General Information

Republic of Austria

National name: Republik Österreich

Land area: 31,942 sq mi (82,730 sq km); total area: 32,382 sq mi (83,870 sq km)

Population (2008 est.): 8,205,53

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Vienna, 2,041,300 (metro area), 1,523,600 (city proper)

Other large cities: Graz, 219,500; Linz, 185,300; Salzburg, 145,500; Innsbruck, 115,600

Monetary units: Euro (formerly schilling)

Languages: German (official nationwide); Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian (each official in one region)

Ethnicity/race: Austrians 91.1%, former Yugoslavs 4% (includes Croatians, Slovenes, Serbs, Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, German 0.9%, other or unspecified 2.4% (2001)

Religions: Roman Catholic 74%, Protestant 5%, Islam 4%, none 12% (2001)

National Holiday: National Day, October 26

Literacy rate: 98%

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $319.7 billion; per capita $39,000. Real growth rate: 3.3%. Inflation: 1.9%.

Slightly smaller than Maine, Austria includes much of the mountainous territory of the eastern Alps (about 75% of the area). The country contains many snowfields, glaciers, and snowcapped peaks, the highest being the Grossglockner (12,530 ft; 3,819 m). The Danube is the principal river. Forests and woodlands cover about 40% of the land.

Settled in prehistoric times, the central European land that is now Austria was overrun in pre-Roman times by various tribes, including the Celts. After the fall of the Roman Empire, of which Austria was part, the area was invaded by Bavarians and Slavic Avars. Charlemagne conquered the area in 788 and encouraged colonization and Christianity. In 1252, Ottokar, king of Bohemia, gained possession, only to lose the territories to Rudolf of Hapsburg in 1278. Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was largely that of its ruling house, the Hapsburgs. Austria emerged from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 as the continent's dominant power. The Ausgleich of 1867 provided for a dual sovereignty, the empire of Austria and the kingdom of Hungary, under Franz Joseph I, who ruled until his death on Nov. 21, 1916. The Austrian-Hungarian minority rule of this immensely diverse empire, which included German, Czech, Romanian, Serbian, and many other lands, became increasingly difficult in an age of emerging nationalist movements. When Archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo in 1914, World War I, as well as the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, began.

During World War I, Austria-Hungary was one of the Central powers with Germany, Bulgaria, and Turkey, and the conflict left the country in political chaos and economic ruin. Austria, shorn of Hungary, was proclaimed a republic in 1918, and the monarchy was dissolved in 1919. A parliamentary democracy was set up by the constitution of Nov. 10, 1920. To check the power of Nazis advocating union with Germany, Chancellor Engelbert Dolfuss in 1933 established a dictatorship, but he was assassinated by the Nazis on July 25, 1934. Kurt von Schuschnigg, his successor, struggled to keep Austria independent, but on March 12, 1938, German troops occupied the country, and Hitler proclaimed its Anschluss (union) with Germany, annexing it to the Third Reich.

After World War II, the U.S. and Britain declared the Austrians a “liberated” people, but the Russians prolonged the occupation. Finally Austria concluded a state treaty with the USSR and the other occupying powers and regained its independence on May 15, 1955. The second Austrian republic, established Dec. 19, 1945, on the basis of the 1920 constitution (amended in 1929), was declared by the federal parliament to be permanently neutral.


Islamic History and Muslims

Islam is a minority religion in Austria with 4.22 % of the population in the 2001 census. Most Muslims came to Austria after 1960 as migrant workers from Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. There are also communities of Arab and Pakistani origin.

The westernmost Bundesland Vorarlberg with its industrial small towns and villages has the highest share of Muslims in the country with 8.36 % (it resembles the neighboring north-eastern parts of Switzerland in this respect). It is followed by the capital Vienna with 7.82 %. The central Bundesländer Salzburg, Upper Austria, Tyrol and Lower Austria follow with the share of Muslim population at around the average. South-eastern states of Styria, Carinthia as well as Burgenland in the east have fewer Muslims whose numbers are below the national average.

