Erdogan Predicts ‘War Between the Cross and Crescent’ over Austria Mosque Closures


Breitbart, by Simon Kent, June 10, 2018:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked Austria’s impending closure of mosques and consequent expulsion of Turkish-funded imams, saying the move is anti-Islamic while promising a response.

“These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul covered by AFP.

Austria’s populist government made the announcement on Friday morning at a press conference as part of the governing coalition’s campaign against radical Islamic ideology and the influence of countries like Turkey in the Austrian Islamic community, Kronen Zeitung reports.

Media reports that between 40 and 60 imams, including their families, could be expelled in total. The imams all stand accused of receiving funding from abroad. Official investigations have been launched in 11 cases. Two of the imams had already been denied extensions to their residency permits.

Among the mosques facing closure is the Mosque of the Grey Wolves on Antonsplatz, in the working-class Vienna district of Favoriten, where the Gallipoli reenactment took place.

The other six mosques are in Vienna, Upper Austria and Carinthia, in all of which hardline salafist teachings are said to be widespread.

Mr. Erdogan, speaking Saturday, said: “They say they’re going to kick our religious men out of Austria. Do you think we will not react if you do such a thing?”

“That means we’re going to have to do something,” he added without elaborating.

Around 360,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, including 117,000 Turkish nationals.

Relations between Ankara and Vienna have been strained since a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016 which was followed by a wave of arrests. Mr. Erdogan’s speech precedes presidential and legislative elections on June 24 in which he faces stiff opposition.

During last year’s Turkish referendum on expanding the president’s powers, tensions ran high between Vienna and Ankara after Austria said it would not allow campaign-related events.

The new policy comes after a number of scandals involving mosques in Austria, including one in which Islamists were plotting to overthrow the government to replace it with an Islamic caliphate. The ATIB association came under fire last week when a Turkish mosque posted images of young children swearing oaths to the Turkish state.

Jihad Horror in Austria

Front Page Magazine, by Stephen Brown, July 19, 2017

It is not a club that anyone would willingly want to join, and Austria certainly didn’t apply for membership.

However the Danube state, which had been spared until now, recently joined the growing fraternity of European countries to experience a murderous jihad attack, whose depth of savagery and hatred has left the country deeply shaken.

The latest “victory” for the establishment of the worldwide caliphate took place June 30 in Linz, the country’s third largest city. Besides being Austria’s first such killings, the double murder stood out for its incredible cruelty, the victims’ age, and possible political motivation.

The jihadist-killer, a 54-year-old Tunisian immigrant identified only as Mohamed H., a resident of Austria since 1989, first slit the throat of Hildegard Sch., 85, and then stabbed and beat her husband, Siegfried, 87, to death in their home.

Before leaving, the “holy warrior” then burned the dead couple’s residence down over them. Firemen discovered the murder victims’ bodies when extinguishing the blaze.

“This man caused a bloodbath in the apartment – this was obviously a proxy war,” said the couple’s son, who was not identified.

After the killings, Mohamed H. told police he considered drowning himself in the Danube but decided to give himself up instead. He then went to the police station where he said he waited his turn to report the double murder.

Mohamed H. gained entrance to the old couple’s home because he regularly delivered groceries there from his wife’s vegetable store.

The Tunisian was so well known to the elderly Austrians, and relations so friendly, that the couple had given Mohamed’s daughter, and only child, $225 as a high school graduation present.

But on the day of their deaths, the couple’s friendly deliveryman arrived not only with their groceries, but also with “a belt, a wooden stick, a knife, as well as a can of gas” hidden under his apron. Police called the murders “carefully planned.”

Tragically, what the elderly couple did not know was that behind Mohamed M.’s familiar, amiable smile now lurked a   jihadist killer who had sworn loyalty to the Islamic State (IS) and its leader, al-Baghdadi. The Tunisian had “praised… diverse IS horrors” on social media, exhibiting a radicalization trend “right up to the last entry,” although there is no evidence he ever fought for the terrorist entity.

One newspaper report states residents in his neighborhood remember him wearing a head covering, kaftan and beard before he went back to Tunisia in 2014, where, authorities believe, he was radicalized. He returned in 2015, clean-shaven and wearing Western clothes but noticeably more “difficult and aggressive.”

Several reasons have been offered as to why Mohamed M. chose the elderly couple as his target in Europe’s latest jihad attack.

