• Austria's news in English

Vienna imam tried over teen jihadists

The Local · 17 Sep 2014, 08:40

Published: 17 Sep 2014 08:40 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"I have never seen the girls," said the imam, who goes by the name Ebu Tejma.

The tabloid daily – Österreich - claimed the 15 and 16 year-old girls of Bosnian origin were "driven" to the so-called holy war in Syria by the imam, who preaches a particularly radical form of Salafism at the Altun-Alem mosque in Vienna's second district.

The 32 year-old preacher has gone so far as to file a legal complaint against the media for misrepresentation.

"There are no facilities for women in our mosque. There is no place for women," he told Judge Gerald Wagner.

The newspaper has "totally ruined my reputation. I have never spoken to the girls. My name has been dragged through the mud."

However, the defendant's legal representative, Peter Zöchbauer, wants to examine the evidence, suggesting it is also possible that he came in contact with minors outside the mosque.

Zöchbauer named a witness he claims can confirm the imam had "confronted (the girls) with religious content."

The hearing has been adjourned until early October.

Before setting the date, the judge played Youtube clips in which the imam was shown preaching.

Story continues below…

Along with praise of Osama bin Laden, he also mentioned "duty" to a "defensive war".

The imam described the sequences as being taken out of context.

"If I said so, I was not right in the head. I do not recommend even adult men to go into battle." 

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available