By Middle East Affairs
Turkey’s presidential spokesperson called Austria’s decision to expel 60 Turkish funded imams and close down seven mosques, racist and anti-Islam.
Ibrahim Kalin spoke shortly after Austria announced its decision that it will no longer support political Islam inside its borders, “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.”
On Twiter, Kalin wrote, “It is an attempt to target Muslim communities for the sake of scoring cheap political points.”
Herbert Kickl, Austria’s Interior Minister said, 150 people, including imams and their families, risked losing their residence in Austria.
Austria’s decision comes after photos surfaced of children playing dead and reenacting the World War I battle of Gallipoli inside one of the Turkish funded mosques.
Sebastian Kurz, the Chancellor he ruling center-right People’s Party in Austria said, “Parallel societies, political Islam, and radicalization have no place in our country.”
Kalin said that the decision which seeks to “normalize Islamophobia and racism,” must be rejected.
The spokesperson to Turkish President Erdogan said, “The Austrian government’s ideologically charged practices are in violation of universal legal principles, social integration policies, minority rights and the ethics of coexistence.”
Last year during President Erdogan’s campaign rallies to woo expat voters to support his executive presidency, Austria said it would not allow such campaigns events inside its borders, angered President Erdogan and soured relations between the two nations.
Austria was also a vocal opponent of not allowing Turkey a bid into the European Union.