The Austrian government is considering outlawing a four-fingered salute representing support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan popularized it and began using it after Egypt’s military toppled the Brotherhood in 2013.
Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers around the world use the image on websites, posters and literature. If the ban is approved, anyone in Austria who flashes the salute could be fined $4,600.
It also has been used by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in the United States, including members of Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) and former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Mohamed Elibiary.
Erdogan’s role in popularizing the gesture seems to be driving the Austrian ban. It also would outlaw a wolf-head like salute used by the pro-Erdogan Turkish fascist group the Grey Wolves. Its most infamous member, Mehmet Ali Agca, tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981. The Wolves have become some of Erdogan’s greatest non-Islamist supporters and aim to unify all Turkic peoples in Turkey across and throughout Central Asia into a single nation.