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Austria: Classmates Set Fire to Muslim Girl’s Hijab

Muslim Women Protest for their Right to Wear Hijab

Muslim Women Protest for their Right to Wear Hijab

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.”

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  • the man who loving peace

    i think its not fair to make muslims feels afraid all the time hijab is not harmful to the society .the government shoud give muslims some freedom .

  • Aziz

    Whats next? Extermination camps? Bloggers should be aware that Nazism as as political ideology started in the extremely Catholic Southern German heartland bordering Austria. Indeed, Adolf Hitler was AUSTRIAN! Many leading Nazi figures, such as: Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Ernst Kaltenbrunner etc. were AUSTRIANS!

  • Dar

    “Tolerant” Europe.

    However crazed the rhetoric in America may get, it rarely gets to actions like these. And even then, they’re widely condemned even by most right-wing individuals.

  • Nissa

    Poor girl. That must have been really upsetting, so say the least.

    ‘Hijab resistance’?! Wow. That has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Being afraid of women in headscarves means you have some serious issues!

    I have been the target of minor discriminatory behaviour- being randomly yelled at, being pushed by women on public transport as they mutter racist slurs, being called names in a restaurant…mostly by people as they scarper out the door and before I can call them on their behaviour….but a school should be a safe place, it is bullying and it should be confronted and zero tolerance shown for any kind of bullying.

  • Najeeb

    Its really difficut to figure out why some christians become intolerance towards Hijab or the headscarf of muslim woman the same dress code of St. Mary the christ mother and todays nuns.

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  • Ryan

    also, which websites are trying to justify this nonsense.

  • Ryan

    how the f*** can lunatics say this is justifiable? the girl could have died for christ’s sake.

  • Danios

    Lex, great to hear how you left the world of Islamophobia to combat Islamophobia (and bigotry in general). I too was one of those who left bigotry to fight bigotry. As obvious as it sounds, I have found that bigotry is fueled by ignorance and knowledge is the cure to ignorance. I hope that soon we can educate readers so that they can wash away Islamophobia.


  • Oddly, I just wrote a mail on my new habit of wearing hijab (I’m a Christian woman living in the American MidWest), but it would not send so I published it here at my place. Just my thoughts on rights to dress as one pleases from this atoning blogger who once wrote against Islam but now works hard against bigotry and Islamophobia. Oh yes, and loons.

    Keep this site up, I’m loving it!

  • of course, it should be German, not Austrian…

  • Cy the Cynic

    ” translation from the Austrian to English ”
    Are you sure it wasn’t a translation from Australian to English?

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