In an interview with Die Presse newspaper Fuat Sanaç was asked why Muslims are not taking to the streets en masse to distance themselves from the violent Islamic State (Isis) terrorist group. “Muslims feel so oppressed that they are afraid to take to the streets,” he answered.
“We have said thousands of times that these lunatics have nothing to do with Islam, but we have to constantly defend and justify ourselves - it’s exhausting and infuriating,” he added.
He went on to say that Muslims holding demonstrations against Isis would do nothing to solve the threat posed by the terrorists, which was a direct result of wars and dictatorships in the Middle East.
He added that young Muslims feel “frustrated and helpless at the same time”. Asked about the young people who have been radicalized by Isis and leave Europe for Syria, he said they must be motivated by a false sense of conviction and naivety.
Sanaç, who was born in Turkey, told Die Presse that he was grateful to live in Austria as he felt there was a general sense of solidarity with Muslims, from the government, church and other religious communities. “Austrians are more helpful to Muslims than ever. That is the only positive aspect of this terrible time,” he said.
Asked about media reports that claim more women in Vienna are wearing the veil, or hijab, he said that statistics show this is not the case - and that perhaps the increasing number of Muslim tourists visiting Vienna from the Middle East in the summer has given people a false impression.