Austria has expelled its first foreign-funded imam under new anti-extremism measures introduced in February last year.
Imam Yakup Aynagoz, who was imam at the Ahi Evran mosque in the town of St Veit an der Göslen was ordered to leave the country in seven days after his visa was not extended. Kurier reports his salary was being paid by Turkey.
The law was introduced after the small central Euopean nation was accused of being a breeding ground for terror and doing little to combat the problem.
Many of its mosques are funded by foreign nations, including Saudi Arabia, who often import foreign imams with little understanding of Austrian culture or the German language. The Local says the new law requires imams to speak German in an attempt to help integrate Islam into Austrian society, and also allow security services to understand sermons better .
Mr Aynagoz’s deportation order comes despite Austria’s Constitutional Court describing the law as discriminatory because it only targets Muslims. Another 65 imams also face deportation in the coming weeks after being told their visas will not be renewed.
Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz, who helped draft the law, said: “We want a future in which increasing numbers of imams have grown up in Austria speaking German, and can in that way serve as positive examples for young Muslims.”
Six people are currently in detention in the city of Salzburg accused of plotting further attacks on the French capital Paris. Breitbart London reported earlier this week that two of the men have now confessed to the plot after being arrested in a migrant centre, posing as refugees.
The 28-year-old Algerian and 34-year-old Pakistani had applied for asylum in Austria after being denied further travel when border guards discovered they were using fake passports.
They had reportedly been in contact with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, one of the ring leaders of the Paris attacks.