Church of the Extortionists

Asylum Seekers, the Catholic Church, and an All-Out Culture War, Part 3

This is the last of three translated articles about the occupation by “asylum seekers” of the Votive Church in Vienna. Previously: Introduction by AMT, Part 1, Part 2.

The article below was published on January 30 at Andreas Unterberger’s website. Many thanks to JLH for the translation.

Church of the Extortionists
by Andreas Unterberger

The Church in Vienna really has a strong leadership. Every day it goes full speed ahead in a different direction.

For a whole day, Christoph Schönborn said what the majority of Viennese Catholics are thinking. He showed true anger at the occupiers of the Votive Church. The next day, he was already headed back in the opposite direction, on the leash of the Far Leftists of Caritas and its PR people. They apparently believe that the Church is acting rightly by allowing several MSM outlets to make a fool of it on a daily basis. At any rate, Schönborn once again took the side of those who want to blackmail the republic and force it to change its laws, Which the evil republic is not willing to do — at any rate not yet.

We can at least be happy that the church occupiers are not doing in this situation what is an old and beloved custom in their Afghani and Pakistani homeland — snapping on an explosive belly-belt and blowing it up if they don’t get what they want. After which they will apparently meet their 99 virgins.

So Schönborn is no doubt right to be filled with submissive gratitude. Our dear occupiers haven’t even disturbed the mass. That really makes us happy.

And the next day, the Cardinal can enter his cathedral without a care. A whole company of guards are there to protect him against visitors like the ones who are gladdening the hearts of the parish of the Votive Church. Aside from that, he clearly knows just one thing: nobody is leaving the church. Although it would require only a short visit by the police. But he is convinced that the thing can be resolved by a good conversation.

Until then, Caritas — financed by Church donations — will care for our valued guests. And the Church will not even turn off the electricity, which (you guessed it) is also paid for by the Church. So our valued occupiers can continue using the laptops and earphones already kindly put at their disposal. But please, my dear Cardinal, you have forgotten something — electric blankets and heaters. It would really be too bad if you could not provide them.

The Votive Church scenario is reminiscent of the TV discussion days ago, when ORF opposed three passionate partisans for the occupiers to one actual opponent (and an ex-Caritas man who pretended to be neutral). Luckily, a very poor man from Sierra Leone was fetched out of the audience. He has been living here for 14 years and apparently does not even know that help is being desperately sought in the tourism industry — a job that he could at least take as a seasonal employee, should his asylum process last that long. Of course, he has done nothing to prolong it.

The whole occupation scandal is also reminiscent of the university occupations of recent years. The first time, a rector was intimidated and watched the nonsense going on for weeks, and even donated to the occupiers, which added a loss of 4 million to the already impoverished university. The next time, his successor made short work of it, closed off and cleared out the university, and it was all over without a blip. Not even the diverse leftist weeklies had time for a dramatic production. Maybe someone should tell the Cardinal about that. Maybe in the process he could be educated to the fact that the great majority of the occupiers are asylum applicants who have already been rejected and/or know that they are facing an imminent legal decision. Then he could at east speak a little more truthfully in that regard

Difficile est satiram non scribere.

12 thoughts on “Church of the Extortionists

  1. I do not know your situation, but in olden times- in England- refuge was given in the church from the mob or unruly Barons until the King’s officers arrived to administer the Law.Like-wise in ancient Israel certain places were appointed were men could find refuge until one of the Judges of Israel arrived.In modern terms,in a democracy,this means there is no hiding from the police if they empowered by Courts empowered by Parliament.(There would possibly be an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.) I do not know if this makes sense in your situation.The principle is that refuge is given against the lawless ;not as protection against legitimate laws and the agents of such laws.

  2. Are these like the earlier church-occupiers in Brussels and the West Bank? As I recall they even peed inside the sacred places of worship in which they were residing – meaning they later stank of urine.

    Funnily enough I don’t recall the Austrian church, or any of the European churches, making too much of a fuss about persecuted Christians in Muslim countries. Yet now they allow Muslims to come, stay and make a mockery of their place of worship… something Muslims would never allow in a Mosque. While for leftists and some in Caritas this may be a sign of compassion, for the Peaceful Ones it’s a sign of weakness and submission – and an incentive to press on with ever more demeaning demands in the future. Shame on the Austrians for not standing up to this intimidation.

