Austrian court supports expulsion of imams funded by Erdogan

The Austrian Supreme Court supported the Austrian government's decision to expel Turkish-funded imams, exacerbating the crisis between Erdogan's government and the Austrian government.


Austria’s Constitutional Court has thrown out a complaint by two Turkish imams expelled under a 2015 law that prevents religious communities from getting funding from foreign nations, according to the AP.

The court said Thursday the so-called “Islam Law” didn’t constitute a disproportionate restriction of religious freedom. It said that protecting religious communities’ independence “from the state, but particularly from other states and their institutions” is a matter of public interest.

Conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who as foreign minister in a previous government helped push through the legislation, said Thursday he felt “vindicated” by the court ruling. He said at a European Union summit in Brussels that the law “was heavily criticized, but in reality it was then a model for other European countries.”

The government of Austria announced in June that it plans to expel several imams from its territory who receive external funding and the closure of seven mosques, in the framework of the fight against political Islam.

The imams were sent by Turkey’s government-overseen religious authority.



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