Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik says European Muslims should play more pronounced social roles in Europe.
Frau Plassnik seems likely to get her wish.
She made the remarks at the inaugural ceremony of the conference “Islam in Europe” which was sponsored by the Austrian foreign ministry and aimed at reviewing avenues to bolster positive understanding between the West and Islam.
The Austrian Foreign Minister added that Islamic models of life at personal and social spheres should be given ample room.
Is the Atlantic Ocean enough room?
Also contributing to the conference were the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and religious as well as social science experts from both Islamic and non-Islamic countries.
“Experts” — thy name is Legion.
Plassnik noted that any body in Europe should accept Islam as a social reality, while calling on Muslim communities to try to integrate their communal beliefs and convictions into the social fabric of the European culture.
Super. Be sure to let us know how that goes.
Elsewhere in her speech, the Austrian FM called for an increased social presence by Muslim women in Europe, and promised that a future conference themed “Women in the Middle East” will be held in Vienna in the coming months to explore the issue.
Speaking at the meeting, the head of the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria Anas al-Shafqa referred to a recent case in which a German judge reportedly cited the Muslim holy book, The Quran, for turning down a Muslim woman’s divorce plea on the grounds that her husband beat her. Al-Shafqa said such a case is by no means a representation of the Muslim faith.
Well, thank goodness for that!