Vienna court annuls Austrian government plan to shut down mosques

ANADOLU AGENCY
VIENNA
Published 15.02.2019 11:53
Updated 15.02.2019 11:54
A Muslim woman walks by a mosque at the Vienna Islamic Center on April 14th 2017. (AFP Photo)
A Muslim woman walks by a mosque at the Vienna Islamic Center on April 14th 2017. (AFP Photo)

A court in Austria annulled a government plan to shut down six mosques belonging to the Arab community, a Muslim body said late on Thursday.

In a statement, Ümit Vural, head of the Islamic Religious Community of Austria (IGGO), said that the Vienna court annulled the government's decision to close six mosques.

He added that courts have an important role to play in a period when populism is rampant.

Last year, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's far-right government in Austria decided to shut seven mosques and expel tens of imams.

During a news conference, Kurz said the move came as part of a crackdown on "political Islam".

Kurz said that the investigation by the Ministry of Culture and Interior had found out the activities of seven mosques — one of them belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB) — unlawful.

The Turkish mosque was reopened after it fulfilled state regulations last year in June.

Austria has roughly 600,000 Muslim inhabitants, most of whom are Turkish or have families of Turkish origin.

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