One is that the murderer believed the elderly pair, besides being defenseless, were supporters of the anti-migrant Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), which had almost won the last federal election.

“The police say in the past years he settled more and more into the role of victim,” the newspaper, Kronen Zeitung, stated. “As a Muslim and foreigner, he felt discriminated against and blamed the FPO.”

The couple’s son believes he may also have been a target for the Tunisian’s homicidal rage. Although he never personally knew his parents’ murderer, he is a lawyer for the FPO, which currently rules Upper Austria, the province containing Linz.

“He had asked my mother whether I could come for a talk with him in my parents’ apartment,” said the son. “Obviously, he definitely wanted me there.”

The head of Upper Austria’s FPO government, Manfred Heimbuchner, believes the murders were political and that the son was certainly a target.

“This deals with a politically motivated murder…,” said Heimbuchner. “One must imagine. The criminal murdered the couple because they had at home a photo of their son with me. That is just insanity!”

Heimbuchner also confirmed the murdered couple did not have a close relationship with party; and the son was not a party follower.

One report suggested Mohamed H.’s targeting alleged FPO supporters may have had more prosaic reason than immigration policies. In 2012, a FPO party representative had reported the Tunisian to police for cruelty to animals. He was later convicted on the charge.

But while political motivations may, or may not, have formed in whole or in part the reasons for Mohamed H.’s murders, they do not account for his actions’ sheer savagery. To understand this, one has to understand how Islam’s” holy warriors” view the conduct of jihad itself, whose precepts Mohamed H., as a sworn jihadist, would have been following.

These are probably best summed by Pakistani Brigadier General S. K.. Malik in his book, The Quranic Concept of War, whose forward was written by a Pakistani former chief of army staff and president of Pakistan, General Zia-Ul-Haq.

“The Koranic military strategy,” Malik writes, “thus enjoins us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost in order to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy…In war, our main objective is the opponent’s heart or soul…”

Mohamed H’s slaughter of the helpless, old couple follows this strategy perfectly. It shook Austria to its very core.

Many Austrians, such as one provincial parliamentarian for Upper Austria, are bewildered as to “why a man we took into our country 30 years ago develops a hatred of this kind for our society and sympathy for the IS.”

Journalist Ani Cyrus, a former Iranian Muslim, may have answered this in her recent video, “Non-Devout Muslims and the Threat They Pose” (see video here). In it, she blames the Koran for apparently “friendly Muslims that seem to be your lovely, caring neighbor” becoming heartless killers.

“The toolbox of the Koran is giving you enough tools that when it is convenient for them to use them, well, it’s party time!” said Cyrus. “You’re talking about a book that freely allows the followers of it to kill.”

Besides the bloody murders, what has also angered Austrians, as well as other people in Europe, is the behavior of their security authorities and politicians after the fact.

In what has become almost standard practice, the police immediately denied the slaughter in Linz had an “Islamic background” – until overwhelming evidence was soon produced showing otherwise.

Security authorities also said they did not know anything about Mohamed H. and his radicalization. That he was unknown to them.

Again, another false statement. An Austrian newspaper quickly found a neighbor who had reported the Tunisian as a possible “IS sleeper” two years earlier to a government office combating National Socialist (Nazi) activities. (A name change is perhaps in order here. The office’s title should also include Islamo-Fascism.)

Authorities then questioned Mohamed H., but classified him as “non-dangerous.” Police say this was due to “a clerical error.”

Fourteen suspected Islamic radicals were arrested in Vienna and Graz last January. At least one other Islamic attack was also foiled this year. And with an estimated 300 Austrians currently fighting for the IS with a right to return home, Austria will not be able to resign from its new club any time soon.

John Guandolo: Anti-Muslim ‘Hate Speech’ Prosecutions in Europe Portend the ‘Destruction of Liberty in the West’

Matt Cardy/Getty

Matt Cardy/Getty

Breitbart, by John Hayward, October 26, 2016:

Former FBI agent and counter-terrorism expert John Guandolo, founder of, joined Breitbart News Dailyon SiriusXM Wednesday to talk about the cultural impact of mass immigration from Middle Eastern conflict zones into Europe.

Breitbart Editor-in-Chief and SiriusXM host Alex Marlow began the discussion with a story from Austria about an Iraqi asylum-seeker who confessed to raping a ten-year-old boy, but saw his rape conviction overturned because he said he was dealing with a “sexual emergency.”


