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Hungarian Cabinet Backs Down From Plans To Allow Gigantic Mosque To Be Built In Budapest

Ferenc Sullivan 2015.12.18.

The Hungarian government has backed down from earlier plans to allow a gigantic Turkish-funded mosque to be built in the capital Budapest’s District X.

Despite the plan winning over the support of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in May, Bence Rétvári, State Secretary at the Ministry of Human Resources, has now said in a statement that the cabinet will not give the scheme the go-ahead because “the construction of churches and mosques is not a governmental capacity”.

In an answer to a question submitted by Socialist MP Attila Mesterházy, the Christian Democratic politician refers to the country’s Fundamental Law, which states the separation of churches and state. However, sources speaking to Bors, a tabloid newspaper, said that the government is backing down from the plan because its anti-immigration campaign is “incompatible” with building the mosque.

The paper also recalls that the Hungarian cabinet has supported the building of several churches across the Carpathian Basin. As MP for Budapest’s District XI, Mr. Rétvári also declined his support for since-cancelled plans to build a mosque in the Buda neighbourhood.

In September, the Prime Minister’s Office claimed that there have been no discussions on the construction of a Turkish-funded new mosque in Budapest between the Hungarian and Turkish governments.