Austria to shut down mosques, expel foreign-funded imams

By: Reuters | Vienna |
Published: June 8, 2018 6:24:14 pm

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attends a news conference in Vienna, Austria June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

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…

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