European Council President: We need to setup institute to train Imams in Europe

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European Council president Charles Michel said on Monday there was a need for creating an institute to train Imams in Europe, as he visited Austria to pay tribute to the victims of last week's attack in Vienna.

“Terrorist attacks aim at destroying lives, at sending shockwaves, but also at undermining the values of the European project. But we will not give in,” Michel spoke about the shooting in Vienna in which four people – including the assailant – have died.

He said: “We need to combat the ideology of hatred with all our strength. Here is my concrete proposal: The creation of a European Institute for the training of Imams in Europe.”

“We must ensure that there is no impunity on the internet when messages glorifying terrorism are posted. We must be able to quickly delete such content. Several proposals are on the table. I hope they will be adopted by the end of the year and become operational.”

Fifteen people were injured in the attack in the center of Vienna.

The shooting last Monday was Austria’s first major attack in decades and its first blamed on an “extremist,” identified as 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, who was killed by police.

The Austrian authorities said the attacker had served a 22-months prison term for attempting to travel to Syria and join the ISIS group.

The government a few days later closed a mosque and an Islamic association frequented by the assailant.

The BVT domestic intelligence agency “told us that the visits to these mosques furthered the attacker’s radicalization,” Integration Minister Susanne Raab said last week.

A statement from the officially recognized Islamic Religious Community of Austria said one officially registered mosque was being shut because it had broken rules over “religious doctrine and its constitution”, as well as national legislation governing Islamic institutions.

- With Agencies

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