Twitter up in arms after ex-Austrian MP says that girls wear headscarves to avoid migrant assaults

Twitter up in arms after ex-Austrian MP says that girls wear headscarves to avoid migrant assaults
An interview with an ex-MP suggesting that Austrian-born girls wear headscarves to hide the fact they aren’t Muslims and to prevent assaults from migrants on the streets of Vienna has triggered a storm on social media.

Marcus Franz, a doctor and former MP from the conservative Austrian People’s Party, made the comments on local TV last week.

“I myself know fathers who, when their daughters come home in the evening when they live in the problem area, give them headscarves so they won’t be recognized as Austrians. I know this personally, in the 15th district [of Vienna], this is a fact,” Franz said.

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Franz also stated that his experience as a doctor tells him that women are afraid because of repeated “micro-aggressions” happening on the streets of Vienna, especially in districts with a lot of migrants.

Franz’s words provoked a heated discussion on Twitter, with many alarmed over the current state of affairs.

The conservative politician’s revelations led some to speculate on the future: “Great, now they’ll be expected to follow Sharia,” one person wrote.

Others said Franz’s words are an open secret. “Swedish girls have done that for years,” one person commented.

Many Twitter users slammed the governments of EU states that have allowed a huge influx of migrants from the Middle East and Northern Africa since 2015.

“Sebastian Kurz, what are you going to do?” one person wrote, addressing the Austrian PM whose right-wing government announced plans to ban girls under 10 years old from wearing headscarves in kindergarten and primary school.

The bill, which foresees a €440 (US$455) fine or two weeks in prison for parents violating the rule, is set to be passed through parliament this year. Foreigners constitute 15.8 percent of the Austrian population, and 29.6 percent of the capital, Vienna, according to a 2018 survey.

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