Austria Bans Islamist Muslim Brotherhood from Country in Historic Move
First country in EU to issue ban under new anti-terrorism law
Austria will ban the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood from its country as part of a new anti-terrorism law making it the first EU country to do so.
The new laws add the group to a list of organizations associated with “religiously motivated crime.”
Anyone who distributes or propagates literature relating to the Islamist group faces a month in prison and a €4,000 (£3,407/$4,717) fine.
The government also gained new powers from the law, including placing electronic tags to monitor convicted terrorists, according to Spiegel Ausland.
The new ban comes amid the newly passed anti-terrorism package, which was created in response to the terror attack on November 2nd in Vienna.
The Muslim Brotherhood has a long history in Austria, a French magazine also notes.
In the mid-1960s, it opened its first office in the city of Graz, which was used as its financial center before relocating to Switzerland.
Member Youssef Nada opened the al-Taqwa bank in the country.
American and Swiss authorities investigated the al-Taqwa bank not long after accusations of financing terrorism relating to 9/11.
A two-year investigation into the movement of funds in the city was launched by the Public Prosecutor of Graz and the Styrian Constitutional Protection Office.
The probe was dubbed “Operation Luxor,” which derived a list of 70 suspected terrorists, these linked to financing terrorism and money laundering.
A large-scale raid and arrest of suspects took place following the Vienna terrorist attack on November 9th.
The ban of the Muslim Brotherhood comes as the Austrian government has also prohibited the symbols of the ultranationalist Turkish Grey Wolves, the far-left Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Islamic State, and other extremist groups.
Last year, Austria rejected migrant quotas imposed by the European Union, closing its borders to asylum seekers.
The Austrian government defied the EU with its strict policy on migration.
In 2019, Kurz also banned all religious headscarves and head coverings from Austria's primary schools.
The plans were backed by lawmakers to ban headscarves being worn in schools, such as Burkas.
The measure banned wearing "ideologically or religiously characterized clothing" that covers the head, specifying those "that cover the whole or large parts of the hair."