Austria to close 7 mosques, expel foreign-funded imams in crackdown on political Islam
Austria’s government said on Friday, that the country plans to shut down 7 mosques and expel up to 60 imams, newspaper Kronen reports.
Foreign-funded imams and mosques promoting political Islam are main targets of the measures. They will be mostly conducted against mosques and imams controlled by Turkey.
“The circle of people possibly affected by these measures – the pool that we’re talking about – comprises around 60 imams,” Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said.
A research into a mosque controlled by the Turkish-Islamic CulturalAssociations (ATIB), showed earlier how young boys played soldiers and re-enacted the World War I battle of Gallipoli. As they died for their country, their “corpses” were then lined up and draped in Turkish flags.
Austria’s Chanchellor, Sebastian Kurz, vowed that “parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation have no place in our country”.
Turkey called Austria’s decision an “racist move” which is anti-Islam. The presidential spokesman of the country, Ibrahim Kalin, said:
“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.”