  3. -From my post on this subject
    “You see, it does not matter to the Muslims that the parishioners cannot attend mass in their own Church; Muslims were were wrongfully denied the conquest of Vienna by the outrageous defense of the city on more than one occasion (The last was 1683 one hundred years before the UK recognized the American Republic), so in reality the city and everything inside it rightfully belongs to them anyway. After all, in fairness, the Ottoman messenger did give the citizens a chance to avoid the siege if only they accepted Islam.”

  4. Greetings, rightist extremists. I’m one of the leftist extremists you guys complain about, though I consider myself more of a centrist. I’ve been an occasional visitor to the refugees’ protest since it began. I want to correct a false impression that you guys seem to have — while being under no illusion of being able to change your minds.

    Andreas Unterberger writes, “We can at least be happy that the church occupiers are not doing in this situation what is an old and beloved custom in their Afghani and Pakistani homeland — snapping on an explosive belly-belt and blowing it up if they don’t get what they want.”

    The problem with this is that the refugees in the church are moderates (I know you don’t think moderate Muslims exist, but opinions differ) whom left their homelands precisely because of problems with suicide bombers and other manifestations of terrorism. Some also have problems with the Pakistani secret police. Each man’s story is different but in most cases they left to save their lives from Taliban, al-Qaeda, or one of the less-known jihadi groups like Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Janghvi. The last group is the one that has been detonating suicide bombs this year in Quetta, killing 200 Shias so far.

    So IMHO it’s a tiny bit harsh to mix these guys up with their enemies, the ones who have been shooting them and blowing them up for decades. It’s sort of like calling you-all communists….

    As I said, each of these refugees has his own story. One was kidnapped by the Taliban and brought to a training camp of theirs. He and a friend slipped over a wall to escape but the sharpshooters killed the friend. When this guy got back home, his dad took a substantial chunk of savings and sent him out of the country with a people-smuggler, because the Taliban knew where he lived. You’d do the same for your kid.

    Check this link http://occupyduniya.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/mustafas-story/. This talks about the situation in a particular Shia area of Pakistan. The Taliban destroyed this guy’s whole village. To be a Shia in Pakistan now is to walk around with a target on your chest.

    The New York Times has an editorial about it … http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/opinion/pakistani-militants-the-enemies-of-peace-the-internal-enemies-of-pakistani-peace.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0 … it begins like this: “On Monday, my mother’s and sister’s eye doctor was assassinated. He was a Shiite. He was shot six times while driving to drop his son off at school. His son, age 12, was executed with a single shot to the head.” Just an ordinary day in a place where al-Qaeda and their ilk target Shias for assassination.

    Well, that’s about all I wanted to say. I’m sorry the protest inconveniences the church officials, but that’s the breaks. Mass is still held there on Sundays. The story about peeing in there is just slander. Like everyone else, I don’t know what the best way to deal with the whole situation in the long run is — whether it’s better to fight the Taliban or try to make peace with them, for example. But 200 years ago in the West we invented the concept of human rights, such as that everyone has a right not to be persecuted, tortured and murdered, and since we decided as a civilization that human lives have value, we have to accept that some folks might take us at our word. I know you-all are not big fans of human rights, but that’s the breaks too. As Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

  5. Thank you for your report about the poor poor refugees in the Votivkirche. No one is denying that they may have had ground for escaping Pakistan However—

    What you conveniently neglected to mention is that

    1) after careful consideration, the courts – courts!!! – decided the asylum seekers had no grounds for asylum. This the court’s, i.e. the state’s right. This is to be accepted – by you, by the asylum seekers, by everyone;
    2) you also neglected to mention their unrealistic, even extortionist, demands of the representative of the Austrian government. Try doing this in Morocco or even Saudi Arabia;
    3) the refugees have the absolute right to SEEK asylum, but it is up to the rule of law to GRANT this status;
    4) these men could have carried out the same protest in a mosque. God knows there are plenty of those in Vienna. Obviously, they are sending a message to the infidels by occupying a church, a sacred place of worship. This kind of behavior is unacceptable.

