UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz said the authorities had decided to close seven mosques and expel dozens of imams funded abroad from Austrian territory for violating the “law of Islam”.
“The religious affairs commission, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, has conducted a wide-ranging investigation, and you have to remember reports about children in uniform, external funding for imams, and other untoward phenomena in our country,” Kurtz said in a press statement on Friday morning.
“The religious affairs committee has taken a decision to ban the operation of seven mosques, one belonging to the Gray Wolves Organization and six mosques belonging to the Arab community,” Kurtz said. “In the meantime, dozens of imams will be expelled for violating the provisions on external financing of the law.”
Kurtz pointed out that investigations into many cases are still ongoing, but most of them have been concluded, stressing that Austria supports the principle of freedom of religion, and that the laws are working in the country to regulate the coexistence of followers of different religions.
“There is no place for parallel societies, political Islam and extremism in our country, and the government is determined to combat these inaccuracies firmly,” he said, adding that during the past year, To ensure the implementation of his powers. ”
In turn, Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Keke announced that the authorities would expel 60 imams because of their funding from Turkey.
In April, the Austrian government threatened to ban the activities of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria after a party attended by children wearing military uniforms and re-representing a battle that took place during the First World War, which caused a stir in the country.
The Austrian Parliament adopted the “Law of Islam” in February 2015 and is an updated version of a law passed in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1912.
The law imposes a ban on the funding of Islamic organizations and institutions active in the country from abroad. It stipulates that all imams working in Austria must obtain local certificates. Children must also participate in religious ceremonies and activities during their visits to religious institutions and mosques.