Vienna: A Case Study of the ‘Great Replacement’

By Raymond Ibrahim Published on June 20, 2024

Whoever doubts the merits of the “great replacement theory” — which holds that global “elites” are replacing white, Christian populations with nonwhite, non-Christian (especially Muslim) populations — should take a good look at Austria.

Its capital, Vienna — once a celebrated center of art, culture, and music, and the capital of the Christian Holy Roman Empire — is now infested with Islam.

According to a June 11 report, 35% of Viennese primary school students are Muslim, whereas only 21% are Catholic — even though Catholicism is Austria’s historic religion and once accounted for nearly 100% of the populace’s religion.

The report adds that over the last seven years, Vienna’s Muslim population has grown by 20%. This would seem to suggest that, in 2017, the Muslim population of Vienna was relatively benign, leading authorities to conclude that bringing in more of them should have no negative consequences.

If fact, nothing could be further from the truth. According to a 2017 report titled “Austrians living in fear as violent migrant gangs carry out DAILY attacks in Vienna”:

Muggings and beatings are becoming commonplace in the historic capital city, with passersby being attacked on almost a daily basis….The Praterstern area, just outside central Vienna, is now controlled by North Africans and is considered the worst area in the city for crime. Despite police increasing their presence in the area it has become riddled with crime. On the other side of the city, the area surrounding the West Railway Station has been taken over by Afghans who have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons…. Crimes carried out by migrants in Austria have risen rapidly over the past year as more arrive in the country. Last year [2016], there were a total 22,000 criminal complaints against migrants, up from 14,000 in 2015, the Austrian Interior Ministry revealed. Sex attacks carried out by asylum seekers has become a serious problem in Austria, with a 133 per cent increase in migrant sex attacks in the past year since the migrant crisis erupted. Swimming pools and other public venues have become some of the most prevalent areas for attacks to take place.

Not Isolated Problems

Indeed, as in other European nations, sex crimes — including against young boys — have skyrocketed in Austria. According to one report, “Hardly a day goes by without reports of sex attacks” at the hands of migrants. In one incident, a 17-year-old Muslim asylum seeker raped a 72-year-old grandmother after she helped him out of a canal.

Some police have apparently been less than responsive, even going so far as to blame the victims. When a 20-year-old Austrian woman waiting at a bus stop in Vienna was attacked, beaten, and robbed by four Muslim men — including one who “started [by] putting his hands through my hair and made it clear that in his cultural background there were hardly any blonde women”—police responded by telling the victim to dye her hair:

At first I was scared, but now I’m more angry than anything. After the attack they told me that women shouldn’t be alone on the streets after 8 p.m. And they also gave me other advice, telling me I should dye my hair dark and also not dress in such a provocative way. Indirectly that means I was partly to blame for what happened to me. That is a massive insult.

Still, surely none of the above is indicative of Muslim teaching but rather generic criminality, which plagues all places and cultures? In fact, Islamic teachings are the root source.

Teaching Hatred and Deception

For example, in May 2023, mosques in Austria were exposed for actively teaching Muslim youth not to befriend native Austrians or any other non-Muslims. While some politicians — such as Manfred Haimbuchner of Austria’s conservative Freedom Party — expressed shock and outrage at this teaching, it is, in fact, a mainstream Muslim doctrine. According to Koran 3:28:

Let believers not take for friends and allies infidels rather than believers: and whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah — unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions [taqiyya].

The latter portion of that verse means that, whenever Muslims are in a position of weakness, they may pretend to be friends with non-Muslims, as long as they continue harboring hate for them in their hearts (for other Islamic-sanctioned forms of deception, see tawriya and taysir).

Koran 5:51 is even more explicit, and names names:

O believers, do not take Jews and Christians for friends and allies. They are allies of one another; and anyone who makes them his friends is surely one of them.

