Austrian cardinal bans Islamist preacher29 February 2012
The Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, has forbidden the radical spokesman of the Sunni pan-Islamic political organisation Hizb ut Tahrir to preach at Vienna's Afro-Asian Institute.
The cardinal is the 'Protector' of the Institute, founded in 1959 by his predecessor the late Cardinal Franz König to promote interreligious dialogue, and so has the power to bar speakers he deems unsuitable.
'The archdiocese must clarify the situation even if the state authorities have up to now not taken exception to Imam [Shaker] Assem and he is not considered a hate preacher,' Cardinal Schönborn announced on 24 February.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is in favour of unifying Muslim countries in a Caliphate under sharia law, denies Israel's right to exist and believes that the death penalty for adultery is justified.
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