Austria Gets Smart: Bans Foreign Funding For Muslim Organizations

Austria’s new Law on Islam will prohibit Muslim organisations receiving funding from abroad. This will also affect imams who work in Austria but are financially supported by Turkey.

The amendment is designed to limit the power of “influences from abroad” Foreign and Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) said.

He added that a one-off grant from abroad, such as money left in someone’s will, could be allowed but that the management of any such assets must be done within Austria.

All “living subsidies” will be covered by the rule, including the money given to imams. Currently there are around 300 imams in Austria, and 65 of them are employed by Turkey. The new law would mean they could no longer work in Austria.

It will also compel Muslim organisations to teach at least one lesson in German, and states that officials within the community will be dismissed if they are found to have a criminal conviction or are considered to pose a threat to public safety.