  6. Elisabeth, thanks for your message. You speak of the “poor poor refugees”. Is that phrase entirely ironic?

    “after careful consideration, the courts – courts!!! – decided the asylum seekers had no grounds for asylum. This the court’s, i.e. the state’s right. This is to be accepted – by you, by the asylum seekers, by everyone;”

    The courts are a human institution and no-one is required to accept their rulings as ultimate. The refugees feel that the immigration authorities have not been taking their applications seriously. They believe that their lives are threatened at home, but the immigration authorities ignore this for reasons of their own, saying, in effect, “No. Go die.”

    “you also neglected to mention their unrealistic, even extortionist, demands of the representative of the Austrian government. Try doing this in Morocco or even Saudi Arabia”

    To my mind, the refugees’ protest represents a political and moral failure of the Islamic world and a political and moral victory of the secular West—but only if we let them stay. If we send them away, we’re truly no better than Morocco or Saudi Arabia.

    “the refugees have the absolute right to SEEK asylum, but it is up to the rule of law to GRANT this status;”

    The complete phrase is “to seek and enjoy asylum.” As far as the rule of law is concerned, the law evolves as civilization evolves, and, again, its rulings can be appealed. As Dr. Martin Luther King wrote from the Birmingham jail, “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal”.”

    “these men could have carried out the same protest in a mosque. God knows there are plenty of those in Vienna.”

    My impression is that the choice of a church over a mosque reflects several factors. One, that it’s literally safer, because of the tradition of churches being used as sanctuaries — you can find out more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctuary. Two, the refugees didn’t want to drive a wedge between the Austrian authorities and the local Muslim communities. There may be other reasons. I can try and find an answer for you.

    “Obviously, they are sending a message to the infidels by occupying a church, a sacred place of worship. This kind of behavior is unacceptable.”

    This talk of “infidels” is more characteristic of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and their gang, than of the people who are persecuted by them. The statements I’ve heard from the refugees in the church are along the lines of “We all worship the same God, and we feel safe in His house.”

    Incidentally, seven of the men in the church are members of the Turi sub-tribe of Pashtuns. The Turis are Shias. Back in the days of British colonialism, they were already getting preyed on by radical Sunnis around them, and they requested and received protection from the British Army.

    Best,
    N.

  7. “This talk of “infidels” is more characteristic of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and their gang, than of the people who are persecuted by them. The statements I’ve heard from the refugees in the church are along the lines of “We all worship the same God, and we feel safe in His house.” ”

    First off, it is not Al-Qaeda that has the copyright of the word “infidel”. As a matter of fact, the Koran is full of injunctions against infidels. “Kill the infidels wherever you may find them…” comes to mind, along with the more than 200 other calls to kill the unbeliever.

    Second, it is utterly repulsive and simply incorrect to say the “we all worship the same God.” Allah and the Christian God have NOTHING in common. One is a God who hates (see the book by Dr. Wafa Sultan, an Ex-Muslim), the other is one who loves and forgives. Allah loves only those who submit to him, while God loves all his children.

    May I suggest you study the teachings of Islam? All of them, i.e. the Sira, the Hadith collections, and the Koran.

    The so-called asylum-seekers know all of this quite well, and people like you are unfortunately falling for their line.

    How come the asylum-seekers don’t feel safe in Vienna’s largest mosque, built with the help of Austrian taxpayers?

    How come the aslyum-seekers feel that they can coerce Austria into changing laws that are perfectly in line with all international commitments?

    How come they feel that they are treated unfairly? They are fed, clothed, they receive legal representation (free!) as well as pocket-money. They are even allowed to legally work by tilling fields. But no, that is not enough, is it?

    How come, if they are Muslims, did they not seek refuge in a Muslim country? If they are Shia, as you claim, then Iran would be the perfect place to go. If they are Sunni, there are even more places to choose from. It seems there is an agenda, as there usually is.

    In addition, I have the following very concrete questions for you:

    1. Are you saying that the legal ruling of an established judicial body must be applied only in certain circumstances, and not in others? If so, who decides when the law is actually the law? You? Your organization? Amnesty International?