Austria is unique among Western European countries insofar as it has granted Muslims the status of a recognized religious community. This dates back to the times following Austria-Hungary's annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878. Austria has regulated the religious freedoms of the Muslim community with the so called "Anerkennungsgesetz" ("Act of Recognition"). This law was reactivated in 1979 when the Community of Muslim believers in Austria (Islamische Glaubensgemeinschaft in Österreich) was founded. This organization is entitled to give lessons of religious education in state schools. It is also allowed to collect "church tax" but so far it has not exercised this privilege. Nor does it build, finance or administer mosques in Austria.

Parallel structures exist within the Islamic religious group. The religious life takes place in mosques belonging to organisation which represent one of the currents of Turkish, Bosnian and Arab Muslims. Among the Turkish organisations the "Federation of Turkish-Islamic Associations" is controlled by the Directorate for Religious Affairs, whereas the other groups, such as the Süleymancýs and Milli Görüþ, may be considered as branches of the pan-European organisation centered in Germany.

The Alevis who are considered non-orthodox, if not non-Muslim, by many Sunnis, and who make up a considerable minority among the Turks, do not take part in the activities of the community of the Islamic believers (Islamische Glaubensgemeinschaft).

Muslims in Austria according to their ethnic groups

  • Turks (97,346)

  • Bosniaks (95,007)

  • Kurds (26,770)

  • Arabs, Others (6,577)

  • Arabs, Egyptian (5,547)

  • Iranians (5,002)

  • Serbians (3,045)

  • Indo-Pakistanis (609)

  • Turks (70,696)

  • Bosniaks (59,847)

  • Afghans (31,300)

  • Kurds (21,861)

  • Albanians (20,520)

  • Iranians (12,452)

  • Indo-Pakistanis (8,490)

  • Arabs (6,368)

New Muslim Stories

Muhammad Asad

by : Islam, Our Choice

About the author:

Muhammad Asad, Leopold Weiss, was born in Livow, Austria (later Poland) in 1900, and at the age of 22 made his visit to the Middle East. He later became an outstanding foreign correspondent for the Franfurtur Zeitung, and after his conversion to Islam travelled and worked throughout the Muslim world, from North Africa to as far East as Afghanistan. After years of devoted study he became one of the leading Muslim scholars of our age. After the establishment of Pakistan, he was appointed the Director of the Department of Islamic Reconstruction, West Punjab and later on became Pakistan's Alternate Representative at the United Nations. Muhammad Asad's two important books are: Islam at the Crossroads and Road to Mecca. He also produced a monthly journal Arafat. At present he is working upon an English translation of the Holy Qur'an. [Asad completed his translation and has passed away. -MSA-USC]

In 1922 I left my native country, Austria, to travel through Africa and Asia as a Special Correspondent to some of the leading Continental newspapers, and spent from that year onward nearly the whole of my time in the Islamic East. My interest in the nations with which I came into contact was in the beginning that of an outsider only. I saw before me a social order and an outlook on life fundamentally different from the European; and from the very first there grew in me a sympathy for the more tranquil -- I should rather say: more mechanised mode of living in Europe. This sympathy gradually led me to an investigation of the reasons for such a difference, and I became interested in the religious teachings of the Muslims. At the time in question, that interest was not strong enough to draw me into the fold of Islam, but it opened to me a new vista of a progressive human society, of real brotherly feeling. The reality, however, of presentday Muslim life appeared to be very far from the ideal possibilities given in the religious teachings of Islam. Whatever, in Islam, had been progress and movement, had turned, among the Muslims, into indolence and stagnation; whatever there had been of generosity and readiness for self-sacrifice, had become, among the present-day Muslims, perverted into narrow-mindedness and love of an easy life.

Prompted by this discovery and puzzled by the obvious incongruency between Once and Now, I tried to approach the problem before me from a more intimate point of view: that is, I tried to imagine myself as being within the circle of Islam. It was a purely intellectual experiment; and it revealed to me, within a very short time, the right solution. I realised that the one and only reason for the social and cultural decay of the Muslims consisted in the fact that they had gradually ceased to follow the teachings of Islam in spirit. Islam was still there; but it was a body without soul. The very element which once had stood for the strength of the Muslim world was now responsible for its weakness: Islamic society had been built, from the very outset, on religious foundations alone, and the weakening of the foundations has necessarily weakened the cultural structure -- and possibly might cause its ultimate disappearance.

