The following cast of characters will be familiar to longtime readers who have been following the progress of cultural enrichment in Austria.
Omar al-Rawi is a socialist city councilor in Vienna, and handles questions of “integration” for the IGGiÖ (Islamic Religious Community in Austria). Mr. al-Rawi has been center-stage in past productions, but plays only a bit part in tonight’s drama.
The star of tonight’s program is none other than Tarafa Baghajati, who happens to be the husband of Carla Amina. Over the years he has played various other roles in the culturally enriched dramas of Vienna, as will become clear from the following translation.
Our Austrian correspondent AMT, who recommended this article, sends these remarks:
This is once again an example of the continuous lies perpetrated by the IGGiÖ. Christian Zeitz of the Wiener Akademikerbund replies to Mr. Tarafa Baghajati (yes, the husband of the infamous Mrs. B) and his sordid mixture of race-baiting, Islamic fundamentalism, and leftist machinations.
Many thanks to JLH for translating the original article, which was published at SOS — Österreich back in March:
When The IGGiÖ Agitates Against Liberal Muslims
The Wiener Akademikerbund (Viennese Federation of Academics) and liberal Muslims are putting effort into a constructive integration concept. Tarafa Baghajati reacts with tirades of hate and irrational incitement
On March 12, the Wiener Akademikerbund in concert with the ILMÖ (Initiative of Liberal Muslims) is presenting a concept for integration of Muslims on the basis of recognizing the Christian foundation of our society.
In 25 points, the demand is made for the disclosure of the foundational elements of Islam, ending the uncontrolled illegal growth of mosque societies, removal of textbook material which contravenes the law and a declaration of loyalty to Austrian legal norms and values. That was apparently too much for the Islamic functionaries surrounding Anas Shakfeh. In a hatred-laden communiqué, bristling with malicious innuendo, Tarafa Baghajati — in the usual drop-dead fashion — accuses the Wiener Akademikerbund of rightist extremism and racism. After the Islam functionaries decided against any substantial discussion, no demands are considered — their justification is not even contradicted. Instead, the usual imputations.
Islam functionaries in Austria thrive mainly on feigned “affront,” incitement against the defenders of the traditions that have evolved here, and the nurturing of malicious reflexes and resentments against critics of Islam.
Christian Zeitz, Wiener Akademikerbund’s designated official for Islam, is challenging Tarafa Baghajati to public discourse on dealings with Islam in Austria, to objectify the controversy and bring about distinction of the spiritualities as an informative service to the citizens. Will Baghajati wimp out again?
The Viennese Integration Manifesto, 25 Groundbreaking Suggestions and Requirements for the Integration of Muslims in Austria may be found at:
Wiener Integrations-Manifest (3) [Word document]
Here now is the comment of Mr. Tarafa Baghajati (IGGiÖ):
The “ILMÖ Initiative of Liberal Muslims” is now completely discredited among Muslims. But it should be clear that there is nothing “liberal” in this dubious mini-band. If previously they were repeatedly offered a platform as a “dissenting voice of liberal Muslims,” it must have become obvious they they cannot manage this task. In the end, because of their alliance with extreme Islam-haters, they are shooting blanks.
According to organizers, this “manifesto” was presented on March 2, 2011 in the
ceremonial hall of the Wiener Akademikerbund. Among the organizers, an alleged “Islamic Austrian Center (IÖZ) is mentioned — an organization that is invented or exists only formally for the purpose of pretending that a relevant group of Muslims is behind this.
Within the riot of hate sites against Muslims in the internet, Europenews is foremost.
Characteristically for all of them: Islam is demonized and Muslims in general vilified as a threat. The underpinning for this is the reports of horrors, often made up of slanders and pseudo-scientific gossip, which unfortunately fall on fertile ground in this age of emotional debates about integration and general mistrust of Muslims.
Everything that should show the compatibility of a Muslim identity with values like democracy, constitutionality, pluralism and human rights — i.e., Islam as lived and understood by the majority of Muslims in Europe — is carefully blanked out. Islamic scholars who theologically support the compatibility of Islam and Europe are consciously ignored. The refusal to perceive anything that could shake the picture of an enemy comes to a climax in the twisting of theological concepts (for instance, sharia) in order to hold on to the perception of a religion that is aggressive per se.
The simple strategy pursues one goal: to legitimize hostility to Islam and cultural racism against Muslims. Beyond that, again and again audacious demands and discrimination against Muslims are expressed, as may be read in the above-mentioned text. All under the pretext of mere “self-defense.”
It is high time to reveal and warn of these dangerous machinations. The self-appointed “Guardians of Europe“ are diligently at work to undermine essential European values, which they purport to be defending, like religious freedom, pluralism and even freedom of speech and expression. This agenda is indebted to anything but a tradition of enlightenment and must therefore finally be subjected to x-ray exposure.
Chair of the Initiative of Muslims Austrians
Now the reply from Christian Zeitz:
Mr. Baghajati —
We will no longer leave the explanation of Islam to the people of IGGiÖ — presumably you have heard of taqiyya…
None of the Islam-critics is resisting a dialogue with you, but on a level playing field, please, and not armed with a Nazi and/or racism club, as you prefer to use them!
Furthermore, your home mosque in the Viennese 21st district is still linked to the hate preachers from Bonn! Had it not been for the protest of SOS-Austria, the planned hate-preacher seminar would have taken place in your mosque at Christmas. These Salafist groups have a problem with religion and democracy, and they know it. Reading a little in SOS or Europenews.dk (Denmark) reveals that Islam is not compatible with our Christian-European values.
Perhaps some of our readers are wondering who this Mr. Baghajati is. Here is a short summary:
Politicians do not manage without a brain in the background. With [Omar] al-Rawi, it is his comrade-in-arms, Tarafa Baghajati, who fled Damascus at the same time as al-Rawi. Baghahati claims to have studied at the Polytechnic University in Temesvar (Timisoara) in Romania. This explains a great deal, because this was one of the training centers for the Securitate. Baghajati is a recognizable professional in subversion and in “information policy.” His numerous commentaries in various media and forums are trenchant and unmistakable, as is his help as a ghostwriter for al-Rawi. In one commentary, Baghajati eagerly equated Islam with Islamism. Understandably, it is said of Tarafa Baghajati that he has close contacts to the leftist-radical scene. He likes to be active in the background as an organizer of the most diverse Islamist or doctrinaire events. According to Falter,* Baghajati is “one of the most important string-pullers in the background.”
It is no coincidence that Baghajati, with his wife Carla — a German convert and representative of the radical Islamist line — as well as Omar al-Rawi and the “watchdog” of the Islamic religious community, Mouddar Khouja, founded the “Initiative of (female) Muslim Austrians” IMÖ, which sees itself as the mouthpiece of the Islamists.
Under “Islam Initiative” or “the Initiative,” Baghajati regularly sends inciting group mailings in which he quite openly propagandizes for the SPÖ. The recipients are hidden in mail groups. When they are disentangled, we get a glimpse into the interplay between radical Muslim organizations and leftist radical groups.
This initiative causes reflection. Tarafa Baghajati works as a religious counselor in prisons. Although there is no such thing as pastoral counseling in Islam? Now he also offers continuing education lectures on Islam, including in adult evening classes. One can imagine what the purpose of both activities is. Whatever, the appropriate authorities just swallow — and pay.
— Christian Zeitz
*A “What’s happening in Vienna” type of website.
(Photo: On the right, Tarafa Baghajati at the Free Gaza demonstration in June, 2010 in Vienna.)