The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Austria calls for mass registration of Muslim imams in Europe Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Austria calls for mass registration of Muslim imams in Europe

Austria has faced criticism for its anti-extremism measures [Getty/ Archive]

Date of publication: 2 January, 2021

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Vienna has now called for European states to follow its lead on registering imams, after the measure came into effect in Austria on Friday.
Muslim clerics in Austria are now required to register with auhtorities following new measures introduced by right-wing Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's government last year.

The measures were introduced after an Islamic State group sympathiser shot and killed four people and injured 23 others in Austria's capital in November.

Vienna has also called for European states to follow its lead on registering imams, after the measure came into effect in Austria on Friday.

"Most imams move through many EU countries, so the security authorities need to know who is preaching what in which mosque at any given time," Minister for European Affairs, Karoline Edtstadler, said in comments published by German newspaper Die Welt on Saturday.

Edtstadler, a member of Kurz's Austrian People's Party, added that a ban on foreign funding of mosques - already imposed in Austria - should be adopted by the 27-member bloc.

EU funds should also be tightly controlled, she told Die Welt, "so strictly controlled in the future that they do not go to organisations and associations that advocate Islamist and anti-Semitic positions." 

Following the November attack in Vienna, Austria proposed a raft of draconinan measures aimed at combatting extremism. The proposals drew criticism from Austria's Muslims and rights groups for allegedly attacking Muslim civil society organisations.

Last month, a bill which proposed to outlaw "political Islam" was revised, replacing the phrase with "religiously motivated extremism". The draft law will create the legal basis for authorities to shut down mosques.

Austria's increased monitoring of its Muslim communities follows similar moves by France. Last year, Paris introduced its controversial 'anti-separatism' law and launched an unprecedented sweep of inspections of mosques.

Terror attacks in both Austria and France have heightened tensions, with EU interior ministers having declared a new "war on terrorism" in the wake of the attacks.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More