In a decision that the Minister for Integration, Sebastian Kurz, called a “milestone” and that opponents denounced as racist and unfair, the new law: prohibits mosques from receiving foreign financing; demands that religious teaching be done in German; and makes explicit that Austrian Law takes precedence over religious beliefs.
Around 560,000 Muslims live in the alpine country, around 7%, the majority of which originate from Turkey and Bosnia Herzegovina.
Austrian authorities state that around 200 young Muslims have travelled to the Middle East to fight alongside Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. According to Kurz, the intention is to develop a form of “Islam with an Austrian character”. However, Jewish, Protestant and Catholic institutions are not subject to such restrictions.
In a statement from the Muslim Civil Society Platform they announce that they will take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.