    2. It’s interesting to learn that Muslims feel safer in a church than in a mosque. That little fact says more than 10,000 words of immigrant-friendly rhetoric.

    3. “[T]he refugees didn’t want to drive a wedge between the Austrian authorities and the local Muslim communities.” Yet they don’t seem to mind in the slightest if they drive a wedge between Austrian Christians and everyone else. In other words, driving wedges between communities is a preferred tactic,
    but only in ways that serve the strategic interests of the Multiculturalists.

    Finally, allow me to add that the Western world is not responsible for the political and moral failures of the Islamic world. It is high time for the Islamic world to accept responsibility. And it is up to the people in the Islamic world to stand up.

    • “First off, it is not Al-Qaeda that has the copyright of the word “infidel”. As a matter of fact, the Koran is full of injunctions against infidels. “Kill the infidels wherever you may find them…” comes to mind, along with the more than 200 other calls to kill the unbeliever.”

      This may come as a surprise to you, but just like members of other religions, Muslims differ in their relationships to their tradition. “Kill the infidels wherever you may find them”? I can’t begin to tell you how many Muslims around me have ignored that injunction even today. I probably passed fifty of them on the street today and none of them even so much as chopped my fingertips off.

      Now you may explain to us why throughout history the followers of Jesus have been as violent as the followers of Muhammad, or maybe more so, even though Jesus was indisputably such a nice guy.

      “Second, it is utterly repulsive and simply incorrect to say the “we all worship the same God.” Allah and the Christian God have NOTHING in common. One is a God who hates (see the book by Dr. Wafa Sultan, an Ex-Muslim), the other is one who loves and forgives. Allah loves only those who submit to him, while God loves all his children.”

      When you say “the Christian God” do you mean the one in the Old Testament who drowned nearly all the humans and animals in the world because of “sin” he allowed them to commit? The one who commanded the Israelites to kill all the inhabitants of Jericho and all the Amalekites?

      Furthermore, it’s just weird to hear you talk of loving all God’s children.

      “May I suggest you study the teachings of Islam? All of them, i.e. the Sira, the Hadith collections, and the Koran.”

      Working on it. Currently stalled out halfway through Karen Armstrong’s excellent biography of Muhammad. Quite fond of most of the hadith I’ve read and some of the Koran.

      “The so-called asylum-seekers know all of this quite well, and people like you are unfortunately falling for their line.”

      You’re falling for the line that everything’s black and white. You have a cartoonish and oversimplified view of the world, blind to distinctions and nuances. I admit, it has the advantage of making everything simpler. But I would argue that that is also a disadvantage.

      “How come the asylum-seekers don’t feel safe in Vienna’s largest mosque, built with the help of Austrian taxpayers?”

      Because of what I already said about the tradition of churches being used as places of refuge.

      “How come the aslyum-seekers feel that they can coerce Austria into changing laws that are perfectly in line with all international commitments?”

      Because they feel their human rights are not being addressed. And in that sense they feel that the laws are not in line with the commitments.

      “How come they feel that they are treated unfairly? They are fed, clothed, they receive legal representation (free!) as well as pocket-money. They are even allowed to legally work by tilling fields. But no, that is not enough, is it?”

      They’d like to be legal. And they’d like better representation. The translators they are given often don’t do a good job, they say. One man told me that his first interview with the authorities upon arriving in the country was considered to be his first application for asylum, but he was not informed of that fact. The authorities’ response to this “application” was negative.

      “How come, if they are Muslims, did they not seek refuge in a Muslim country? If they are Shia, as you claim, then Iran would be the perfect place to go. If they are Sunni, there are even more places to choose from. It seems there is an agenda, as there usually is.”

      I’m not sure what agenda you’re referring to. They are trying to save their lives, and, perhaps, subsequently, those of some family members. I asked one of the Shia guys why they hadn’t gone to Iran. He answered that the Iranian regime doesn’t want them because although they’re Shia, they’re Pakistani. I have no interest in defending the Iranian government to you. As I’ve said, I’m against it. Nearly every Iranian I’ve talked to about the Iranian government is against it. One man who works in the Iranian embassy here told me that the Iranian revolutionary regime that came in in 1979 is the only government that has seriously addressed the concerns of the poor. It’s basically what Hugo Chavez’s supporters say about him, and that might be why Chavez and the Iranian regime get along.

