KAICIID closure puts Austrian neutrality into question, is ineffective and harms dialogue

Activist and former KAICIID partner takes on the Austrian parliament's decision to close the interreligious center in Vienna

The  decision to close the KAICIID Dialogue Centre, an interfaith organization dedicated to conflict resolution, sets a dangerous precedent.”
Heather Wokusch, educator and activist
If the protection of human rights applies globally, can it be assumed that Austrian-based entities from the US, China, Japan, Iran and Singapore will now also be closed? After all, those are among the countries which carried out controversial executions in 2018.”
Heather Wokusch, educator and activist
Workshops on integrating into Austrian society, events for capacity building in peaceful dialogue, support in understanding interfaith principles? KAICIID’s got them – free of charge.”
Heather Wokusch, educator and activist
Perhaps freezing the Austrian-based assets of wealthy Saudis or demanding concrete support from large Vienna-based entities such as OPEC would be effective instead.”
Heather Wokusch, educator and activist

Wien (OTS) - Author, educator and activist, Heather Wokusch is one of many people who oppose the closing of the so-called "Saudi Centre." In her opinion piece for Metropole, Wokusch gives insight into the activities of the center, raises questions regarding the selective application of pro-human rights principles and warns against exploiting anti-Arab sentiment for political purposes.

“The decision to close the KAICIID Dialogue Centre, an interfaith organization dedicated to conflict resolution, sets a dangerous precedent.”

She goes on to elaborate on the need for consistent action in regards to denouncing human rights violations and use of the death penalty.

“If the protection of human rights applies globally, can it be assumed that Austrian-based entities from the US, China, Japan, Iran and Singapore will now also be closed? After all, those are among the countries which carried out controversial executions in 2018.”

The author speaks highly of the work of KAICIID and sees a lack of effort by parliamentarians to understand the work of the organization.

“Workshops on integrating into Austrian society, events for capacity building in peaceful dialogue, support in understanding interfaith principles? KAICIID’s got them – free of charge.”

Wokusch suggests other measures that would be more effecting in forcing Saudi reform.

“Perhaps freezing the Austrian-based assets of wealthy Saudis or demanding concrete support from large Vienna-based entities such as OPEC would be effective instead.”

On social media, people who oppose the closing have used the hashtag #standwithkaiciid.

For the full article visit: metropole.at

Heather Wokusch is an author, educator and activist. She has written numerous political articles and two activism books that reached Amazon’s top 10 in their category. A firm believer in the democratization of knowledge, she is an expert in eLearning and provides consultation on topics connected to organizational development, media outreach, digitalization, intercultural communication, and innovative learning architectures.

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