Austria to shut down mosques, expel foreign-funded imams

Source: Austria to shut down mosques, expel foreign-funded imams | Reuters

VIENNA (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 organisations to have “a positive fundamental view towards (Austria’s) state and society”.

“Political Islam’s parallel societies and radicalising tendencies have no place in our country,” said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who, in a previous job as minister in charge of integration, steered the Islam bill into law.

Standing next to him and two other cabinet members on Friday, far-right Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache told a news conference: “This is just the beginning.”

Austria, a country of 8.8 million people, has roughly 600,000 Muslim inhabitants, most of whom are Turkish or have families of Turkish origin.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said the new policy was part of an “Islamophobic, racist and discriminatory wave” in Austria.

“The Austrian government’s ideologically charged practices are in violation of universal legal principles, social integration policies, minority rights and the ethics of co-existence,” Ibrahim Kalin tweeted.

The ministers at the news conference said up to 60 imams belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria (ATIB), a Muslim group close to the Turkish government, could be expelled from the country or have visas denied on the grounds of receiving foreign funding.

A government handout put the number at 40, of whom 11 were under review and two had already received a negative ruling.

ATIB spokesman Yasar Ersoy acknowledged that its imams were paid by Diyanet, the Turkish state religious authority, but it was trying to change that.

“We are currently working on having imams be paid from funds within the country,” he told ORF radio.

One organisation that runs a mosque in Vienna and is influenced by the “Grey Wolves”, a Turkish nationalist youth group, will be shut down for operating illegally, as will an Arab Muslim group that runs at least six mosques, the government said in a statement.

Will Trump cut off foreign funding of mosques in the U.S.? It would bring a dramatic slowdown in mosque building.

8 thoughts on “Austria to shut down mosques, expel foreign-funded imams

  1. Oh, I like that…..political/religious organizations are not allowed to receive money from outside the nation…… make perfect sense…..

    In the USA we need that policy to go both ways…..political/religious org. not allowed to send money out of the US….. Takes it down to individuals………..and all we’d have to do is put a heavy fine or tax on them….. and it soon becomes unprofitable…….

    Might need some waivers for charities…..but, it would still narrow the scope of what’s happening now…and the charities would need to be reviewed annually…. Then we would only have to stop our government from giving-it-away…

    • — and need to assign a dept. of people to focus on continually tracking the hundreds {or thousands} of Fake Orgs & Fake Co’s that they’re already using to funnel /& launder $$$$ into and around the U.S.

  2. Pingback: Another Immigration “Loophole” – Importing Radical Imams | Creeping Sharia

  3. Wow! Islam sucks!
    However; I’m planning on starting a religion that is going to be an alternative to Islam, and I’m currently writing religious text that will be the core of a new religion what I’m developing.
    Together, we can all stop terrorism… and start a new religion that will be designed to stop terrorism.

  4. * * * * God Bless Austria!!! * * * *

    — would love to see same here, except they’re already verrry savvy when it comes to creating long strings of Fake Orgs & Fake Co’s to HIDE all the $$$$ coming into U.S. {CAIR, Mzlm Brothrhd, etc}

If sharia keeps spreading, you will not only be silenced by the media and big technology, you will be jailed - or worse. Speak while you can!

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