Carpe Diem in the Old Austrian Capital: A Letter from Vienna

…Some 19 per cent of Austria’s nearly 9 million inhabitants are immigrants or have a “Migrationshintergrund” (which in Austria means that at least one parent was born abroad). In Vienna 50 per cent of primary school children have a mother tongue that is not German, and the Muslims often come from conservative families that resist integration. They may also be anti-Semitic, a cause of some embarrassment to multicultural ideologues. The Socialist city council, preferring politically correct platitudes over action, seems reluctant to grasp the nettle of young people imbued with fundamentalism. However, a Socialist teacher has now broken ranks and described in her best-selling book Kulturkampf im Klassenzimmer how too many Muslim pupils refuse to respect her authority as a teacher on the grounds that she is a woman, call her a whore to her face because she lives with her partner, and disdain learning because, they say, “the Koran teaches us all we need to know”. This and similar anti-integrationist attitudes hinder educational attainment and bode ill for the future.

The extraordinary impact of this rather courageous teacher’s book is an Austrian example of what has recently happened in Sweden, namely that public discourse is finally catching up with what very many people think privately about the potentially adverse effects of ostrich-like official attitudes, identity politics and loosely controlled immigration in recent years.