Vienna’s First Baby Of 2018 Greeted By Islamophobic Abuse

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“I’m hoping for a cot death,” one user wrote on Facebook. Another one said, “Does the woman have cancer? Or why does she otherwise wear a headscarf?”

A baby girl in Austria was subjected to extreme racism as soon as she entered the world.

Baby Asel Tamga was named “the first Viennese baby” of the Year 2018. Her photo, surrounded by her adoring parents, was featured on local news media. However, she did not quite get the welcome she deserved. Incidentally, Asel’s parents are Muslims and her Vietnamese mother was shown wearing a headscarf as she held the slumbering baby.

In a shocking twist of events, the baby was greeted with an extreme dose of Islamophobic comments on social media.

“I’m hoping for a cot death,” one user wrote on Facebook. Another one said, “Does the woman have cancer? Or why does she otherwise wear a headscarf?”

It’s unthinkable that such a little baby can garner the hate of the masses for absolutely nothing.

The comments got so vicious that Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen had to issue the baby girl a congratulatory message to stop the trolls.

“All people are born free and equal to dignity and rights. Confidence and cohesion are greater than hatred and incitement. Welcome, dear Asel!” Van der Bellen said in a Facebook post.

“In the first hours of her life, this sweet girl was already the target of an unbelievable wave of violent, hateful online commentary,” Klaus Schwertner, secretary general of the Vienna chapter of the Roman Catholic charity Caritas, also stated on Facebook.

Schwertner also called upon his followers to stand up for the family and by Thursday, more than 10,000 people shared his message on social media and 17,000 people posted messages of love to the Tamgas.

Fortunately, not everyone viewed the little girl’s birth with such hatred.

 

 

 

 

The inundation of abuse comes a fortnight after the far-right, anti-immigrant Freedom Party (FPO) struck a coalition deal that will significantly toughen Vienna’s stance against asylum seekers — and in essence made Austria the only western European state with a far-right presence in the government.

The decision raised concerns across Europe about the revival of far-right populism and resulted in thousands of Viennese protesting against the coalition government, led by 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz of the Austria People’s Party.

Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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