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Legal Recognition of Islam in Austria

Following the occupation of the Ottoman provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878 and their subsequent annexation in 1908, a significant number of Muslims came under Austro-Hungarian rule. In 1912, the Islam Law was passed as an attempt to institutionalise Islam, to allow for the legal exercise of religion, and to reduce the institutional influence of the Ottoman Empire. The Law granted legal recognition specifically to Muslims belonging to the majority Sunni-Hanafi tradition. This historic recognition of Islam is a rather unique aspect of Austrian politics of religion.

Source and further information:
 Kroissenbrunner, Sabine, “Turkish Imams in Vienna”, in W.A.R. Shahid / P.S. van Koningsveld (eds.), Intercultural Relations and Religious Authorities: Muslims in the European Union, Leuven / Paris / Dudley, 2002, pp. 184-185.
 Bauer, Dominique / Astrid Mattes, "Austria", in Egdūnas Račius u. a. (eds.), Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, Bd. 10, Leiden, 2018.
 Potz, Richard, “100 Jahre Islamgesetz”, Bundesministerium für Europäische Angelegenheiten und Integration, Wien, 2012.
 Potz, Richard, “Islamgesetz 2015“, in Andreas Kowatsch / Florian Pichler / Daniel Tibi / Harald Tripp (Hg.), 111 Begriffe des österreichischen Religionsrechts, Erlangen, 2022, pp. 176-179.

D 30 August 2023    AAstrid Mattes

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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