Monday, June 25, 2018
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Austrian Muslims denounce government mosque clampdown

The Austrian government has decided to shut down seven mosques and expel Turkish-funded imams.

Austria's main federation of Muslim residents (IGGiOe) has expressed concerns over Vienna's announcement of shutting down seven mosques and expelling Turkish-funded imams.

Vienna wants to "discredit the religious community," Ibrahim Olgun, president of IGGiOe group, said on Sunday.

The policy was not "appropriate to control political Islam" and "will lead ultimately to a weakening of structures within the Muslim community in Austria", he added.

Olgun also criticised the government for not informing the federation of the measures in advance and for unveiling them on the final Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. 

"Solutions should be worked out together around a table rather than unilaterally on the backs of the Muslim minority," said IGGiOe, which is to hold its own audit of mosques and personnel affected by the policy before requesting a meeting with the ministry of culture.

At a press conference on Friday, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting down a Turkish mosque and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community, which runs six mosques.

The Austrian government's actions stem from a 2015 law, which bans foreign funding of religious groups and required Muslim societies to have "a positive fundamental view towards [Austria's] state and society".

'War between the cross and the crescent'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday strongly criticised the move as anti-Islamic and promised a response.

He said, "These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent."

Up to 60 Imams and their families could be expelled, with Vienna saying they are financed by Ankara, contravening a ban on foreign finance of religious organisations. Two imams have had pending requests for residence permit renewals turned down.

Some of Austria's opposition parties have been broadly supportive of the move, with the centre-left Social Democrats calling it "the first sensible thing this government's done".

Around 360,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, including 117,000 Turkish nationals.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

UK: Tens of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters call for new vote

Read More

Malta says not responsible for Lifeline boat denied by Italy

Read More

Facebook pulls the plug on far-right Generation Identity

Read More

Romania ruling party chief convicted over fake jobs scandal

Read More

Central European countries to boycott Brussels' migration meeting

Read More

UK's Theresa May comes out against US child separation policy

Read More

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Global_News

Citing unofficial results, president gives victory speech and says AK Party-led alliance has won parliamentary vote.

Read More

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Week in Pictures

Ramadan begins

2018 World Cup