Muslim Brotherhood à la Austria: “Operation Luxor” enters the next round

By Michael Laubsch

The legal processing of the so-called “Operation Luxor” in Austria continues. This time it’s about the responsible public prosecutor in Graz, who is in charge of the cause, an Islamic scholar and a scientist who often works for Erdogan’s “civil society“,. Being the creator and promoter of the term “Islamophobia” in the West. But one after anonther!

The year 2020, shortly after the November 1 terrorist attack in Vienna, suspected sympathizers of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood were raided in many cities in the Alpine Republic. The action, which has become known as “Operation Luxor”, was not exactly squeamish: special police forces broke into the private apartments of suspects in the early hours of the morning, searched the suspect’s premises, armed and masked, they stood in the rooms of small children.

The allegation at the time: The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in Austria is said to have planned attacks and laundered funds together with Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization. The house searches described above were also arranged for this purpose.

The seriousness of “Operation Luxor” was questioned early on because, according to many critics, it was publicly exploited by the government as a direct follow-up to the sometimes sloppy and incorrect investigations by the Austrian security apparatus into the terrorist attack in Vienna – according to the slogan: “We show a heavy hand against the Islamist killers”.

The scientist F.H. was one of those suspects who became victim of the house searches. For years he has been said to be close to the Muslim Brotherhood, he is one of those political scientists who promotes the term “Islamophobia”, which is rather thin-skinned in science, in several languages in a periodic report for the SETA Foundation in Ankara, an institute as a PR tool for the Islamic perspective of a President Erdogan would like to convey to the world. According to the Turkish social democrat and journalist U. Carirözer, the Turkish SETA Foundation, founded in 2005, was declared non-profit in 2013 by government decision. Their publications, which are sold as “independent opinion”, are said to “scientifically support” the line of the AKP government, including the press secretary of the Turkish president, who founded the institute. A parliamentary inquiry by the German Bundestag also revealed that SETA is being financed by the influential Albayrak family: Sadik Albayrak is a close friend of Erdoğan, his son was the Turkish finance minister and Erdoğan’s son-in-law. Serhat, a second son, runs the powerful pro-government media group Sabah and is the current head of the SETA Foundation.

The term “Islamophobia” is particularly popular in liberal and left-wing groups, but is viewed with a certain skepticism even by those who first brought it into the discussion Phobia refers to a pathological condition for which the latter cannot do anything. In addition, the term focuses too much on the individual and ignores power structures, as well as extremist ideologies that are preached in some Islamic groups. By equating “Islamophobia” with racism, all critical voices are declared racists, including Islamic scholars and devout Muslims. This goes so far that H. claimed in a German daily newspaper that it would even be Islamophobic “if the holiest mufti were to advocate a headscarf ban”.

The allegation that F.H. was a member or at least a sympathizer of the Muslim Brotherhood together with two other people, has now been raised again, by an Islam scholar and Quran translator, well-known in Germany and Austria. He also held corresponding background discussions with the public prosecutor responsible for “Operation Luxor” in Graz. The “Islamophobia” researcher then filed a lawsuit against the Islam scholar and informed a Viennese weekly newspaper about the case. Therefore, the story has at least reached the daily newsletter of this medium with an article that focuses on the author’s questionable methods of the responsible prosecutor. According to „Falter“, a public prosecutor cannot carry out criminal investigations into the danger of terrorism on the basis of speculation by a third party that someone may be a member or sympathizer of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In memory of the investigations from the years 2020/21, some of which were very party/politically biased, the question can certainly be raised as to whether the police actions and investigations by the public prosecutor in this case are not overshooting the mark. At the same time, however, it should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideology pose a threat to Europe, even if there are legitimate questions for the investigating authorities and politicians. Not only German reports from the federal and state authorities for the protection of the constitution suggest that sub-organizations of the movement in Germany are being checked by the authorities there because, together with their ideology, they pose a threat to democracy. This also includes groups that the accused F.H. demonstrably attended and held lectures. It also cannot be denied that SETA employee F.H. never publicly distanced himself from extremist views of the Brotherhood’s ideological founding fathers, Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb andYussuf al-Qaradawi. Anti-Semitism, the annihilation of Israel, a medieval image of women in which men are allowed to hit their wives form a canon of values that is directed against the European charter of Fundamental Rights. The Muslim Brotherhood also rejects the secular state and its laws, and demands the reintroduction of Sharia as the basic principle of coexistence and the state order.

It is therefore imperative that the state and the judiciary not only pursue terrorists and murderers in the name of a religion with all the harshness of the law, but that the political and social explosiveness of so-called “legalistic Islam” is finally recognized as a danger to our basic democratic order . It is precisely these organizations that receive millions of euros every year from dubious sources in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and offshore paradises. The laws to take action against this have already been written, there is no need for populist actions by politicians.

Foreign financing must be stopped, the Muslim Brotherhood must be fought with all the legal means of our constitutional state, and sympathizers of legalistic Islam must also be aware of the consequences when speaking up for radicalism. Journalists should also consider this challenge when they complain about the rule of law, even if the criticism is justified. However, investigations into other cases by public prosecutors have resulted in politicians’ resigning. And the press celebrated this, and rightly so!

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