TURKEY SLAMS AUSTRIA FOR CLOSING MOSQUES, EXPELLING IMAMS

Turkey on Friday slammed Austria over its decision to shut down seven mosques and expel 40 imams, Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported.

In a written statement, the Foreign Ministry said it regretted the Austrian move against the mosques and the decision to not grant residence permits to religious officials sent from Turkey to Austria.

We condemn Austrian politicians, especially Chancellor Kurz, for trying to achieve political interest from these alarming developments, rather than fighting racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia and the rise of the extreme right, it said.

The ideological stance of the Austrian government is contrary to universal legal norms, social cohesion policies, minority law and the morality of living together. The normalisation and the banalisation of Islamophobia and racism must be rejected with certainty, it added.

The statement also said Austria's move also contributes to the rise of Islamophobia and racism in Europe.

It added that this decision also affects ongoing efforts to normalise ties between Turkey and Austria, and the harmony of Turkish community in Austria.

Earlier on Friday, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced that seven mosques will be shut down in the country while 40 imams will be expelled on grounds of being foreign funded.

Speaking at a news conference with Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and EU Affairs Minister Gernot Blumel, Kurz said the move was part of a crackdown on "political Islam".

Kurz said an investigation on several mosques and associations conducted by the Ministry of Interior and Office of Religious Affairs had been concluded and the activities of seven mosques were found to be forbidden -- one of the mosques belongs to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations

Source: NAM News Network

TURKEY SLAMS AUSTRIA FOR CLOSING MOSQUES, EXPELLING IMAMS

Turkey on Friday slammed Austria over its decision to shut down seven mosques and expel 40 imams, Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported.

In a written statement, the Foreign Ministry said it regretted the Austrian move against the mosques and the decision to not grant residence permits to religious officials sent from Turkey to Austria.

We condemn Austrian politicians, especially Chancellor Kurz, for trying to achieve political interest from these alarming developments, rather than fighting racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia and the rise of the extreme right, it said.

The ideological stance of the Austrian government is contrary to universal legal norms, social cohesion policies, minority law and the morality of living together. The normalisation and the banalisation of Islamophobia and racism must be rejected with certainty, it added.

The statement also said Austria's move also contributes to the rise of Islamophobia and racism in Europe.

It added that this decision also affects ongoing efforts to normalise ties between Turkey and Austria, and the harmony of Turkish community in Austria.

Earlier on Friday, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced that seven mosques will be shut down in the country while 40 imams will be expelled on grounds of being foreign funded.

Speaking at a news conference with Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and EU Affairs Minister Gernot Blumel, Kurz said the move was part of a crackdown on "political Islam".

Kurz said an investigation on several mosques and associations conducted by the Ministry of Interior and Office of Religious Affairs had been concluded and the activities of seven mosques were found to be forbidden -- one of the mosques belongs to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations

Source: NAM News Network