Austria: Is it a provocation? Planned new mosque building opposite Catholic school

Now that the plan to build a mosque in the Unterstadtgries district of Vöcklabruck has failed, the local Bosniak-Austrian Cultural Centre wants to build its cultural and prayer centre on a plot of land opposite the Catholic Don Bosco School. The neighbours of the property, which include the car dealership “Ford4you”, the tyre dealer Auböck and the waste material collection centre, are reportedly not very happy with this plan, “because the towel-sized property on the street Ida-Pfeiffer-Straße is not suitable for the realisation of such a project for several reasons”, as Johann Hüthmair, the chairman of the Vöcklabruck Citizens’ Initiative for Civil Courage (BIZ), explains.Because it would not be possible to park on the highway B1 and the nearest car parking area at the district sports hall 700 metres away would hardly be used by future visitors to the mosque.Many inhabitants of Vöcklabruck consider the location of the mosque opposite the Don Bosco school with its many schoolgirls as a provocation.”The land on which the mosque is to be built should never have been used for any other purpose,” all those concerned agree, especially since the Chamber of Commerce had already pointed out the harmful consequences for the business park and the companies located there.That is why the managers of “Ford4you” had decidedly spoken out against the plans. They argued that the presence of the body and paint shops could cause disturbances and that the neighbouring materials collection centre would increase the volume of traffic. The “Ford4you” management is convinced that places of worship belong in a quiet residential area and not in a commercial area.

But even in a residential area, people would not be happy about a mosque, as the wrangling over the original location in Unterstadtgries showed.
What causes additional concern is the fact that no one knows exactly who is behind “Dzemet”, a corporation under public law in which the strings are pulled for the new mosque building, believes Hüthmair, who also appeals to those responsible not to violate the spatial planning in this commercial area.

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