Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced over the weekend that the country is undertaking dramatic measures to curb the possibility of Islamic violence within its borders, closing a handful of what the government believes are “radical” mosques and deporting Imams who preach violence.
The Daily Mail reports that Kurz, who leads a largely conservative government, has been working on a plan to handle a sharp increase in violence that the Austrians believe is the result of increased migration. They’re concerned that immigrants are being radicalized in mosques that preach Islamic Jihad and encourage violence against the western nations in which they reside.
To that end, the Austrian government is specifically targeting the “Arab Religious Community,” a set of six mosques run by a radical Turkish preacher who, back in January, had the children of the mosque recreate the battle of Galliopli, dress in fatigues, march in formation and then “die.” Their bodies were then covered with Turkish flags.
In total, Kurz says, they have closed six mosques, and around 150 people — mostly radical Islamic preachers and their families — are facing deportation. One of Kurz’s chancellors added that this was “just the beginning.”
Turkey, of course, derided the action as “racist” and anti-Islamic and insisted the Arab Religious Community is a peaceful group of religious believers.
This is not the first major action to curb Islamic violence and control immigrant behavior on the part of the Austrian government. Recently, Austria enacted a “Burqa ban” that prevents anyone from appearing in public with a veil that covers their face. In 2015, the government passed a law banning outside funding for religious organizations and commanded that Islamic groups within the country teach a respect for Austria in their curriculum.