Austria defends new law on foreign funding of mosques

Guardian: Austria’s foreign minister has rejected criticism of the country’s new law on Islam aimed at cutting off foreign influence and funding, arguing that the legislation should become a model for the rest of Europe.

In an interview with the Guardian, Sebastian Kurz, whose role in the Austrian government also includes the portfolio for social integration, took particular aim at the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, suggesting Erdogan’s opposition to the law was motivated by fear of losing political influence on Austrian Muslims.

“I’m not surprised by the criticism from President Erdoğan. This was to be expected,” Kurz said. “In our opinion, imams should be role models for young Muslims and must show that it is possible to be a proud Austrian and a believing Muslim at the same time and so there will be no need for Turkish imams in the future.

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