Austria: New mosque, no minaret

Austria: New mosque, no minaret

There will be an Islamic prayer house in Nenzing, Vorarlberg with an area of 650 square metres but without a dome or a minaret.

The "Vorarlberger Nachrichten" newspaper reported the news today (Fri), adding Nenzing municipality had agreed to sell a 1,500-square-metre plot of land to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Association (ATIB) as the site of the prayer house.

The news comes after criticism of Vorarlberg by the US State Department in its annual human-rights report.

The report criticised the province for changes in the law to make the building of minarets more difficult, a violation of "freedom of religious expression."

There has been a public debate in Austria on the question of erecting minarets for some time. Zoning laws in two provinces, Carinthia and Vorarlberg, have been amended to make it more difficult to build minarets that "conflict with the traditional appearance" of towns.

In response to the US report, Vorarlberg People's Party (ÖVP) Governor Herbert Sausgruber has rejected the criticism as exaggerated and unjustified by the facts. He claimed the provincial zoning law was non-discriminatory.


Source: Austrian Times (English)

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