In Austria, two girls from the city of Graz have been expelled for setting one of their classmates’ Hijab (headscarf) on fire. (hat tip: Devon Moore)
The Croatian Times reports,
Two schoolgirls are to be expelled after setting a Muslim girl’s hijab headscarf on fire during a school trip.
The 15-year-old girls, from Graz, Austria, escaped race hate charges by claiming the attack was a prank and not related to the victim’s religion.
The Austria News website reports that this is one incident in a growing trend of attacks on Muslims and Muslim women in particular. In a somewhat sloppy translation from the German to English we read,
Austrias Broadcasting Corporation reports that girls and women with a religious preference to the Islam have massive problems in Austria. Few days ago a muslim schoolgirl was attacked by two schoolmates, which tried to set her on fire with a lighter.
Now Muslim associations in Austria claim that such kind of encroachments are no individual cases. Muslim women have to suffer sneer and discriminations day in, day out. Roswitha Al Hussein is the spokeswoman of the female Muslim club called “SOMM”. She said that the case of the Muslim schoolgirl in Styria is extraordinary savage, but also psychological violations, which Muslim women in Austria has to accept day by day, are also quite bad.
“Teachers think that such things are just a dalliance but it’s bullying”, said Mrs Al Hussein. The spokeswoman claims that there is not enough support for Muslim schoogirls from teachers. “Sometimes nasty boys pull on the headscarfs of the girls, and tell them that they should remove it”, said Al Hussein.
Especially in times of election campaigns the situation is becoming worser. People think that it’s socially acceptable to criticize Muslims in public, explains Roswitha Al Hussein. She hopes that there is more support for Muslims in the future.
The two girls who wanted to set their Muslim classmate on fire were sent off from school. They did not wanted to apologize for their offence.
Incidents such as these prove that the climate of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment is not abating, instead it verifies the findings of the Pew Global Studies Survey that Islamophobia is on the rise in Europe. A worrying trend given the recent successes of far right and fascist parties in different European nations. How long until we see discriminatory and anti-Democratic laws being passed in most of the European parliaments?
The reactions of the anti-Muslim blogosphere to a story such as this has been one of support and happiness, with the crazy wing-nut Shekyermami proclaiming it as an instance of “Hijab Resistance,” while the curiously named Infidels United blamed the victim for her plight saying it was a reaction to the “Muslim Invasion of Austria.”