Austria’s Government Plans to Shutdown Seven Mosques and Expel 60 Turkish-Funded Imams
The conservative Austrian government announced plans this week to shutter seven mosques and expel 60 Turkish-funded radical imams.
The Turkish government blasted the move as an act of Islamophobia.
The Daily Mail reported:
Austria said it could expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families and would shut down seven mosques as part of a crackdown on ‘political Islam’ that was described as ‘just the beginning’, triggering fury in Ankara.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting a hardline Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community that runs six mosques.
His coalition government, an alliance of conservatives and the far right, came to power soon after Europe’s migration crisis on promises to prevent another influx and clamp down on benefits for new immigrants and refugees.
In a previous job as minister in charge of integration, Chancellor Kurz oversaw the passing of a tough ‘law on Islam’ in 2015, which banned foreign funding of religious groups and created a duty for Muslim societies to have ‘a positive fundamental view towards (Austria’s) state and society’.
Ankara quickly denounced the move, and Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter: ‘Austria’s decision to close down seven mosques and deport imams with a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country.’
Austria closing 7 mosques, expelling some 60 imams and their families to Turkey is a politically motivated act of Islamophobia and racism.@sebastiankurz's reasoning of this decision is the photos below: Some kids theatric play about the Battle of Dardanelles. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/B2BnJGPWEs
— Mehmet Solmaz (@MhmtSlmz) June 8, 2018
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 8, 2018