Macedonia: Wahabists taking over mosques

Macedonia: Wahabists taking over mosques

Via EU Observer:

Western diplomats and religious experts have voiced concerns about the spread of radical Islam among Muslim communities in the Balkans, after it transpired that alleged Wahabist radicals are operating and increasing their influence in Macedonia.

The foreign-inspired religious group is active in the area around Skopje, Macedonia's capital. It has tried to perform a putsch in the Islamic religious community (IRC) after an incident in the Isa-Bey Mosque in Skopje last week.

This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog -

The Isa-Bey Mosque has turned into a stronghold of radical Islam, Ibrahim Shabani, Skopje's highest Islamic clergyman, recently warned. His accusations followed a fight during which Shabani was physically assaulted and expelled from the mosque while trying to hold prayer.

Ramadan Ramadani, the Imam of the Isa-Bey Mosque, rejected the claims that his mosque is the flagship of Wahabism - a branch of Sunni Islam which is the official religion in Saudi Arabia.

The head of the IRC, the Reis-ul-ulema Sulejman Rexhepim Rexhepi, had so far denied Macedonian mosques had been taken over by radical elements. But he has confirmed that information now.

"Wahabists control four mosques in Skopje. The Internal Affairs Ministry gives us only verbal support but rests passive," he told the Albanian service of Radio Free Europe. He admitted the IRC had been trying to hide the Wahabi presence until now, hoping the radicals would withdraw and disappear again. "This didn't happen and we are going to name them for what they are," he said.

For his part, Mr Shabani also urged justice to deal with what he says is a radical Islamist group. "Last week's coup was prepared by Islamic radicals operating in Skopje. This criminal Wahabist gang is known for its radical actions and harassment of Muslim believers. We will ask the competent authorities to stop these radical groups and bring them to justice. This was proof that Wahabist structures act against the Constitution of the Islamic Community, the rules of procedure and hierarchy," he said.


Source: EU Observer

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