Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced that a ban on Islamic head coverings in kindergarten and primary schools is being formulated in an effort to reduce the cultural divide being created by Muslims in Austria.
Kurz explained the planned 'Child Protection Law' in remarks with Österreich 1 Radio.
"A cover-up of children is definitely something that has no place in our country," Kurz said. "All children should have the same opportunities, girls and boys... It also means that there is no discrimination at a young age."
"Our goal is to confront any development of parallel societies in Austria... Girls wearing a headscarf in kindergarten or primary school is of course part of that."
"What I can tell you is that it is a growing phenomenon," he continued. "A few decades ago we did not have this in Austria and now it occurs primarily in Islamic kindergartens but also here and there in public establishments of Vienna and other cities."
"All girls and young women should have the right to develop without pressure," Strache wrote. "It is up to us to guarantee this political framework for a necessary integration. Because we do not want to face the challenge of political Islam."
"With a ban on headscarves in kindergartens and schools, we want to take a first step!"
Predictably, mainstream media is demonizing the move as 'far-right Islamophobia,' while Islamic groups have denounced the 'disproportionate attention' being given to a "marginal issue," deeming it "absolutely counterproductive."
However, just weeks ago, a veteran Austrian teacher and union representative made waves after appearing as a whistleblower on the topic of Islam in Austrian schools, and was subsequently forced to resign from her position after swift and forceful backlash, and condemnation from her own boss.
In an interview with Addendum Projekt, Susanne Wiesinger revealed that roughly 50% of children in Wien-Favoriten, the country's largest school district, now have a migration background, and that there is an escalating culture war eroding the social fabric as Shariah Law is woven into education policies and customs.
"I believe that the difference between their world at home and our world is so large that they cannot reconcile them," Wiesinger said. "The Shariah is, for many of my students, surely superior. This is the most important thing - to be a good Muslim man or a good Muslim woman."
"Music and dance are rejected on religious grounds. Also, fights and discussions break down more and more often along religious lines."
Approximately 30,000 students in the district are currently taking Islamic education classes, and in Wiesinger's own middle school, nearly all 300 pupils come from migrant families.
In 2017, Austria's prior governing coalition implemented the "Anti-Facial Disguise Act," which effectively banned full-face Islamic garb, such as the niqab or burqa.
(Photo: Yelena Afonina / Getty)