic of antisemitism.

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