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                      Austria: Islamophobic attacks against Muslims increase by 21 percent

VIENNA (AA): Racist attacks against Muslims rose in Austria in 2017 when compared to the previous year, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The Documentation and Consultation Center for Muslims in Austria report said in 2017 there were 309 racist attacks against Muslims, a 21 percent increase when compared to 2016.

In 2016, there were 253 documented attacks against Muslims, the report said.

Ninety-eight percent of the attacks against individuals targeted women and 49 percent occurred in open or semi-closed spaces like public transport.

Most attacks took place in October 2017 due to general elections in the country, the report said.

Hate speech was scribbled on the walls of mosques and other Muslim institutes, especially during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which corresponded to May and June last year.

The attacks comprised of 30 percent hate speech, 28 percent verbal attacks against individuals, 19 percent racist writings on the walls, and 11 percent others.

Documentation and Consultation Center for Muslims in Austria is recording attacks against Muslims in the country since 2014. The center also provides consultancy service to victims of the attacks.

[Map of Austria by Globe-trotter/Creative Commons]