Austria: Fuss over signage – Islam ban on playground?

For several weeks now, the people of Salzburg have been amazed at the brand new prohibition signage that have been put up at the playgrounds in the municipality of Puch near Hallein. “Swings only with a registration form?” asks the Salzburg edition of the newspaper “Kronen Zeitung”, which reported on the matter.

The signage read: “Use is only permitted to Puch citizens (persons with their main residence in the municipality of Puch near Hallein)! So far, so good, but an email from Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) mayor Helmut Klose has now resulted in the involvement of the Office of the Ombudsman for Children and Young People.

Several angry residents contacted the lawyer’s office, for example to clarify the legal basis. It is also unclear whether the local council was involved in the decision at all. The tip of the iceberg, however, is an e-mail that, according to the “Kronen Zeitung”, is being circulated in the village.

In it one can read further remarks on the playground ban. “It is also not accepted when Muslim families spread blankets at the playground and practise their midday religion, that is not part of our culture.”

Parents hope that this is just a misunderstanding of the language. The questions of the Children’s and Young People’s Ombudsman’s Office to the mayor should now clarify this.

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