Strache feels ‘confirmed’ by Islam poll results

Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader Heinz-Christian Strache said results of a survey showing a vast majority of Austrians believed Muslims would “not stick to the rules” in Austria confirmed his party’s policies.Strache said yesterday (Weds): “It is important to carefully observe current and future development. The development of ‘parallel societies’ must be stopped.”The right-winger added it was not acceptable that values like equality and freedom of opinion were put in question “out of falsely interpreted tolerance towards other religions”.Public opinion research agency IMAS found that 54 per cent of Austrians agreed with the statement “Islam poses a threat for the west and our familiar lifestyle”, while 72 per cent believed Muslims would “not stick to the rules” when it comes to living in Austria.Seventy-one per cent said they believed Islam “does not match western beliefs in democracy, freedom and tolerance”.Around 500,000 Muslims live in Austria.Greens integration issues spokeswoman Alev Korun meanwhile said there must be more encounters and communication to reduce lack of knowledge about religions and lifestyles. Korun said: “Not being informed about other living customs and religions is the hotbed for prejudices and fears.”Sirvan Ekici, integration issues spokeswoman of the conservative People’s Party’s (ÖVP) Vienna branch, said the results of the IMAS study must ring alarm bells at the city’s Social Democratic (SPÖ) government.”The SPÖ created perfect conditions for the policies of the FPÖ,” she said.Ekici accused the Vienna SPÖ of failing over integration and city development issues.She claimed the city was on its way to losing the tradition of a peaceful coexistence among its residents.There will be city parliament elections this autumn in Vienna. Polls have shown that the SPÖ is under threat of losing its absolute majority, while the FPÖ can expect massive gains.