Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Austria Bans Muslim Groups From Receiving Foreign Funds
The Austrian Parliament passed a law today regulating how Islam is funded and administered in the country.
Austrian Muslim groups are no longer allowed to receive foreign funds. This measure largely targets Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the country.
The law also requires any group claiming to represent Austrian Muslims to register and to use a standardized German translation of the Koran (Yes,Mr.President, they speak German in Austria, not 'Austrian) :
The law met with little opposition from the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic population, was backed by Austria's Catholic bishops, and was grudgingly accepted by the main Muslim organization. But it upset Turkey's state religious establishment.
"We want an Islam of the Austrian kind, and not one that is dominated by other countries," said Sebastian Kurz, the 28-year-old conservative foreign minister - formally the minister for foreign affairs and integration - who is easily Austria's most popular politician. [...]
Austria's biggest Islamic organization, IGGiO, accepted the law, but its youth arm opposed it, as did the Turkish-financed Turkish-Islamic Union in Austria (ATIB), which runs many mosques and has vowed to challenge the bill in the Constitutional Court.
Many of Austria's Muslims are Turkish migratory workers.
The new law also guarantees Islamic imams being allowed attend Muslims in hospitals in hospitals and be chaplains in the army, and protects Muslims' rights to eat and produce Halal food.
Just for the record, banning foreign funds going to religious groups in America and having Muslim groups register in accordance with the Smith Act so that their membership, literature and sources of funds are vetted and available for government scrutiny is something I've championed for some time. And admittedly, my target for this would be Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood groups, but to make it fair the ban on foreign funds would have to be extended to all such religious groups.
Hopefully, this is the start of a trend of sorely needed bit of sanity. Islam is simply not like other religions, and Islamists in particular need tobe watched closely and defanged.