Persian Koran. Photo: Anon/Wikimedia
The ban was initiated by the far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPO) in the Doebling neighbourhood of the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Neighbourhood chief Adi Tiller of the conservative (ÖVP) confirmed the agreement between the two parties and the socialist SPÖ to ban the campaign in Doebling.
Austrian authorities had been trying to stop the campaign for months, but they had been unable to put an end to it as the radical Islamists moved from neighbourhood to neighbourhood or simply ignored the bans. It has to be seen if the latest bipartisan initiative therefore will have any effect.
The Quran distribution campaign in Austria came under fire after it was revealed that a jailed terrorist was one of the original organisers.
Mirsad Omerovic, 35, was involved in the recruitment of tragic teenage schoolgirls Samra Kesinovic, 17, and her friend Sabina Selimovic, who was 15 when they left to join IS in Syria in April 2014.
German authorities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have similar experiences with the campaign. They distributors use stands with a white table cloth with Qurans on top. Behind each table mostly young men are usually seen in traditional Islamic garb and sporting long beards.
Posters include the text ‘lies!’ - meaning ‘read!’ in German.
German intelligence services said that the Quran distribution campaign is one of the reasons behind the growth of the Islamist scene in the country. They say the state of North Rhine-Westphalia alone has around 2,700 salafists, of whom 620 are considered violent.
Behind the distribution campaign is an Islamic network called "the true religion" and possibly wealthy donors from the Arab world as well, the intelligence services suspect.
Christian Kromberg, a city councillor from Essen, said that the Quran distribution campaign "is not an unproblematic legal affair".
He said that behind the campaign were organisations which were not prohibited. Besides, the German constitution also covers freedom of religion for those who reject the exact same constitution.
The city of Bonn was the first to try to ban the campaign, but was turned back by a court in Cologne which said the Islamists have freedom of religion. The higher administrative court in Muenster saw no particular risk situation.
Local media wrote that some of the people behind the campaign have ended up fighting for IS in Syria. They cite the examples of Robert Baum from Solingen, who blew himself up in January 2014 in the Syrian city of Homs.
Christian Emde, also from Solingen, gave a notorious interview in the IS stronghold of Mosul in which he justified the enslavement of women and advocated the mass murder of Shiites. Michael Noack from Gladbeck called for Germans to fight in Iraq and Syria in an IS propaganda video.
One of Germany’s most famous Islamic converts, Sven Lau, is also connected to the campaign. The Catholic turned Islamic hate preacher is currently on trial for aiding terrorists.
35-year-old Lau is perhaps best known as the initiator of the "Sharia police" in the city of Wuppertal in the industrial Ruhr region, which sought to enforce a strict interpretation of Islam.
Wearing orange vests, emblazoned with the words "Sharia Police", the group allegedly demanded people at nightclubs to stop drinking alcohol and listening to music.
Story courtesy of Central European News