The leader of Austria's Islamic community lashed out at Interior Minister Liese Prokop on Monday for suggesting that Muslim immigrants are not integrating themselves into Austrian society.
Anas Schakfeh called on Prokop to show more restraint after she told reporters over the weekend that as many as 45 percent of Austria's Muslims are resisting integration, and that their insistence on living separate lives was "a ticking time bomb."
"There are different groups in the population" who would be offended by Prokop's remarks, Schakfeh told the daily Die Presse. "A politician in such an important function should choose her words more carefully."
Austria, a predominantly Roman Catholic country of 8 million, is home to an estimated 100,000 Turks, Europe's largest Turkish expatriate community after Germany and France, reports the AP.
The troops of the Southern and Western military districts will begin to return from Russia's southern borders to the points of their permanent deployment starting April 23