Both the Social Democratic Part of Austria (SPÖ) as well as the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), the two largest political parties of the country, have included conservative headscarf-wearing women on their electoral lists for the upcoming Viennese elections.
In both cases the women are so far down on the list that they are sure not become part of the new Viennese council; however, in the case of the SPÖ candidate Gülsüm Namaldi (right), her conservative religious views and support for Turkish-language education has attracted criticism. Meanwhile the leader of the Viennese ÖVP, Christine Marek, called for the “acceptance of the veil as a normal situation” in an interview with the migrant magazine “Biber,” in which she poses with ÖVP’s headscarf-wearing candidate, Sara Rahman (below).
Mrs. Marek, you are a burqa ban, Sara, as you see it?
Marek: burqa and headscarf – these are really two different pairs of shoes.
Rahman: They are not only two different pairs of shoes, that’s such a big difference as that between winter boots and flip-flops. The burqa is not based on religion. It has traditionally played only a role in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, I am against a burqa ban. The woman must decide for themselves.
Marek: I do a bit different. In Austria we’re used to be able to look in the face. Where a full concealment takes place, a limit is exceeded. I once had a woman who wore a Nikhab… That’s a strange feeling to see only the eyes. So such women have little chance to integrate, of course. Therefore, I am looking for a burqa ban. This is not the headscarf. If a woman wears a headscarf voluntarily, then we have to respect that.