Austria government to ban ‘political Islam’, shut down mosques

Edited By: Nikhil Pandey WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Nov 12, 2020, 11:06 AM(IST)

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Austria will order the closure of mosques that it deems a threat to national security.

In a crackdown on politically-motivated Islamic activity, the Austrian government has launched an initiative to identify and register social and educational institutions that are the targets of Islamist-controlled organisations for political purposes. 

Also read | Police in Austria conducts raid on dozens of addresses linked to radical Islamists

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's cabinet agreed to the proposals that include the ability to keep individuals convicted of terror offences behind bars for life, electronic surveillance of people convicted of terror-related offences upon release and criminalizing religiously motivated political extremism.

'We will create a criminal offence called 'political Islam' in order to be able to take action against those who are not terrorists themselves, but who create the breeding ground for them,' Kurz tweeted after the Cabinet meeting.

Austria will order the closure of mosques that it deems a threat to national security. Austrian police on Monday raided more than 60 addresses allegedly linked to radical Islamists, with orders for 30 suspects to be questioned, prosecutors said.

These operations came a week after a convicted Islamic State group supporter killed four people in a shooting rampage in the heart of Vienna, but prosecutors said the raids were not linked to the attack.

The attack in Vienna followed an attack in Nice, France, in which four people were killed by a man of Tunisian origin.

In the wake of several assaults, France has also begun to close mosques and is cracking down on the organisations it suspects are spreading hate.

(With inputs from agencies)

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