Religious extremists, who mistook one of the most famous churches in Europe for a mosque, have demanded that it be pulled down. The world-renowned St. Charles Church, also known as Karlskirche, which is located in Austria’s capital city Vienna, is popular for its baroque architecture. Yet, a campaign to have the structure, built in 1737, pulled down was launched last month after a satirical newspaper Die Tagespresse published a story, claiming Heinz Christian Strache, chairman of Freedom Party of Austria, which strongly opposes immigration, wanted the ‘Karlsplatz mosque’ demolished. After Die Tagespresse published the story, a campaign was launched on social media, with several hatemongers backing it and demanding that the “mosque” be pulled down immediately.
The confusion reportedly stemmed from the Catholic Church’s similarity to another mosque located in Turkey. Apparently, architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach had based his design for St. Charles Church on the Hagia Sophia model. Hagia Sophia is a famous landmark in Istanbul that used to be a church before being converted into a mosque and eventually into a museum.
Ironically, Die Tagespresse had posted the story six months ago but it was not until recently that the “controversy” started to pick up momentum on social media.
One person wrote, “This building should simply be eradicated and it just doesn't belong in our culture. Who's building such crap in our society?”
Another demanded to know whose money had been used to build the “mosque” while a third stated that the “mosque” should be brought down immediately so a church could be built in its place.
Photo Credits: Staticflickr