Mosques tar­geted by Aus­tria

Sunday Tasmanian - - News | World -

AUS­TRIA is to ex­pel up to 60 Turk­ish-funded imams and their fam­i­lies, and shut seven mosques, in a crack­down on “po­lit­i­cal Is­lam”.

“The cir­cle of peo­ple pos­si­bly af­fected by these mea­sures, the pool that we’re talk­ing about, com­prises around 60 imams,” In­te­rior Min­is­ter Her­bert Kickl of the far-Right Freedom Party, ju­nior part­ner in Aus­tria’s coali­tion gov­ern­ment, said.

Kickl was re­fer­ring to imams with al­leged links to the Turk­ish-Is­lamic Cultural As­so­ci­a­tions or­gan­i­sa­tion, a branch of Turkey’s re­li­gious affairs agency Diyanet. He said he sus­pects them of con­tra­ven­ing a ban on for­eign fund­ing of re­li­gious of­fice­hold­ers.

The ministry said some imams had al­ready been re­ferred to im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties, where a process for ex­pelling them was un­der­way.

A to­tal of 150 peo­ple risked los­ing their right to res­i­dence.

Ankara, Turkey’s cap­i­tal, de­nounced the move, how­ever other Euro­pean far-Right lead­ers — in­clud­ing Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French Front Na­tional, and Mat­teo Salvini, head of Italy’s League and In­te­rior Min­is­ter in the new gov­ern­ment — wel­comed it.

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