The more I understood how concrete and how immensely practical the teachings of Islam are, the more eager became my questioning as to why the Muslims had abandoned their full application to real life. I discussed this problem with many thinking Mulsims in almost all the countries between the Libyan Desert and the Pamirs, between the Bosphorus and the Arabian Sea. It almost became an obsession which ultimately overshadowed all my other intellectual interests in the world of Islam. The questioning steadily grew in emphasis -- until I, a non-Muslim, talked to Muslims as if I were to defend Islam from their negligence and indolence. The progress was imperceptible to me, until one day -- it was in autumn 1925, in the mountains of Afghanistan -- a young provincial Governor said to me: "But you are a Muslim, only you don't know it yourself." I was struck by these words and remained silent. But when I came back to Europe once again, in 1926, I saw that the only logical consequence of my attitude was to embrace Islam.

So much about the circumstances of my becoming a Muslim. Since then I was asked, time and again: "Why did you embrace Islam ? What was it that attracted you particularly ?" -- and I must confess: I don't know of any satisfactory answer. It was not any particular teaching that attracted me, but the whole wonderful, inexplicably coherent structure of moral teaching and practical life programme. I could not say, even now, which aspect of it appeals to me more than any other. Islam appears to me like a perfect work of architecture. All its parts are harmoniously conceived to complement and support each other: nothing is superfluous and nothing lacking, with the result of an absolute balance and solid composure. Probably this feeling that everything in the teachings and postulates of Islam is "in its proper place," has created the strongest impression on me. There might have been, along with it, other impressions also which today it is difficult for me to analyse. After all, it was a matter of love; and love is composed of many things; of our desires and our loneliness, of our high aims and our shortcomings, of our strength and our weakness. So it was in my case. Islam came over me like a robber who enters a house by night; but, unlike a robber, it entered to remain for good.

Ever since then I endeavoured to learn as much as I could about Islam. I studied the Qur'an and the Traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him); I studied the language of Islam and its history, and a good deal of what has been written about it and against it. I spent over five years in the Hijaz and Najd, mostly in al-Madinah, so that I might experience something of the original surroundings in which this religion was preached by the Arabian Prophet. As the Hijaz is the meeting centre of Muslims from many countries, I was able to compare most of the different religious and social views prevalent in the Islamic world in our days. Those studies and comparisons created in me the firm conviction that Islam, as a spiritual and social phenomenon, is still in spite of all the drawbacks caused by the deficiencies of the Muslims, by far the greatest driving force mankind has ever experienced; and all my interest became, since then, centred around the problem of its regeneration. 


Austria. Vienna. February 10, 2006. A couple of hundred demonstrators gathered in Viennas city center to protest against the controversial prophet Muhammad caricatures. The drawings were first published in the Danish newspaper "Jyllands-Posten".
The demonstration passed off peacefully. The demonstrators said no to violence and no to terror. However they wanted an apology for hurting their religious feelings.

Vienna Islamic Centre


Islam and Muslims in Austria [Islam in Austria: Lecture Series in Graz]

Unique Legal Status - Muslims in Austria


Muslimische Philanthropie und bürgerschaftliches Engagement:



