“Austria’s decision to close seven mosques and expel imams is a reflection of the Islamophobic, racist and discriminatory wave in this country,” Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesman of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, tweeted. According to Kalin, Vienna wants to “to target Muslim communities for the sake of scoring cheap political points.”
Earlier on Friday, Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl announced that the country plans to shut down seven mosques and expel dozens of Turkish-funded imams and their families in a crackdown on “political Islam.”
The Austrian government’s ideologically charged practices are in violation of universal legal principles, social integration policies, minority rights and the ethics of co-existence. Efforts to normalize Islamophobia and racism must be rejected under all circumstances.
— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) June 8, 2018
“The circle of people possibly affected by these measures – the pool that we’re talking about – comprises around 60 imams,” Kickl stated. The plan is based on a law adopted in 2015 that prohibits foreign financing of religious groups.