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Austria to close 7 mosques, expel imams in crackdown

Austria to close 7 mosques, expel imams in crackdown

World
Austria's government said Friday that it is closing seven mosques and plans to expel imams in a crackdown on "political Islam" and foreign financing of religious groups. 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. The actions by the government are based on a 2015 law that, among other things, prevents religious communities from getting funding from abroad. Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said the residence permits of around 40 imams employed by ATIB, a group that oversees Turkish mosques in Austria, are being reviewed because of concerns about such financing. Kickl said that, in two cases, permits have already been revoked. Five more imams were d...