Austrian government announces Islam crackdown, shutters mosques
- Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced that it would be dissolving the Arab Religious Group, which runs six mosques, along with a Turkish mosque and would be shut down.
- The Interior Chancellor also announced that the residence permits of dozens of foreign-born imams associated with Turkish organization ATIB were under review, which could lead to their deportation if revoked.
- Implementing its pledge to restrict immigration and monitor assimilation, the government, a conservative coalition that includes the far-right Freedom Party, is using as justification a 2015 law prohibiting the foreign funding of religious groups and for Muslim organizations to support the Austrian state and society.
“Austria to shut 7 mosques and could expel dozens of imams” (Al Jazeera | June 2018)
“Austria shuts down seven mosques in what it says is ‘just the beginning’ of a crackdown” (The Washington Post | June 2018)
“Erdoğan warns of ‘crusader-crescent war’ after Austria’s shutting of mosques” (Hurriyet Daily News | June 2018)
Pakistan court stays expulsion order for Turkish teachers following school closure
- The Peshawar High Court temporarily blocked the government’s expulsion of more than 100 teachers at the PakTurk International Schools and Colleges, a network of private schools in the country, and their families.
- The closure of the schools comes as a result of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ongoing purge of organizations perceived as connected to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, leaning on Turkey’s relationship with Pakistan to push the government to close the schools.
- The administration has rejected the accusations, and staff have expressed fear at returning to Turkey, believing continued government antagonism awaits them.
“Turkish Teachers In Pakistan Face Uncertain Fate As Deportation Looms” (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
“PHC halts government order to deport Pak-Turk school staff” (The Express Tribune)
“Peshawar High Court halts govt order to deport Pak-Turk school staff” (DAWN)
(Image Credit: via Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
The Narrow Lane of Life for Refugees in Japan
“The truth is I have lived in Japan for such a long time. … All I want to do is work and carry out a decent life.”
Despite international pressure, Japan has allowed only a trickle of politically persecuted and war-fleeing migrants to make their way into the country, with migrants only accounting for 2% of the population. The government’s economy-first stance has led some to question political blindness to the relationship between immigration and the economy, and Japan’s declining birth rate and aging population have led pro-immigration advocates and the business community alike to push for a relaxation of immigration policies.
The New York Times takes a closer look at the situation facing Kurdish refugees in the context of Japan’s political and cultural resistance to immigration. Visa-free travel made Japan an alluring destination as violence in the 1990s led many Turkish Kurds to look abroad for relief from conflict, but arrivals have found significant resistance to demographic change in the country. The same fears that drive anti-immigrant sentiment globally have been amplified in the largely ethnically homogeneous echo chamber of Japan: ignorance of cultural backgrounds, limited economic prospects, and hyperpolicing have created a narrow lane for Kurds to thrive.
“Ethnic Kurds Find Haven, but No Home, in Insular Japan” (The New York Times)
(Image Credit: Ko Sasaki/The New York Times)
Dozens from more than 9 countries dead, hundreds injured after attack on Turkey’s main airport
- Three suicide attackers killed at least 41 and wounded 239 more in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in an attack claimed by the Islamic State.
- At least 23 victims were Turkish, while others killed included people from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, China, Iran, Jordan, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
- Over the last year, Turkey has experienced multiple terror attacks as the government faces threats from the Islamic State, political divisions between Islamists and secularists, and violent conflict with Kurdish separatists.
“Islamic State prime suspect after suicide bombers kill 41 at Istanbul airport” (Reuters)
“Victims in Istanbul Airport Attack Reflect City’s International Character” (The New York Times)
“At Least 41 Killed Including 13 Foreign Nationals In Attack On Istanbul Airport” (BuzzFeed News)
(Image Credit: Osman Orsal/Reuters, via BuzzFeed News)
Turkish-German lawmakers receive death threats following Armenian Genocide resolution
- Germany’s 11 MPs of Turkish descent received the threats following the passage of a resolution to recognize the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in Turkey as genocide.
- Targets included Cem Oezdemir, the leader of Germany’s Greens Party who had pushed for the resolution.
- Officials have been advised against travel to Turkey after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan publicly accused them of betraying their Turkish heritage.
“After threats, security concerns for German MPs with Turkish roots” (Reuters)
“Report: German MPs advised not to visit Turkey” (Deutsche Welle)
“German-Turkish war of words intensifies after ‘genocide’ vote” (euronews)
(Image Credit: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters)
Istanbul Chinese restaurant attacked during demonstrations against China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims
- Despite being owned by a Turkish man and employing a Uyghur cook, Happy China became a target of protesters’ anger.
- The owner said that he will be closing the restaurant, which he opened after saving money for 25 years as a tour guide.
“Our customers are Indonesian Muslims in general. We work with Far East Asian people. Only a tiny portion of our customers are made up of Chinese customers. We do not serve alcoholic drinks. Although we work with Muslims, an attack like this has occurred.”
Read the full story at the Hurriyet Daily News.
(Image Credit: DHA photo, via the Hurriyet Daily News)
Pop-up restaurant Mazi Mas’s open menu creates unique opportunities for immigrant women in London.
- Founder/CEO Nikandre Kopcke, himself German and Greek-American, offers not only work opportunity but also entrepreneurial lessons to its workers.
- Women from Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Iran, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, and Turkey have worked with Mazi Mas.
- Kopcke hopes for international expansion, including to Berlin and hopefully New York.
More on this story at Gulf News.
Image Source: Bloomberg, via Gulf News