  Islamic Centers and Organizations

Islamisches Zentrum, Vienna, AUSTRIA
URL:   Phone: 2630922

Abu Bakr Mosque, Wien, wien
Phone: 06767134726

Al-Hidaya Mosque, Wien, Wien
Phone: 01 -214 62 91

Phone: 60139286270

Akabe Mosque, Wien
Phone: 330 72 46

Al-Rahman Islamic Cultivation society, Linz
URL:   Phone: 732-653633

Afro Asian Institute, Wien

LIGA Kulturverein für M.[Muslims], Graz
URL:   Phone: 0316-570359

Abou Agin OEG, Wien
Phone: 1-9137056

Abou-Harb Ayman MedR Dr, Wien
Phone: 1-6026206
  Mevlana Camii, Parndorf
  Türkischer Kultur Verein, Perjen
  Union Islamischer Kulturzentren, Kematen
  Aalbanische Moschee IKRE-LIES, Wien
  Abu Bakr Mosque, Wien
  Abu Bakr Mosque, Vienna
  AFRO-ASIAT. Moschee, Vienna
  Ahmet Yesevi Mosque, Wien
  Akabe Mosque, Wien
  Al Rahman Mosche, Linz Stadt
  AL-Buchari Moschee, Wien
  Al-Fath Mosche, Vienna
  Al-Hidaya Mosque, Wien
  Al-Rahman Islamic Cultivation society, Linz
  Albanian Bashkimi Mosque, Linz
  Albanian Mosque, Hollabrunn
  Albanian Mosque, Sankt Polten
  Albanian Mosque - Albanische Moslemische Kulturverein, Krems An Der Donau
  Albanische Camii, Wien
  ALHEDAYAH Mosque, Vienna
  Allgemeines Krankenhause, Wien
  AlNur Mosque, Graz
  AlTawheed Mosque, Wien
  Anadolu Mosque, Wien
  Ansar Mosque, Tirol
  Arabic Masjid, Wels
  Arabisches kultur zentrum masjid asalam, Villach
  As-Salam Mosque, Wien
  At-Tauhid Mosque, Wien
  Atib Mosque, Wien
  ATTNANG PUCHHEIM Islamisches Kulturzentrum, Attnang
  Austrian Turkish Islamic and cultural center (ATIB), Leoben
  Österreichisch Türkischer demokratischer Kultur Verein u Moschee,, Salzburg
  BAD VÖSLAU Islamisches Kulturzentrum, Bad Voslau
  Bad Voslau Moschee, Bad Voslau
  Baitul Muhtadin, Wien
  Bangladesh Islamische Kultu Verein Baitul Mukarram Mosjid, Wien
  Bayezit Mosque, Wien
  Bilal Habashi Mosque, Wien
  Bludenz Prayer Room, Bludenz
  Bosnian Society, Wien
  Bosnian Islamic Union, Salzburg
  Bosnische Islamische Gemeinschaft Salzburg, Salzburg Stadt
  Bosnisches Islamisches Zentrum, Wien
  Bosnjacko-Islamski Kulturni Centar Bezirk Braunau, Braunau Am Inn
  Bregenz Prayer Room, Vorarlberg
  Camii Verein heimatverbundene Türkenmoschee,, Pongau
  Camii Verein heimatverbundene Türkenmoschee,, Wagna
Direktor Islamischen Zentrum, Wien

  Albanischer Islam Kultur-Wohltätigkeit u Sportverein, Ochsenburg
  Union Islamischer Kulturzentren in Österreich, Steyr
  Albanischer, Islamischer Kulturverein Bashkimi Linz, Linz
  Austro Arab News, Vienna
  BAD VÖSLAU-ATIB Union Islamischer, Bad Voslau
  Bündnis Mosaik, Wien
  Bosniakische-Muslimische Gemeinschaft Vorarlberg, Feldkirch
  Dachverb. Bosnischer Islam. Verein, Wien
  Dachverband d türkischen Kulturel Zentrum, Hohenems
  FREISTADT -ATIB, Rainbach Im Muhlkreis
  FULPMES Stubaital Islamische, Fulpmes
  GÄNSERDORF Union Islamischer, Gramatneusiedl
  GMÜND-ATIB Union Islamischer, Schrems
  HÖRBRANZ-ATIB Lochauer, Horbranz
  Horn Haus der Auswandere, Horn
  Initiative Muslimischer Akademiker Bund, Wien
  Islamic Cultural Union, Wiener Neustadt
  Islamische Glaubens, Wien
  Islamische Glaubensgemeinschaft in Österreich, Wien
  Islamische Liga der Kultur, Wien
  Islamische Vereinigung Moschee, Wien
  Islamische Vereinigung in Österreich, Wien
  Islamische Volksschule Wien, Wien
  Islamischer Kulturverein, Wien
  Islamisches Kulturzentrum, Ludesch
  Islamisches Kulturzentrum, Innsbruck
  KITZBÜHL-ATIB, Kitzbuhler Ache
  Kulturverein der Albanische Muslime, Krems An Der Donau Land
  LIGA Kulturverein für M.[Muslims], Graz
  LINZ Verein Islamische Arbeiterunion, Linz
  lslamischer Kulturverein, Wien
  Moslimischer Elternverein, Bregenz
  Mufti der Islamischen Religionsgem, Wien
  Muslim Youth Austria, Vienna
  Muslimische Jugend Österreich, Salzburg
  Obfrau Islam. Föderation, Wien
  Radio: ISLAM im GESPRÄCH, Linz
  SCHÄRDING-ATIB Turkisch-islamischer V, Linzer Haus
  ST.JOHANN-ATIB, Johann Hof
  Türkisch-Islamischer Verein ATIB-Linz, Linz
  Türkische Islamische Gemeinschaft, Schwaz
  Türkische Kultur- und Sportgemeinschaft, Wien
  Turkish Islamic Association Enzesfelder, Hirtenberg
  Union islamischer Kulturzentren in Österreich, Wien
Verein Albanische Muslime, Wien

