Austria: Targeting of Muslims in country's largest-ever police raid analysed in new report

A new report examines how Operation Luxor, the largest ever peacetime police raid undertaken by the Austrian authorities, "was an unlawful and ideologically-driven targeting of Austrian Muslims," that has been followed by government attempts to "[leverage] its Islamophobic policies to position itself as leader in Europe on ‘counter-terror’ measures."


The text below is a press release originally published here by CAGE and ACT-P. The report can be downloaded from the CAGE website.


The Islamophobia underpinning Austria’s largest peacetime police raids is laid bare in a major report by CAGE and Austrian NGO ACT-P

London and Vienna – Today (9th November 2021) marks one year since ‘Operation Luxor’, the largest ever peacetime police raid operation in Austrian history, targeting 70 Muslim homes. In a major report by CAGE and ACT-P (Assisting Children Traumatised by Police), we can reveal how ‘Operation Luxor’ was an unlawful and ideologically-driven targeting of Austrian Muslims by the Austrian Government.

The report “Operation Luxor: Unravelling the myths behind Austria’s largest ever peacetime police raids”, offers an exclusive insight into the impact of Operation Luxor and the political fall-out from this operation. 

Featuring forewords by CAGE’s Research Director Dr Asim Qureshi and Dr Farid Hafez, a prominent Muslim academic and a survivor of the operation, the report reveals:

  • The Austrian state’s unlawful assault on Austrian Muslims through ‘Operation Luxor’.
  • Documents, for the first time, testimonies of those targeted in Operation Luxor, capturing in detail the violations they experienced.
  • Details the dark nexus of Islamophobia providing material assistance to the Austrian state in its targeting of Muslims.
  • Exposes how some academics funded by the state to justify their actions are advocates for the neo-Nazi ‘Great Replacement Theory’, while another was cited as an authority by mass murdering neo-Nazi Anders Breivik.
  • Details how the Austrian Government has attempted to deflect attention from a series of corruption scandals by clamping down on Muslims.

As the Austrian government leverages its Islamophobic policies to position itself as leader in Europe on ‘counter-terror’ measures, our report highlights that this is little more than an attempt to internationalise its blueprint for repression. 

The report demands the appointment of an independent investigative commission to investigate ‘Operation Luxor’, and the scrapping of key institutions established by the government to further its Islamophobic agenda.

The report also calls on civil society to reject Austria’s upcoming counter terrorism legislation, and demand the closure of the Islamophobia ridden ‘Documentation Centre for Political Islam’ as well as its projects, including the ‘Islam Map’.

Azfar Shafi, CAGE Researcher and co-author to the report said:

“Operation Luxor was the opening shot in an ongoing campaign of campaign of repression by the Austrian state against Muslims, in the name of combating ‘Political Islam’.

This report documents the way that mainstream Austrian politics under the ÖVP-led government has legitimised far right ideologues, as well as the very human impact of this campaign – captured in shocking testimonies of those targeted in Operation Luxor.

The mutually reinforcing relationship between ‘official’ and street racism is something all too familiar for those of us in Britain, and it must be robustly resisted in Austria – because it always signals a dangerous political shift to the right”

Nura Al-Izzedin, Austrian researcher and ACT-P (Assisting Children Traumatised by Police) organiser, said:

“While producing our report I conducted interviews with a number of survivors of “Operation Luxor”. The witness testimonies were devastating. A year on after the raids, individuals still find it a difficult and deeply emotional time speaking about their experiences. They have seen the dark side of Austria, and see it as reminiscent of a dictatorship.”

“Operation Luxor will forever be a stain on Austria’s history. The figures which authorised and conducted this unlawful operation of state-sponsored terror against innocent Muslims must be held responsible, as any other citizen would be. This report is the first step in that process of accountability.”

Download the report here

 

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