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1 history derislam.at development activities

2 Mission statement As the official representative of the Muslims in Austria, the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria (IGGÖ) and its regional representatives as well as the religious communities would like to contribute significantly to the quality of life of Muslims in the sense of securing religious needs. Besides the immediate task of nurturing and preserving the religion within the Muslim community, the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria sees itself as a link between state and civil institutions in Austria. All Muslims who have made their lives in Austria are represented equally, irrespective of their country of origin, social status, sex or belonging to an Islamic school of thought. The Islamic Religious Authority in Austria regards it an important task to be a valuable partner for Muslims in Austria in preserving their Islamic identity in the minority situation as well as being positively grounded in the Austrian democratic pluralist society. Along this path to a general awareness of Islam in Austria, the task areas of the Religious Authority in the inter-muslim context are of particular importance, i.e.: Islam instruction in schools Education and training of teachers of Islamic religious instruction Service points for Muslim affairs Visiting and welfare service in hospitals and prisons Networking of activities of the different mosques and associations Organising events and a separate Women s and Youth Desk 2

3 The idea of Unity in Diversity reflects the composition of the committees from different countries. The service for the Islamic Authority should be based on the Islamic sources and ethics which centers around a peaceful and mutually respectful interaction between different parts of the society. Values such as social equality are of great importance as well. In the cooperation of women and men of different backgrounds, decisive impulses should be generated in order to establish a muslim way of life in absolute harmony with the personal identification as a part of Austria that also reaches non-muslim communities. This also means to further strengthen the dialogue with the general public. Prejudices, stereotypes and old resentments are to be dismantled through information and the promotion of active participation of Muslims in social life. History & Founding Within Europe, the treatment of Islam in Austria is a special case, for ever since 1912, a separate Islam Law has been elaborated on the legal status of the Muslim residents of Austria. The Danube Monarchy had annexed the largely Muslim Bosnia and Herzegovina in The fact that around 600,000 Muslims lived in the territory of the empire was reflected in this law. While at the beginning the recognition law of 1874 had focused on the Christian organizational structure, it was then adapted to the muslim community by extending it with 6, which explicitly guaranteed the legal protection of religious practice and religious servants of Islam. Bosniaks served as a bodyguard of the emperor, the Imams did their jobs as Islamic counsellors for the recruits in the Military and there were plans for the construction of a big mosque in Vienna, which had been destroyed during World War I. 3

4 In the 60s of the last century, the number of Muslims in Austria grew due to the influx of migrants, especially from Turkey and the former Yugoslavia. During this time, the association Muslim Social Service was founded, which, apart from its religious duties and the taking over of humanitarian aid, also set up an adequate legal embodiment of the Muslim community. In 1971, the association applied for permission to establish a religious community and its statutes on the basis of the Islam law. In 1979, the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria constituted itself as a public body. It represents the official management of the religious interests of all Muslims residing in the country. Not only are they guaranteed free and public religious practice, but they also enjoy autonomy as regards to intra-religious affairs. The IGGÖ Today The Islamic Religious Authority in Austria exists since Ever since its beginnings, it has always strived to secure religious needs in various forms and to ensure the cooperation within the Islamic organizations. To function as an interface with state institutions, other religious communities and civil institutions in Austria, has always been and still is a priority task of the IGGÖ. In order to successfully master these tasks and address the challenges of the time, the IGGÖ seeks to reach all Muslims regardless of their ethnicity, language, gender or social status, and gives them the opportunity to actively as well as passively participate in the IGGÖ. 4

5 As the official representative of Muslims in Austria, the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria and its regional representatives as well as the religious communities would like to contribute significantly to the quality of life of Muslims in the sense of securing religious needs. Besides the immediate task of nurturing and preserving the religion within the Muslim community, the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria sees itself as a link between state and civil institutions in Austria. The Islamic Religious Authority in Austria regards it an important task to be a valuable partner for Muslims in Austria in preserving their Islamic identity in the minority situation as well as being positively grounded in the Austrian democratic pluralist society. The organizational structure of the IGGÖ According to the Islamic Law of 2015, the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria is a statutory body under public law, responsible for the organization and administration of its internal affairs. The religious society, the religious communities as well as their members in Austria have to ensure that the religious needs of its members are met. Religious communities are parts of an Islamic religious society, which are at the same time autonomous statutory bodies under public law. The IGGÖ is represented by the Islamic religious communities in the following provinces: Vienna, Lower Austria, Graz, Klagenfurt, Linz, Salzburg, Bregenz and Burgenland. Regarding the implementations of the tasks of the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria, the religious communities are managed by the Supreme Council and are bound by its instructions. The executive bodies of the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria are the Shura Council, the Supreme Council, the President, the Mufti, the Advisory Council, the Council of Imams, the arbitration and the auditors. 5

