Bosnia: Mosque set on fire

A mosque has been set alight in the eastern Bosnian village of Fazlagica Kula, only hours ahead of the beginning of the Muslim holiday of Eid Al Adha, or Kurban Bajram.

The village is located in the southeastern part of the Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska, near the town of Trebinje. Numerous mosques were razed in that area during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

The Fazlagica Kula mosque was set alight on Sunday night, officials from the Islamic community confirmed.

Local media reported that the inside of the mosque and its roof were completely burned down.

Although the investigation into this incident was still ongoing and the cause for the fire was still unconfirmed, Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) officials reacted strongly, demanding from the Bosnian Serb leadership and police to swiftly indentify and arrest the culprits.

In a letter sent to Republika Srpska leadership, premier of the other Bosnian entity of Bosniak-Croat Federation, Nedzad Brankovic, said that this "gross vandalism" was an attack against Muslim believers and Bosniak returnees to the area.

"Burning of the mosque in Fazlagica Kula, at the time when believers were supposed to carry out their religious duties, is a proof that there are still retrograde forces who want to prevent the return of trust," Brankovic said.

Brankovic also offered assistance from Federation institutions in identifying and apprehending the culprits.

The entire village of Fazlagica Kula was completely destroyed during the war. Some homes were rebuilt after the war and several Bosniak families have returned there, despite several incidents and attacks. The mosque itself was reconstructed few years ago.

On Monday, Muslims in Bosnia and all over the world celebrated Kurban Bajram, the Festival of Sacrifice, in commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

Source: BalkanInsight (English)

No comments: