Austria says to expel ‘several’ imams, shut 7 mosques
Abrar Hussain: Austria will reportedly expel several foreign-funded imams and shut seven mosques in an operation against “political Islam”, announced Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on June 8.
Kurz said the initiative was taken after an investigation by the religious affairs authority into images which emerged earlier this year of children in Turkish-backed mos-ques playing dead and reenacting the World War I battle of Gallipoli. “Parallel societies, political Islam and radicalization have no place in our country,” Kurz said.The photos, published by the Falter weekly, allegedly showed the young boys in camouflage uniforms marching, saluting, waving Turkish flags and then playing dead/. Their “corpses” were then lined up and draped in the flags. The mosque in question was run by the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB) organization, based in the German city of Cologne, and a branch of Turkey’s religious affairs agency Diyanet. At the time, ATIB condemned the photos, terming the situation a “highly regrettable” event.