Austria passes controversial law on Islam

SHAFAQNA – On Wednesday the Austrian parliament passed a series of controversial reforms to the country’s century-old law on Islam.

The bill, which looks to tackl radicalism, gives Muslims more legal security but bans foreign funding for mosques and imams, putting organizations in a difficult position.

Austria’s Integration Minister, Sebastian Kurz, defended the reforms.

Muslim leaders in Austria have critisized the move, warning that such reforms will only ostracize Muslims further and make social integration difficult.

The 1912 law made Islam an official religion in Austria. It has so far been widely held up as a model for Europe in dealing with Islam.

Muslim groups have complained the ban on foreign funding is unfair as international support is still permitted for the Christian and Jewish faiths.

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