“What you described, and what the individual describes in this story, what the Muslim describes, that is actually lawful under sharia,” Guandolo said, referring to the Islamic legal code.

He continued:

It’s the reason that, according to sharia, a Muslim male can have sexual relations with an animal, with a woman, with a boy, is because of exactly what he said – from the Islamic perspective legally, sexual urges are things that can be released as the Muslim man needs to. It’s literally that simple. And it’s just a part of Islam that’s not talked about because of it’s crudity, how crass and crude this discussion can turn, but the reality is, that’s something that needs to be understood by your listeners.

Marlow mentioned another headline from Austria about the editor of the country’s largest paper being charged with hate speech for an article on the assaults and property damage caused by Syrian migrants.

Guandolo said this concept of “hate speech” has already reached the United States:

You have got Hamas doing business as the Council on American-Islamic Relations. My organization, Understanding the Threat, UTT, everywhere we go, you have Hamas doing business as CAIR, literally putting a massive amount of pressure on whoever is hosting our programs – whether it’s a three-day law enforcement program, or any other program.

I mean, right now, they teach classes on, literally when I come to town, how to shut my programs down. I put out an article a couple of weeks ago, we have them on video saying when John Guandolo comes to town, this guy’s gotta be shut down, here’s what you do.

“What is that all about? It is about shutting down the free exchange of ideas, that in this particular case is, because of my FBI background, a factual presentation based in evidence on the fact that CAIR is a Hamas organization,” Guandolo maintained.

He offered a timely story drawn from his own recent experience to illustrate how hate-speech accusations can obscure certain messages, even if they cannot (yet) be censored outright in the United States.

“I’m in Oklahoma right now. Yesterday Chris Gaubatz and I testified before the Oklahoma State Judiciary Committee about the Islamic movement in the nation and specifically in Oklahoma, and the two organizations we focused on that are Muslim Brotherhood were — I mean, we focused on a lot that I laid out — but they have a mosque here called the Grand Mosque in Oklahoma City, and the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, both Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas supporters. The Islamic Society here is a subsidiary of ISNA, which as you all know, because you’re reported it before, is a Muslim Brotherhood organization,” Guandolo recalled.

“But I laid out the evidence, I laid out the property records showing that it’s owned by the Muslim Brotherhood’s bank, laid out all kinds of stuff, their financial reportings, all that,” he continued.

“Well, the imam for that organization, who I identified as being Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood was sitting seven feet away from me, as was the director of CAIR Oklahoma, which is Hamas, and I identified them as Hamas. We laid it out. This was a three-hour interim study at the state level. We went into the next room after it was over and had a press conference, and the state legislator that invited us in brought me to the podium, and we said, ‘Are there any questions?’ There were at least fifteen people in the media. Nobody had a question,” he said.

“Soon as we were done, they flocked around the Hamas guys, and it was like ducks eating bread from a park bench. It was amazing to watch right in front of us. I literally interjected into what CAIR was saying when they were talking to me, I said, ‘This is exactly what I just testified to in there.’ They were like, ‘Hey, don’t interrupt!’ I said, ‘These men are Hamas terrorists that you’re talking to, and you just heard the evidence in the other room.’ And yet, what did they report all over Oklahoma, was that it was just ‘hateful,’ just hateful speech,” Guandolo reported.

“As we’ve learned from the WikiLeaks, the media is so in the bag. What you’re describing as going on in Europe is happening right here in America, and it is the complete shutting down of the free exchange of ideas, and free speech,” he warned.

“We already have people in the West, as you just noted, in Europe who have had handcuffs put on them because of Facebook posts, and free speech on the street corner. It is the destruction of liberty in the West, and I don’t see people in Europe fighting it. I am seeing some in America fight it, but we’re in a really bad way,” he said.

Marlow asked Guandolo for his estimate of how many mosques have been radicalized in the U.S., and how many are susceptible to radicalization.

“Well, we have over three thousand now, is the best number that exist. It looks like over three thousand. The number is increasing pretty rapidly, and has over the last couple of years,” Guandolo replied.

“Of those, the percentage that UTT usually looks at is a number between 75 and 85 percent, and that’s based on three things,” he explained. “It’s based on property records, it’s based on leadership of the mosque, and it’s based on the mosque’s study – which Chris Gaubatz, who’s a part of UTT, went undercover at CAIR, and the book Muslim Mafia is written about that experience, at least in part.”

