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Friday, January 23, 2015

Cardinal fights Austrian government to prevent closure of Islamic centre accused of extremism

The Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn is fighting for the preservation of the King Abdullah Centre, based in Vienna, that is financed by Saudi Arabia,   It is not at all clear what activities they actually undertake. The German-Turkish news service designates this as an "oblique alliance".

 "The Austrian government wants to close the King Abdullah Centre in Vienna as soon as possible. The Centre, founded by an International Treaty between Saudi Arabia, Spain and Austria is supposed to promote inter-religious and intercultural dialogue."

However, Saudi Arabia is mostly known to promote  with a significant amount of money Wahhabism in the world.

"The Saudis reject not only the practice of other religions but also fight currents of Islam that do not meet the national criteria." The Austrian government does not wish to support this missionary activity anymore and wants to close the centre.

However, both Federal President Heinz Fischer and the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn criticize the actions of the government.

"The 'bridges of dialogue' should not be terminated prematurely Even if Austria stops supporting, the organisation can continue to exist in Vienna, Die Presse reports.

Kathpress quotes the Cardinal: 'Right now bridges are needed between cultures and places of dialogue, especially where developments are most needed, and the relationships are problematic.' "

In this, the leaders of the religions agree: Even if it comes to disputes among themselves; together they are against any restriction on their exercise of power.

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