Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Austrian Law Bans Foreign Funding of Islam; Law Aims to Foster "Islam of European Character"

Austria's parliament passed a new law yesterday that bans foreign sources of financing to Muslim organizations and requires imams to be able to speak German, in a move closely watched by several other European nations facing growing problems with radical Islam, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (February 26, 2015).

The new law aims to promote what conservative Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz calls an "Islam of European character" by muting the influence of foreign Muslim nations, organizations, and funding at a time when concerns are rising about the spread of extremist Islam in Europe.

The legislation also offers Austrian Muslims a mix of increased rights and obligations in practicing their faith in the central European country.

However, some Austrian Muslim groups view the new law as "discrimination" that imposes restrictions on Islam, but not on other religions.

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