“He also took part in a mosque survey where he went around the country, he and a few others, and went into a hundred random mosques, and they looked at what was being taught, and the sharia adherence there,” Guandolo continued. “We saw that sharia adherence, strict sharia adherence and extreme sharia adherence, is in about 81 percent of mosques in the United States. And where you have a high level of sharia adherence, you have violent jihad being taught and encouraged in these places.”

He explained:

So that number 80 percent that people throw around is not just kind of something that somebody pulled out of the air. There’s been testimony on Capitol Hill. There’s evidence of the studies that we’ve done, and we know that this is a number that puts it very close to the mark. So 80 percent of 3,000 is a big number. And of course we see, across the United States, that number is very close when we look at the number of organizations that are Muslim Brotherhood that are these mosques.

So you not only have kind of an independent look at it, when you look at the Muslim Brotherhood mosques and Islamic centers in this country, that number is right about 80 percent. That’s a massive number. And so we know that if they’re Muslim Brotherhood, they’re the kind of mosques, like the one we spoke about yesterday in front of the Oklahoma Judiciary Committee, the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. These are Muslim Brotherhood mosques, and they teach jihad.

In the case of that one, that’s the mosque where Alton Nolen attended, and he ended up being on top of a woman in the office space in Oklahoma, screaming “Allahu akbar!” and sawing her head off. These are the kinds of things that come out of places like that. We can tie jihadi attacks, whether it’s the Boston bombing, the San Bernardino, Orlando, the shootings in Chattanooga, the killing of Private Andy Long in Little Rock, Arkansas – all these attacks that we’ve seen in the United States, we can almost always tie to a Muslim Brotherhood Islamic center or Islamic society.

ESW: We Need to Reclaim Our Right to Speak Freely


Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey, Aug. 28, 2016:

A week ago today, on August 21, the American Freedom Alliance sponsored a conference in Los Angeles, “Islam and Western Civilization: Can they Coexist?” One of the featured speakers was Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.

Many thanks to Henrik Clausen for recording, and to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Europe’s Conservative Revolution Continues

Norbert Hofer candidate for Austria's Presidency for Austria's Freedom Party, FPOE, smiles during an after presidential election party in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, May 22, 2016. With all direct ballots counted in today's presidential election, both candidates, right-winger Norbert Hofer and a Greens politician Alexander Van der Bellen, had 50 percent of the vote. Nearly 900,000 absentee ballots are due to be counted tomorrow. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Norbert Hofer candidate for Austria’s Presidency for Austria’s Freedom Party, FPOE, smiles during an after presidential election party in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, May 22, 2016. With all direct ballots counted in today’s presidential election, both candidates, right-winger Norbert Hofer and a Greens politician Alexander Van der Bellen, had 50 percent of the vote. Nearly 900,000 absentee ballots are due to be counted tomorrow. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)


The conservative Freedom Party’s (FPO) Norbert Hofer is likely to become Austria’s next president. According to the latest polls, Hofer is a few points ahead of independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen.

A poll of 600 people published by the Oesterreich tabloid showed the average support for Hofer at 53 percent, one point higher than a poll in late July, versus 47 percent for former Greens head Alexander Van der Bellen.Another poll, of 778 people with a margin of error of 3.6 percent, published by newspaper Kurier, found 38 percent thought Hofer would win while 34 percent expected Van der Bellen to.

Van der Bellen won the election earlier this year, but those results were canceled due to “to sloppiness in the count.” According to the official results, Van der Bellen won that election by a mere 31,000 votes.

From the looks of it, that’s set to change on October 2, when Austrians go to the voting booth for the second time this year.

Like many other conservative and populist parties (they’re often confused with each other, but they’re certainly not always the same thing: the PVV party of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands is, for instance, clearly populist, but it’s also in favor of big government and the welfare state), the FPO is benefiting from the migration crisis. Increasingly, more Austrians are dissatisfied with the traditional, more centrist parties that offer no solutions. Austrians see their country — and continent — being overrun by immigrants from the Middle East (people who do not share their values and beliefs, and who are making little to no effort to integrate).

In contrast to the old, traditional major parties, the FPO is clear about its views and policy proposals: the party wants to limit immigration and make sure that immigrants who do remain in Austria are fully integrated.

