Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz recently announced that the government was shutting down a Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community that runs six mosques, according to the Associated Press. “Parallel societies, political Islam and tendencies toward radicalization have no place in our country,” Kurz told reporters.
“The move comes after images appeared on Twitter in April of children in a Turkish-backed mosque playing dead and reenacting the World War I battle of Gallipoli (in which an allied invasion of Ottoman Turkey was defeated). Their “corpses” were then covered in Turkish flags. The mosques association called the event ‘highly regrettable,'” according to the CBN News.
These decisions by the Austrian government also follow its 2015 “Islam Law”, which bans foreign funding of religious groups and introduces a duty for Muslim organizations to have “a positive fundamental view towards [Austrian] state and society”.
The 2015 “Islam Law” of Austria, which Erdogan was protesting, states that “The freedom of religion is secured in the Austrian Constitution – individually, collectively and cooperatively”. This freedom should not be allowed to be exploited by those who incite hate or violence for any group. European governments should be alert and take all measures available to monitor mosques — their sermons and activities — and bring to account the imams who attempt to indoctrinate Muslims in teachings that imperil the safety and liberty of others.