FYROM – The Islamic Religious Community of FYROM calls the government to stop the Islamophobic and Discriminatory Policies
Skopje Lajm in Albanian 27 Mar 10 – 28 Apr 10 pp 2, 3
Report by Albina Hajdari: “Government Is Snatching Muslims’ Assets“
The BFIM [Islamic Religious Community of FYROM] continues to demand its assets, also known as waqf [religious endowment], that the government has illegally nationalized. Despite the Denationalization Law, some assets in central Shkup [Skopje] have still not been returned to the community. In a statement about the pressure that the cabinet is exerting, the BFIM has called on the government to account for demolishing the mihrab on the Stone Bridge. “Not long ago, this Islamic symbol was ruthlessly demolished by anti-Islamic elements on the pretext that they had been unaware what they were doing. Although the same mihrab was restored, it now looks more like a monument with Slav elements than the original authentic mihrab that was built at the same time as the Stone Bridge,” Shkup Muftiate Spokesman Skender Buzaku said.
In addition, the BFIM has demanded that all the assets classified as waqf in [FYR]Macedonia be returned to it. “With no respect even for the courts, the government usurped the waqf of the Ibni Pajko Mosque by claiming a large part of its land in the most barbaric manner and now it wants to construct the [FYR]Macedonian Philharmonic Hall on it,” Buzaku said.
Earlier, the prime minister stated that “no one is entitled to build something on someone else’s land.” That is why the BFIM is asking the prime minister who gave him the right to start constructing the [FYR]Macedonian Philharmonic Hall on the waqf of the Shkup Muftiate?
Prime Minister Gruevski has stated that the Old Bazaar is the property of all the citizens, implying that not even the Cair Municipality has the right to manage it. In response, the BFIM asks how it is possible that [FYR]Macedonia Square — where the Burmali Mosque is supposed to be built — belongs only to the Center Municipality and not to everyone?
“Prime minister, we are gradually getting closer to the construction of the Burmali Mosque. Hence, it is your duty immediately to return the assets to the BFIM. We are warning you that this will be one of the last steps of the BFIM Muftiate in Shkup to say stop to the Islamophobic and discriminatory policies that are shaking the foundation of this multiethnic and multi-religious state,” Spokesman Buzaku warned.
Incidentally, this kind of rebellion on the part of the BFIM started following Prime Minister Gruevski’s statement that the Burmali Mosque would not be built in central Shkup, even though the government ceded land to the [FYR]Macedonian Orthodox Church to build the “St Elena and Konstantin Church” on the capital’s square.
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