A victory for Hofer will mark an important shift in Austrian politics, especially because it’ll make it likely that the FPO will also stage a major win in the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2018. This means that the party may get the opportunity to finally put its ideas into practice — to fight back against decades of multiculturalism and unlimited immigration.

That’s good news, but there’s even more reason to be positive about Europe’s future: Alternative für Deutschland, Germany’s new truly conservative party (Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU hasn’t been conservative for years), is also rapidly on the rise. Although this party is routinely labeled “far right” by the media, it is no such thing. The party is conservative: pro-small government, pro-free markets, strict on immigration, and skeptical of the ever-growing power of the European Union. That does not, however, make them “far right,” which is obviously code for “neo-Nazi.”

Conservatism may be in trouble in the United States, but it’s alive and kicking in Europe.

Sexual Jihad: The Reckoning

Samra Kesinovic Source: EuroPics

Samra Kesinovic
Source: EuroPics

The ISIS Study Group, Nov. 25, 2015:

Last year one of our members wrote “Sexual Jihad Part II: Reality Sinks In” describing the misadventures of Austrian teens Samra Kesinovic and Sabina Selimovice. In that particular piece we had stated Sabina was killed and that Samra would soon be killed herself. Well, Young Samra’s “Sexual Jihad” came to an end sometime this month when she was beaten to death after a failed attempt to flee the Islamic State (IS) capital of Raqqa City.

Teenage ISIS ‘poster girl’ who travelled to Syria ‘beaten to death after trying to escape Raqqa’

Sexual Jihad Part II: Reality Sinks In

Oh they did get to serve Baghdadi’s “Caliphate,” but their mission wasn’t to fight – it was to make babies. Things went bad for these two shortly after arriving in Syria, where they were auctioned off to a pair of Chechen foreign fighters-who promptly knocked them up. This was likely the product of repeated rape that tends to happen with naive girls attempting to join IS in the hopes of snagging their very own “Antonio Banderas.” If you also recall in “Sexual Jihad Part II: Reality Sinks In,” IS’ Media Division had gained control of the girls’ Facebook accounts and had been using them as poster girls in an IO campaign to get others to join the “jihadist paradise.”

This pic has been circulating around several media outlets, but our sources say these are two separate women in the image Source: EuroPics

This pic has been circulating around several media outlets, but our sources say these are two separate women in the image
Source: EuroPics

Girls like Samra and Sabina are sold at a premium due to their fair skin, light-colored hair and green/hazel eyes. Jihadists love making such girls their “wives,” which is really just a part of the overall sex slave experience in the “Land of al-Sham.” That said, these two went into this arrangement willingly while so many others – Kurdish, Shia, Yazidi Christian and non-compliant Sunni women – do not. For those women, they undergo forced conversion which usually involves gang-rape and beatings. By the time they’re sold off to some lucky jihadists, these women are broken vessels of the people they once were. In other words, they become “the Walking Dead.” Rather ironic that two individuals who joined this terror organization ended up meeting the same fate as the others, yes?

The girls’ tragic story also involves pro-IS preacher Mirsad Omerovic aka “Ebu Tejma.” Of course he denied that he radicalized them and helped facilitate their trip to Syria. However, he was arrested for his involvement in a support network associated with one of the IS foreign fighter pipelines coming out of Europe. Mirsad is also reported to have personally recruited 64 jihadists and facilitated their travel to Syria. Like his British counterpart Anjem Choudray, he’s a welfare queen despite all the money he made “under the table” in his terror fundraising” activities prior to his arrest. Since Mirsad’s 2014 arrest the Austrian government has really taken big steps towards getting ahead of the problem by passing sweeping anti-terror laws that include banning the IS and al-Qaida flags as terror symbols and takes away Austrian citizenship from any Austrian citizens who go to Syria. If this sounds familiar, it should – Germany’s Abzeichengesetz or “Badge Law” that outlaws Nazi symbols, flags, uniforms and insignia is the model.

