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Scandal in Vienna: Embezzlement of Tax Money for Islamic Kindergarten

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Austria, Vienna – Once again, a scandal around Vienna’s Islamic kindergartens is causing a stir. As reported by Austria’s major daily Kronen-Zeitung, the chairman of the Arab religious community, Hassan Mousa, a jurist, has been taken into pre-trial custody. [1] He is suspected of having diverted 2.5 million euros of subsidies through an association run by him and having used tax money to finance, among other things, a luxurious mansion property. His two wives are also suspected.

Hassan Mousa is a high-ranking and acknowledged person in Austria’s Muslim community. The 57-year-old has been, among other positions, a member of the Shura council of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria and as such, one of the republic’s official contacts when it comes to religious matters.

Accusations brought forward by the public prosecutor against Hassan Mousa are weighing heavily: the man who headed a now bankrupt association that ran an Islamic school including an after-school center and a kindergarten is suspected of large-scale embezzlement of state subsidies. The criminal charges brought forward against him (embezzlement and fraudulent bankruptcy) can carry sentences from one to ten years imprisonment. (The presumption of innocence applies.)

A pompous kindergarten furnished with marble

Hassan Mousa is suspected of having branched off 2.5 million euros into his own pocket. During house searches carried out by police investigators, 300 files, documents and numerous computers were confiscated. The suspect who lived officially in an apartment subsidised by the municipality of Vienna is believed to have financed a mansion property in Vienna’s noble district of Döbling. According to the prosecutor’s files, he is also suspected of having abusively paid out fees, without any specific consideration, to his wife and his second wife.

His kindergarten which was closed in November because of its Koran teachings, has made headlines already before for its luxury furnishings such as marble tiles, a marble fireplace, a marble fountain and a huge elegantly decorated library. What’s more, Austria’s best-known IS jihadist, Mohamed Mahmoud, has once attended this Islamic school.

Commentary by Islam and terror expert Dr. Amer Albayati

Visegrád Post talked to Dr. Amer Albayati, an Islam and terror expert living in Vienna, who gave us the following comments:

Amer Albayati

“I have exposed this construct already a few years ago, but nothing has happened since except for a few headlines in the media, and I am afraid nothing will happen because the Austrian authorities also bear a great deal of co-responsibility that such abuses have become possible.

Dr. Hassan Mousa, the principal of the Vienna-based Austrian International Shcool – formerly Al-Azhar International School -, has been known to me for many years.

An Austrian music teacher has once invited me to a meeting in this school and asked for my help, as the school management and some parents did not want music lessons and boycotted them. At that time, I also informed the media about these grievances. [3]

On this occasion, at the same time when I met the teacher, an Egyptian, the public school inspectors met Mr. Mousa in his office, but no action followed.

As always, I am not only informing the media and my activist friends, but also the Austrian authorities. My goal is to put the public in the picture, but more I cannot do. [4] All these things have been crystal-clear for years, but nothing has happened. I wonder how much media pressure will still be necessary for a change…”




[4] For more details, see Dr. Amer Albayati’s homepage (in German):