But the matter is far worse than not befriending non-Muslims. Koran 60:4 calls for Muslims to perpetually hate all non-Muslims until they “believe in Allah alone.” After quoting Koran 60:4, the Islamic State (ISIS) confessed to the West, “We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers.” As for any and all political “grievances,” these are “secondary” reasons for the jihad, the group said:

The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you.

Where’s the Love?

Many other hostile and divisive verses permeate the Koran (see also 4:89, 4:144, 5:51, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 60:1). Koran 58:22 goes as far as to praise Muslims who kill their own non-Muslim family members.

The matter is such that, because enmity for non-Muslims is so ironclad in the Koran, mainstream Islamic teaching holds that Muslim men must even hate — and show that they hate — their non-Muslim wives, while enjoying them sexually or for their wealth, etc.

Little wonder Muslims express their hate for the once-dominant religion of Austria — Christianity, vestiges of which are still seen everywhere —on a regular basis.

For example, in July 2023, two teenage Muslims living in Austria confessed that they wanted to “kill Christians” and “restore the caliphate” after being arrested. When confronted in court, the unrepentant boys — who both had a history of violence and criminality — admitted, “We wanted to shoot all the Christians in the class!” Asked how they would have responded if police had intervened, they said, “We would have surrendered”—adding that “Allah would have forgiven” them in prison, since “killing Christians takes us to paradise.”

A few more recent examples of how Muslim hate for Christianity regularly expresses itself in Austria follow:

  • In January 2021, approximately 40 Muslim migrants rioted and burned down a Christmas tree in Favoriten. The fire brigade heard one of the migrants yelling: “A Christmas tree has no place in a Muslim district,” even as the raging mob pelted the emergency service officials with projectiles to screams of “Allahu Akbar.”
  • In April 2022, a Muslim man chased, beat, and kicked a Christian man for distributing Bibles in the streets of Vienna-Meidling.
  • In July 2023, statues of Jesus and Mary in a beloved Viennese prayer garden were found beheaded.
  • Last November, a Muslim refugee wreaked havoc inside Kepler Church in Vienna, including violently tearing a Madonna statue from its anchorage. Two days later, the same man disrupted mass inside Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna’s most celebrated place of worship. When confronted by two security guards, the Muslim “went crazy and threatened to slit the two employees’ throats with a screwdriver…”
  • Last month, a Catholic church was hit with graffiti proclaiming, “Islam will win, with you or without,” and “Deen over Dunya” (“Religion over worldly life”). Four years ago, 50 young people (presumed to be Turks) stormed into the same church shouting, “Allahu Akbar!”

Governmental Capitulation

Nor is the matter limited to lawless violence. Austria is willingly capitulating. Rather than expecting Muslims to assimilate, it is the Christians of Austria who are expected to accommodate Muslim sensibilities.

According to one report titled, “Catholic children forced to learn Islamic songs at [an] Austrian elementary school”: “At an elementary school in Linz, Catholic children have to memorise and recite Islamic songs as part of the Islamic Ramadan festival. They were forced to take part and were punished if they refused.” After picking up her young son from school, one Catholic mother was shocked to hear him loudly chanting “Allah, Allah!” He told her that for two months the entire class had been compelled to sing songs about Islam, or else risk punishment. “It felt like a slap in my face!” said the mother in an interview.

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That all of this is happening in Austria in general, Vienna in particular, is especially ironic, if not symbolic.

In 1683, hundreds of thousands of Muslim jihadists, led by the Ottoman Turks, encircled and laid siege to Vienna. There was a reason they chose that city. For centuries, it had been the capital of the Holy Roman Empire — which itself had long been the “Defender of the Faith” and chief nemesis of Islamic jihad. At the final moment, the Europeans manfully defeated the Muslims and lifted the siege, thereby saving not just Vienna but all of Europe.

Today, Muslims are making the sorts of inroads in Austria, and all throughout Europe, that their ancestors could never have dreamt were possible. But this is less a reflection of Islam —which is today significantly weaker than in its Ottoman heyday — and more a reflection of a swiftly dying, if not suicidal, secular Europe.


Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West and Sword and Scimitar, is the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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