      “1. Are you saying that the legal ruling of an established judicial body must be applied only in certain circumstances, and not in others? If so, who decides when the law is actually the law? You? Your organization? Amnesty International?”

      I’m saying that refugees’ human rights need to be honored.

      “2. It’s interesting to learn that Muslims feel safer in a church than in a mosque. That little fact says more than 10,000 words of immigrant-friendly rhetoric.”

      Don’t go crazy with this tidbit. It’s because of the history of churches being used as places of refuge, as I mentioned.

      “3. “[T]he refugees didn’t want to drive a wedge between the Austrian authorities and the local Muslim communities.” Yet they don’t seem to mind in the slightest if they drive a wedge between Austrian Christians and everyone else. In other words, driving wedges between communities is a preferred tactic, but only in ways that serve the strategic interests of the Multiculturalists.”

      How are they driving a wedge between Austrian Christians and everyone else?

      “Finally, allow me to add that the Western world is not responsible for the political and moral failures of the Islamic world. It is high time for the Islamic world to accept responsibility. And it is up to the people in the Islamic world to stand up.”

      I agree, but in the meantime, the Taliban and al-Qaeda are murdering innocent people left and right. It’s time for the West to show some leadership and protect the weak.

      • Sir, thank you for your lengthy answers.

        However, as I have to make a living and have no Caritas or other “charitable” organizations supporting me (unlike the refugees in the Votivkirche), I will have to stop the argument right here.

        There would be plenty to say, especially about your reading Karen Armstrong (a no-go, as she is surely on the Saudis’ and/or Qataris’ payroll to whitewash a murdering and philandering prophet; read Robert Spencer instead, or if your German is good enough, which I assume: Der missverstandene Koran. Die Presse wrote a very favorable review), but as I said, I have to pay my rent.

        I also have a feeling you don’t really want to learn. You are set in your arguments (the usual: the ad hominem attacks, that I see everything black and white, when it is the Koran that does precisely that).

        So— nice talking to you and good-bye.

        • “Sir, thank you for your lengthy answers.”

          You’re welcome, and thank you for yours. We even managed to keep the discussion largely civil. I thank you for that as well.

          “However, as I have to make a living and have no Caritas or other “charitable” organizations supporting me (unlike the refugees in the Votivkirche), I will have to stop the argument right here.”

          I totally understand. I work too.

          “I also have a feeling you don’t really want to learn.”

          That’s called projection.

          “You are set in your arguments (the usual: the ad hominem attacks, that I see everything black and white, when it is the Koran that does precisely that).”

          Unsurprisingly, we’re both set in our arguments.

          “So— nice talking to you and good-bye.”

          All the best. You’re an intelligent and eloquent debater and I enjoyed the discussion too.

  8. Don’t know situation in Austria but in Britain there is a problem which arises from the secrete Dublin agreement of the EU;secrete in that it’s not commonly known.This declares in accordance with UN resolutions that those given refugee status shall have all the Rights of national citizens [except the right to vote ].This seems fair,but isn’t.They are given equality;but this isn’t fair(just as you can not have Liberty and Equality,so you can not have Equality and Fairness).So refuges ,being destitute and homeless [and having `equal rights`] get preference in social housing to indigenous families whose uncles dragged the guns up the slopes of Monte Cassino to defeat the Austrian corporal in 1944.This causes `bigotry`and prejudice in Britain.In sum, being accorded refugee status allows one to jump the immigration queue.As a EU member similar problems may arise in Austria.In this the rights of the indigenous people should not be confused with the Deutcher Folk ravings of the Anti-Christ.As an Englishman I note that the Freedom Party [founded by an admirer of the little corporal] gets support because it is the only party opposing the Anschluss:the second Anschluss which is the EU. A great historical irony .

    • The Dublin Agreement is well-known in Austria. But the authorities don’t care about enforcing in. As a matter of fact, EU authorities don’t enforce it.

      I wonder why….

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