Austrian Muslims concerned at new immigration law

Austrian Muslims have expressed concerns at a modified immigration law, fearing Muslims would take the brunt of the new restrictions as they make up the majority of immigrants in the south-central European country.

“Many Muslims still don’t hold Austrian citizenship, which makes them vulnerable to the new bill,” Omar Al-Rawi, the Islamic Religious Authority (IRA)’s official in charge of the integration file, told He said that the amendments, for example, regard humanitarian work and assistance for refugees as illegal and punishable by law.

“The amendments stipulate that illegal and unregistered residents could face deportation and subject those who provide them with shelter to prison terms,” added Rawi, who is also a Member of Parliament for the opposition Socialist party.

Islam Online, 15 May 2005