6 Fields of Activities of the IGGÖ Islam instruction in schools The procurement of sound knowledge and, thus, the strengthening the relationship with religion The Austrian society should experience our youth as valued members of the community and perceive their Islam as enriching The assistance of around 73,000 Muslim pupils by appointing qualified teaching staff Basic, advanced and follow-up training programs for teachers of Islamic religious instruction Awarding the status of a confessional school Service Centres Service centres for Islamic affairs Issuing of certificates (when naming before the starting of the military service, in case of death, etc.) Representation with regard to subject questions Contraction of marriage according to Islamic rites Supervision of slaughterings Visiting and Social Services in hospitals and prisons Crisis preparedness on call 6

7 Bridging function between Muslim patients and hospital staff Presentations and discussion meetings on the situation of Muslim patients in sanatorium and nursing institutions Managing the Muslim Cemetery Handling of all related matters, e.g. the organization of the corpse washing Networking of activities of different mosques and associations The hub for the information transfer and intensification of contacts for all registered places of worship in Austria Organization of events Organization of festivities on Islamic holidays Organization of mosque tours for special target groups Open consultation hours Possibility of direct contact and discussion of questions and concerns Interfaith dialogue Participating in various symposia and conferences Maintaining and establishing contacts with other religious communities Visits to parishes after invitations to discussion evenings Creating public awareness by media presence Arranging competent interview partners Main point of contact in providing information concerning Islam 7

8 The Institutions of the IGGÖ The Education Authority of the IGGÖ The Education Authority of the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria provides, coordinates and is responsible Contact: for the direct supervision of the Islamic religious instruction in public and private schools in Austria. Neustiftgasse Wien DW DW Islam instructions have been provided in Austria since the beginning of the school year 1982/83. This is an exceptional circumstance within Europe that is directly related to the acknowledgment status of Islam since Hence, Austria serves as a good example, since it has created positive effects for the integration. The lessons are held in German. IRPA - The Institute for Islamic Religion Education - Advanced training - Further education Contact: Eitnergasse Wien The Institute for Islamic Religion at the Church Educational College (KPH) trains the Islamic religious instructors of the future generation. For years, the students have been given a scientifically based and practice-oriented teacher training at university level, that is, theological Islamic knowledge, pedagogic and didactic knowhow and school legislation. The students also carry out practical studies at different schools in Vienna. 8

9 Islamic counseling in prisons The Islamic mentoring of the Muslims in Austria is solely the responsibility of the IGGÖ. It is therefore also the legal and the single point of contact for the prison administration in matters of the Islamic counseling of Muslim prisoners. Contact: The spiritual welfare of Muslims in hospitals The staff members are committed in providing assistance to Muslims who are ill or in need of support, especially during a stay in a hospital, or in other institutions such as asylum seeker s homes. Contact: The Islamic School of Social Education (IFS) of the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria is a three-year vocational secondary private school with public status. The education aims to provide an insight into the possibilities of the different social activities and professions and facilitate pupils the career choices by conveying the necessary know-how. Contact: Neustiftgasse Wien Thus, the school should be an orientation aid and contribute to the clarification of the personal talents and suitability. In this sense, the pupils in the third grade do social practicals which last eight weeks. The language of instruction is German. 9

10 Contact: Großmarktstraße 2a 1230 Wien The Islamic Cemetery With the ceremonial opening of the first Islamic cemetery in Vienna, a long-standing wish of the Islamic community for an own burial site was fulfilled on Friday, 3 October Above all, however, the cemetery has become more than just a burial site. Its main message is as follows: Austria has become a home in which our relatives can visit us at the cemetery in the future. We Muslims want to be buried at the place we have lived in. Hence, the cemetery stands for integration. JIGGÖ The Youth Council of the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria The Youth Council of the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria, abbr. JIGGÖ, is the official, only and national Youth Organization of the Islamic Religious Authority in Austria and represents these in its youth affairs. It is led by the elected youth officer in the Supreme Council of the IGGÖ. 10

11 And it is thus that We appointed you to be the community of the middle way Quran 2, 143

12 INTEGR ATION through participation Bernardgasse 5, 1070 Wien Impressum: Islamic Religious Authority in Austria 2017

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