Re: “Religious conflicts on the rise”

Vienna’s Unification City Councilor Wiederkere presents the latest statistics on religious beliefs in compulsory schools in Vienna. Islam is a strong belief among children with no religious beliefs.

Vienna Unification City Councilor Christoph Wiederkehr presented explosive data from compulsory schools in Vienna on Tuesday. In particular, it concerns a survey of religious beliefs in Viennese elementary schools, which Wiedercare presented with coordination expert Kenan Gunker. In the 2023/24 academic year, 35 percent of students expressed an Islamic faith. The second largest group (26 percent) were students with no religious affiliation. Behind them are Catholic students in third place with 21 percent, followed by Orthodox (13 percent) and Protestants (two percent). If middle and special schools and polytechnics are included, the percentage of Muslim students rises to 39 percent. Children in private schools and under AHS status (keyword: federal competency) are not enrolled in this age group. The data comes from the Vienna Directorate of Education.

As a guide: In the 2016/17 academic year, 31 percent were Catholic, 28 percent were Muslim and 17 percent had no religion. However, this data cannot be compared by a different collection method, he explained: “Belief and religion is a personal thing.” However, the survey is not an assessment of religions. He advocates interfaith dialogue. However, “religious conflicts are on the rise in Vienna middle schools.” The proportion of young people with anti-Semitic attitudes, anti-LGBTism and the devaluation of other religions has increased: “We need to put a limit on where intolerance starts,” explained Widercare, so the subject of “democracy” should be introduced in compulsory schools to counter these trends. he demands.

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Federal approval is required

In particular, the Vienna Unification City Council wants “Living in a Democracy” to be a compulsory subject for all children throughout Austria, in order to overcome anti-democratic tendencies in schools: “For us, laws are not made by prayer books, but by the state.” Because among Muslims the proportion of children who devalue other groups has increased. As examples, Wiederker cited anti-Semitism and the devaluing of women and LGBTIQ people.

The flaw in Wiederkehr’s initiative: It’s about federalism. So nothing happens without the consent of the ÖVP and the Greens. The central government has already rejected the proposal of the Vienna Unification City Council: “But I am very stubborn here (stu).”

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