By Washington Free Beacon. Austria’s government initiated new measures Friday to curb the spread of radical Islam amongst the nation’s Muslim community by Turkish-funded mosques.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who has served at the helm of Austria’s coalition government since December 2017, announced the closure of seven mosques and the expulsion of upwards of 40 Imams, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The chancellor declared Austria was committed to ensuring the country’s Muslim population was safe to practice its religion without the subversion of foreign influence aligned with radical extremists. . .
The government is alleging six mosques and a Turkish prayer house – operated by a militant, ultra-nationalist Turkish group – are in violation of a 2015 law banning foreign governments from funding mosques or paying imam salaries.
The government’s announcement came on the heels of an investigation by national law enforcement agencies to determine if radicals had infiltrated the country’s mosques and were working to undermine religious co-existence. The investigation found a number of mosques were receiving financial backing from the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB), a Turkish government institution regulating religious affairs. (Read more from “Country Initiates New Measures to Combat Spread of Radical Islam” HERE)
Austria to Shut Down Mosques, Expel Foreign-Funded Imams
By Reuters. Austria’s right-wing government plans to shut seven mosques and could expel dozens of imams in what it said was “just the beginning” of a push against radical Islam and foreign funding of religious groups that Turkey condemned as racist.
The 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 restrict benefits for new immigrants and refugees.
The moves follow a “law on Islam”, passed in 2015, which banned foreign funding of religious groups and created a duty for Muslim organizations to have “a positive fundamental view towards (Austria’s) state and society”. . .
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said the new policy was part of an “Islamophobic, racist and discriminatory wave” in Austria. (Read more from “Austria to Shut Down Mosques, Expel Foreign-Funded Imams” HERE)