A little over a century ago, the ancestors of modern Austrians were at the vanguard of religious liberty in Europe, giving their small Muslim community the same rights as Christians or Jews.

Today, the much larger and rapidly growing Muslim population of Austria sees their country again setting the tone in Europe — but this time in a far more ominous way.

In Sunday's election, well over half the country's voters chose parties that defined themselves by their hard-line stances on immigration, integration and multiculturalism.

The third-place finisher, the Freedom Party, campaigned on the proposition that Islam is incompatible with Austrian values and an existential threat to Europe.

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