The President of Austria has called for all women to wear headscarves in solidarity with Muslims to fight “rampant Islamophobia”.
Alexander Van der Bellen, the left-wing former Green Party leader who narrowly beat a far-right candidate to take office in January, said freedom of expression was a fundamental right.
The nationality of the fourth skier has not yet been revealed by police.
The measure was introduced by the ruling Social Democratic party (SPÖ) and the centre-right Austrian People’s party (ÖVP) to prevent the collapse of their coalition government.Three Swiss men were killed and a fourth person is feared dead today after an avalanche engulfed a tour party of eight skiers in western Austria, police said.The tragedy occurred at around 12.30pm near the Jochgrubenkopf peak at 2,450 metres (8,040ft) above sea level, southeast of Innsbruck.'Four from the group survived and were rescued by helicopter.“It is every woman’s right to always dress how she wants, that is my opinion on the matter,” he told an audience of school pupils.“And it is not only Muslim women, all women can wear a headscarf, and if this real and rampant Islamaphobia continues, there will come a day where we must ask all women to wear a headscarf – all – out of solidarity to those who do it for religious reasons.” Mr Van der Bellen was responding to a question from a schoolgirl who argued a ban on Islamic headscarves or veils would reduce women to their appearance, rather than accomplishments, and shut some out of the labour market.