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FPÖ leader gets death threats ahead of demo

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FPÖ leader gets death threats ahead of demo
Strache in parliament on Wednesday. Photo: APA/PFARRHOFER
15:07 CET+01:00
The leader of Austria's right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) has warned against radical Islam, Sharia law and the “fascist” Islamic State ahead of a demonstration the party has organised against a planned Islamic high school in Simmering, Vienna.

Heinz-Christian Strache also claimed that death threats had been posted to his Facebook page from a user calling themselves ‘Isi Vienne’, and he had reported them to the police.

He insisted that Thursday’s demonstration, which will begin at 5pm outside the school site in Simmering, was intended as a peaceful protest. Left-wing groups will hold a counter demonstration and a few known neo-Nazis have said they will attend.

A total of around 400 people are expected to attend and police have said there will be “sufficient manpower” to ensure that it doesn’t get out of hand - something which happened in Cologne, Germany, last weekend when violence broke out between demonstrators and police.

The planned private school in Florian-Hedorfer street has been heavily criticized as it would effectively be run by the Turkish state, with all lessons taught in Turkish. It’s still unclear if it will receive approval to go ahead.

Strache denied that he and the FPÖ are hostile to Islam and said that they are only opposed to radical Islam which spreads “a tangled, dangerous and fascist ideology”. He accused the Vienna and federal governments of failing to act against radical elements.

Head of the Vienna FPÖ Johann Gudenus said that there were “21 private salafist schools and kindergartens” in Vienna. He said that the capital is a “hub for radical Islam”.

Strache said that it was wrong that Austrians who return home from fighting with terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq go unpunished. “People who might have cut off others’ heads are allowed to live normally,” he said.

The FPÖ also criticized the government’s draft bill for the new Law on Islam. It wants a proviso that Imams should preach in German in mosques.

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