It may not be the Battle of Vienna, but it sure has the Turks up in arms: Battling jihadism, Austria’s government plans to shut down seven mosques and expel 60 Turkish-funded imams.
As Bloomberg reports:
Austria's government said Friday that it is closing seven mosques and plans to expel imams in a crackdown on “political Islam” and foreign financing of religious groups.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting a hardline Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community that runs six mosques.
The actions by the government are based on a 2015 law that, among other things, prevents religious communities from getting funding from abroad. Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said the residence permits of around 40 imams employed by ATIB, a group that oversees Turkish mosques in Austria, are being reviewed because of concerns about such financing.
Kickl said that, in two cases, permits have already been revoked. Five more imams were denied first-time permits.
The conservative Kurz became chancellor in December in a coalition with the anti-migration Freedom Party.
In campaigning for last year's election, both coalition parties called for tougher immigration controls, quick deportations of asylum-seekers whose requests are denied and a crackdown on radical Islam. The government recently announced plans to ban girls in elementary schools and kindergartens from wearing headscarves, adding to existing restrictions on veils.
“‘Political Islam’s parallel societies and radicalizing tendencies have no place in our country,’ said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who, in a previous job as minister in charge of integration, steered the Islam bill into law,” informed Reuters, providing more detail.
“Standing next to him and two other cabinet members on Friday, far-right Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache told a news conference: ‘This is just the beginning,’” the news organ continued.
Kurz’s concerns about parallel societies are not unfounded. In many Western European nations — Germany, Sweden, and France are examples — massive Muslim migration has begotten “no-go zones”; these are areas where civil law has broken down and to an extent been supplanted by Sharia (Islamic) law, and where authorities often fear to tread, as they may be targeted with violence.
Leftist media condemned conservative news sources — Fox News in particular, which was cowed into apologizing — for reporting no-go zones’ existence, claiming it was fake news. Earlier this year, however, German Chancellor and European Islamization author Angela Merkel finally admitted they exist. Moreover, mostly forgotten is that the entity that practically originated the no-go-zone story, in a 2007 essay titled “The Battle Over the Banlieues,” was none other than the far-left New York Times.
Speaking of Islamization authors, Turkey didn’t take kindly to Austria’s culture-guarding actions. As the Gateway Pundit reports, “Ankara quickly denounced the move, and Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter: ‘Austria’s decision to close down seven mosques and deport imams with a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country.’”
This attitude is unsurprising, as Turkey has clearly signaled its desire to Islamize Europe. After Germany and Holland clamped down on pro-Turkish rallies last year, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan growled that “Europe will pay for what they have done.” Just prior to this, in March 2017, he expressed demographic-jihadist sentiments, saying to Turks in Europe, “Have five children, not three. You are Europe’s future.”
This apparently reflects Erdogan’s wider ambitions, as some say he dreams of restoring the Ottoman Empire, the former Turkish realm that was world’s last great caliphate.
In this vein, prominent Turkish official Alparslan Kavaklıoğlu proclaimed earlier this year that “Europe will be Muslim.” Kavaklıoğlu, an MP for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the head of his parliament's Security and Intelligence Commission, made his comments at a party affair. Saying that Europe was aging and in decline, he predicted (as translated by the Gatestone Institute):
The Muslim population will outnumber the Christian population in Europe. This ... has increased the nationalistic, xenophobic and anti-Islam rhetoric there. Hence, marginal, small parties have started to get large numbers of votes.... But there is no remedy for it. Europe will be Muslim. We will be effective there, Allah willing. I am sure of that.
This accords with a warning issued by Dr. Mudar Zahran, an academic and a leader of the Jordanian Opposition Coalition currently living as an asylee in the United Kingdom. Though a self-described practicing Muslim, in 2015 he characterized the recent migrations into Europe as “the soft Islamic conquest of the West.” Pointing out that the migrations were a form of demographic jihad, he also said, “I have to be honest, you read Arab magazines and Arab newspapers; they are talking about, ‘Good job! Now we’re going to conquest [sic] Europe.’ So it’s not even a secret” (video below).
Ottoman Turk forces reached the gates of Vienna, Austria, twice, in 1529 and 1683, before finally being repelled. Now that the Ankara government has gotten inside those gates not via militarism but liberalism, they clearly don’t want to be repelled a third time.
Photo of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz: AP Images