RCustody extended for Islamic hate preacher


Austria passes anti-terrorism law

Austrian parliament passes anti-terrorist law

Mirsad Omerovic Source: The UK Daily Mail

Mirsad Omerovic
Source: The UK Daily Mail

People like Mirsad prey on the young and naive due to their vulnerability. They also know how to fully exploit European “multiculturalism” by carving out little fiefdoms for themselves in neighborhoods that the local police refuse to patrol, creating breeding grounds for more brainwashed people. Once an individual becomes brainwashed, the only way to respond is to put them down like a rabid animal and permanently shut down the institutions that radicalized them. Its the only way. The two Austrian girls are only symptoms of the greater sickness. France has publicly come out saying that they’re thinking about closing down radical Mosques and Islamic centers. This is a great first step, but they need to follow through by actually doing it. The problem is they should’ve done this years ago – not just start talking about it this month. They should’ve been asking themselves if the people trying to enter the EU already share European values. If they don’t – then they don’t have any business entering any EU country. Period. Then those individuals identified need to be investigated. Unfortunately, the years of multiculturalism has caught up to the EU and at this point it really doesn’t matter what Austria or France does now – its TOO LATE. The EU is already dead. Some may disagree, but they’re mistaking the final twitches of the EU corpse for “life.” However, its not too late for the US, although the window is getting smaller. Until the American people finally wake up to realize that political correctness (multiculturalism) is national suicide, things like the Paris attack and girls realizing too late that joining IS was a mistake will continue in both frequency and scale.

Other Related Articles:

Abdelhamid Abaaoud DEAD-What Happened? Will USGOV Finally Take This Threat Seriously?

ISIS External OPs and Paris Attack UPDATE as of 18 NOV 15

Nail in the Coffin: ISIS’ Anwar al-Awlaqi BN Sends Fighters to Europe

The Jews: Europe’s Canary in the Mine on the Growing Jihadist Threat

Jihadist Infestation: Terrorism Results in Copenhagen Chaos

Swedish Cartoonist Targeted in Denmark Shooting – Europe in Serious Trouble

ISIS Attack Plot Thwarted In Belgium- A Sign Of Things To Come?

Islamic State: The French Connection

Cultural Suicide: Why Allowing Syrian War Refugees to Enter Western Countries is a Pandora’s Box to More Attacks

DHS Loses 6,000


Austria Passes Reforms to 1912 Islam Law

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, February 27, 2015:

The new law, which the Austrian government says could serve as a model for the rest of Europe, seeks to reduce outside meddling by prohibiting foreign funding for mosques, imams and Muslim organizations in Austria. It also stresses that Austrian law must take precedence over Islamic Sharia law for Muslims living in the country.

The Turkish government has expressed outrage at the financing ban, which it says amounts to “Islamophobia.”

“Countries cannot have their own version of Islam. Islam is universal and its sources are clear. … [E]fforts taken by state leaders to create a version of Islam that is particular to their own countries are futile.” — Mehmet Görmez, Head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate.

The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible. In Vienna, Muslim students already outnumber Catholic students at middle and secondary schools and are on the verge of overtaking Catholics in elementary schools.

At the same, time Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam.

The Austrian parliament has approved controversial reforms to the country’s century-old Islam Law (Islamgesetz), governing the status of Muslims in the country.

The new law, which was passed on February 25, is aimed at integrating Muslims and fighting Islamic radicalism by promoting an “Islam with an Austrian character.”

Among other changes, the new law seeks to reduce outside meddling by prohibiting foreign funding for mosques, imams and Muslim organizations in Austria. It also stresses that Austrian law must take precedence over Islamic Sharia law for Muslims living in the country.

The Austrian government says the new law is a milestone and could serve as a model for the rest of Europe. But Muslim groups say it is discriminatory and have vowed to challenge it in court.

The new law overhauls the original Islam Law, which dates back to 1912. The original law was passed in order to help integrate Muslim soldiers into the Habsburg Imperial Army after the Austro-Hungarian Empire annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908. The law recognized Islam as an official religion in Austria, and allowed Muslims to practice their religion in accordance with the laws of the state.

After the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed in the aftermath of World War I, the number of Muslims in Austria was reduced to just a few hundred people. After World War II, however, Austria’s Muslim population increased rapidly with the arrival of “guest workers” from Turkey and the Balkans in the 1960s, and refugees from Bosnia in the 1990s.

According to data compiled by the University of Vienna, the Muslim population in Austria now exceeds 574,000 (or roughly 7% of the total population), up from an estimated 340,000 (or 4.25%) in 2001 and 150,000 (or 2%) in 1990.

The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible. In Vienna, where the Muslim population now exceeds 12.5%, Muslim students already outnumber Catholic students at middle and secondary schools. Muslim students are also on the verge of overtaking Catholics in Viennese elementary schools.

