A Muslim Candidate for the Christian Democrats

7 October 2010
“My dialect gives me away,” says Sara Rahman smiling, “I’m from Upper Austria.” Rahman, a practicing Muslim who wears a hijab, is 29th on the electoral list for the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), a Christian democratic political party. For Rahman there is no contradiction between being Muslim and being part of a Christian political party: the ÖVP is a value-oriented party, and she sees many similarities with her own way of thinking.
Nevertheless, she is against a ban on the burqa, a position supported by the leader of the ÖVP, Christine Marek. Rahman believes that each woman should have the right to choose for herself, though personally she does not understand why someone would choose to wear a burqa. She finds the current debate on integration to be superfluous, while she understands that right-wing voters have legitimate fears, and initiatives need to be taken to dispel those fears. Though Rahman has no chance of joining the local council due to her position on the list, she says she finds the idea exciting, were the opportunity to present itself.

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