A piece of news circulated on several Coptic news sites during the past few days has worked to arouse the fears of Copts. The news went to the effect that IS had flown its flag on the spire of the Coptic Orthodox church of the Holy Virgin of Zeitoun in Vienna.
Watani contacted one of the Church officials in Vienna who said that the news were greatly exaggerated. A few days ago, he said, it was discovered that someone had sprayed the back wall of the church, which lies in Vienna 22, with the black IS flag. The church lies in a quiet neighbourhood and the back wall faces a garden, so no one was aware of the flag sprayed till later. The police were informed and are currently investigating the matter. They have covered the black flag with tape until the investigation is concluded.
Even though the matter has not irked the majority of the Coptic congregation, it has made Muslims in Austria wary that the incident would cause the Austrian government to impose harsh restrictions on Muslim immigrants. This has driven a number of Islamic centres in Austria to issue condemnations of the deed which, they say, works to give Muslims a bad image.
29 August 2015