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[Published: Monday June 11 2018]

 Austrian Muslims denounce government clampdown


VIENNA 11 Jun (ANA) - Austria's main federation of Muslim residents (IGGiOe) has expressed concerns over Vienna's announcement of shutting down seven mosques and expelling Turkish-funded imams.

Vienna wants to "discredit the religious community," Ibrahim Olgun, president of IGGiOe group, said on Sunday.

The policy was not "appropriate to control political Islam" and "will lead ultimately to a weakening of structures within the Muslim community in Austria", he added.

Olgun also criticised the government for not informing the federation of the measures in advance and for unveiling them on the final Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. 

"Solutions should be worked out together around a table rather than unilaterally on the backs of the Muslim minority," said IGGiOe, which is to hold its own audit of mosques and personnel affected by the policy before requesting a meeting with the ministry of culture.

At a press conference on Friday, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting down a Turkish mosque and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community, which runs six mosques.

The Austrian government's actions stem from a 2015 law, which bans foreign funding of religious groups and required Muslim societies to have "a positive fundamental view towards [Austria's] state and society". (ANA)
FA/ANA/11 June 2018-------
 

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