At the same time, Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam. A recent report by Austria’s Agency for State Protection and Counterterrorism (BVT) warned of the “exploding radicalization of the Salafist scene in Austria.” Salafism is an anti-Western ideology that seeks to impose Islamic sharia law.

Due to its geographic location, Austria has also become a central hub for European jihadists seeking to fight in Syria. In addition to being a transit point for foreigners going to fight with the Islamic State, at least 190 Austrian citizens have become jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

In an interview with Austrian Public Radio Ö1-Morgenjournal, Austria’s Minister for Integration and Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz, said the rapid rise of Islam in Austria has rendered the old Islam Law obsolete. A new law is needed, he said, to stipulate more clearly the rights and responsibilities of Muslims living in the country.

The new law (nine-page text in German here) regulates at least a dozen separate issues, including relatively non-controversial matters such as Muslim holidays, Muslim cemeteries, Muslim dietary practices and the activities of Muslim clergy in hospitals, prisons and the army. In this respect, the government has met all of the demands put forth by Muslim groups in the country.

The new law, however, goes far beyond what Muslims had wanted. For example, the law seeks to prevent the growth of a parallel Islamic society in Austria by regulating mosques and the training of imams, who will now be required to be proficient in German. The new law also requires Muslim organizations and groups to terminate the employment of clerics who have criminal records or who “pose a threat to public safety, order, health and morals or the rights and freedoms of others.”

More significantly, Paragraph 6.2 of the law seeks to limit the religious and political influence of foreign governments within the Austrian Muslim community by prohibiting foreign countries — presumably Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states — from financing Islamic centers and mosques in Austria.

The new restrictions — including an employment ban for foreign clerics in Austria as of March 31, 2016 — would apply especially to Turkey: 60 of the 300 Muslim clerics working in Austria are Turkish civil servants whose salaries are being paid for by the Turkish government’s Religious Affairs Directorate, the Diyanet.

In an interview with the BBC, Kurz said the reforms were a “milestone” for Austria and were aimed at preventing certain Muslim countries from using financial means to exert “political influence.” He said:

“What we want is to reduce the political influence and control from abroad and we want to give Islam the chance to develop freely within our society and in line with our common European values.”

The Turkish government has expressed outrage at the financing ban, which it says amounts to “Islamophobia.” The head of the Diyanet, Mehmet Görmez, said it was a “huge mistake” that would throw Austria’s tradition of tolerance towards Islam “back 100 years.” He added:

“Countries come together from time to time on the grounds of security concerns and try to construct a version of Islam peculiar to their own countries, rather than increase the freedoms that would lead to unity and remove obstacles before the religious education and services, and make an effort to remove anti-Islamic sentiments and Islamophobia.

“Countries cannot have their own version of Islam. Islam is universal and its sources are clear. Therefore, religion is not a matter of engineering. I would like to restate that efforts taken by state leaders to create a version of Islam that is particular to their own countries are futile.”

Mehmet Görmez (left), head of the Turkish government’s Religious Affairs Directorate, denounced Austria’s new law and said that Austria should instead “make an effort to remove anti-Islamic sentiments and Islamophobia.” Johann Rädler (right), speaking for the Austrian People’s Party, said the law “guarantees Muslims more rights, and on the other hand it serves to counteract undesirable developments.”

For many, however, the most contentious part of the law involves Paragraph 4.2, which states that Muslim organizations “must have a positive attitude toward society and state” or be shut down. According to the government, this formulation makes it clear that Austrian civil law has priority over Islamic Sharia law. Muslim groups say this is unfair because it casts a “veil of general suspicion” over the entire community.

Kurz has defended the clause: “In Austria there must be no contradiction between being a self-conscious Austrian, while at the same time also being a devout Muslim. That was always the intention behind this law.”

Some say the law does not go far enough. The leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party of Austria, Heinz-Christian Strache, says that the law is full of loopholes will be difficult if not impossible to enforce. He also expressed dismay that the law does not include a ban on minarets and burkas.

A spokesperson for the Austrian People’s Party, Johann Rädler, said the law is the result of compromises that were made on both sides. He added:

“The goal of this law is to promote an Islam with an Austrian character, without being patronizing and without being dependent upon contributions from abroad. On the one hand, this law guarantees Muslims more rights, and on the other hand it serves to counteract undesirable developments.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.