Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting a hardline Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community that runs six mosques.
VIDEO: [RT News] Austrian chancellor receives death threats after announcing closure of seven mosques.
His coalition government, an alliance of conservatives and the far right, came to power soon after Europe’s migration crisis on promises to prevent another influx and clamp down on benefits for new immigrants and refugees.
In a previous job as minister in charge of integration, Chancellor Kurz oversaw the passing of a tough ‘law on Islam’ in 2015, which banned foreign funding of religious groups and created a duty for Muslim societies to have ‘a positive fundamental view towards (Austria’s) state and society’.
‘Parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation have no place in our country,’ Kurz told a news conference outlining the government’s decisions, which were based on that law.
‘This is just the beginning,’ far-right Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache added.
Ankara quickly denounced the move, and Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter: ‘Austria’s decision to close down seven mosques and deport imams with a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country.’