  Afro Asian Institute, Wien
  AL-DAAWA Kindergarten, Wien
  Dar Al-Arqam (دار الارقم لتحفيظ القرآن), Vienna
  IMAN Kindergarten, Wien
  IQRA Kindergarten, Wien
  Islamic Gymnasium Vienna, Vienna
  Islamische Volksschule, Wien
  Islamisches Gymnasium, Wien
  Osterreichisch Egyptische Privatschule, Wien
Vienna International Islamic Schools – Al-Azhar, Wien

   Muslim Owned Business

  Abou Agin OEG, Wien
  Abou-Harb Ayman MedR Dr, Wien
  Abou-Harb Baschar Dr, Wien
  Abou-Roumie Dorit Dr, Stronsdorf
  Abou-Roumie Mahmoud Dr, Stronsdorf
  Abouelenin Ahmed Maher MedR Dr, Wien
  Aboufazeli Houshang Dr, Bruck
  Aboul Enein Hassan MedR Dr, Wien
  Aboulez Nadja Dr, Wien
  Aboutaha Osman Dr med, Wolfsberg
  Abu-Dayeh Omar Dr, Wien
  Aburumieh Abdulrahman Prim Prof Dr, Wien
  Aburumieh Abdulrahman Prim Prof Dr, Melk
  Abuzahra Abdel Karim Dr, Eisenerz
  Abuzahra Mohamed Dr, Steyr
  Abuzahra Mohamed Dr, Enns
  Ahmad Omar Dr, Wien
  Al-Tikriti Farouk D, Graz
  Assi Karim Dr, Halbturn
  Autohandel Bakr, Graz
  Babadostu Dr. Ahmet Sirzat, Tamsweg
  Courtessy Business (AbdulKarim A-I), Vienna
  El-Shohoumi Omar Dr, Stockerau
  Hitechshop Computers and arabic Programms, Vienna
  Hollywoodpizza, Vienna
  Karimi Alireza Dipl-Ing, Graz
  Karimi M, Gartenau
  Khaliel Mahmoud Dr, Asparn an der Zaya
  Mahmoud Azzam Dr, Wien
  Mahmoud Mietwagen KEG, Wien
  Naim-LKW, Deutschfeistritz
  Nayeb, Vienna
  Novidi Karim, Wien
  Omid Mahmoud Dr, Wien
  Pizza-Serviec Solo, Wels
  pizzeria caprese, Vienna
  Rigal Mahmoud Dr, Oberhausen
  Rigal Mahmoud Dr, Wien
  Rigal Mahmoud Dr med, Wien
  Saleh Mahmoud Dr, Klosterneuburg
  Saleh Omar, Wien
Sourour Mahmoud Dr, Innsbruck

Islam in  Austria(  , September, 2008).
Info please ( ,  September, 2008).
Islam Finder (  , September, 2008).
World Religions Statistics ( , September, 2008).
Anonymous, Documents from Representatives of Islamic Organizations in Austria, September 2008.