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Austria orders 'anti-Semitic' Saudi school closed

The Christmas market in front of Karlskirche is pictured in Vienna, December 15, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA: Austrian authorities said Tuesday they have ordered a Saudi-financed school to close due to allegations of anti-Jewish teachings and for failing to give the names of staff.

The Saudi School in Vienna "is being investigated over suspicions of anti-Semitic teachings," Matias Meissner, a spokesman for Vienna's Schools Board, the Stadtschulrat, told AFP.

"We have also asked the school to supply us with a translation of all teaching materials," he said.

The Arabic-language school with around 160 pupils opened in the Austrian capital around 10 years ago and has been ordered to close at the end of the current school year.

It also failed to meet a request to supply a list of all teachers and administrative staff by December 1.

The school was not immediately available for comment. It has four weeks to appeal.

The closure order comes as the government prepares controversial changes to Austria's century-old Islamic Law in an attempt to tackle extremism among the European Union country's Muslim minority.

The amendments, due to go before parliament in the new year, tighten rules on foreign financing of prayer houses and mosques and ban extremist symbols, and local Muslim groups are not happy.

 

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