The Islamic Community in Croatia has stated that that claims to interpret criticism and attacks against Croatian Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic, a member of that Community, as anti-Islamic sentiment are detrimental and unsubstantiated, adding that community distanced itself from the opinion of Imam Aziz efendi Alili on this matter.
The statement signed by the president of the Meshihat of the Islamic Community in Croatia, Aziz efendi Hasanovic, reads that exchange of harsh words in media regarding the appointment of Hasanbegovic as the Croatian culture minister has been lasting for weeks.
What initially assumed the characteristics of political one-upmanship involving strongly-worded criticism regarding Hasanbegovic has been seen by some members inside the Islamic Community as an insult against Hasanbegovic on the basis of his religious beliefs and therefore they have treated this issue in an inappropriate way giving their misinterpretations, reads the statement issued on Wednesday.
In this context, the Islamic Community notes that an opinion expressed by Hafiz Aziz efendi Alili in his hutba (sermon) on 12 February in the Zagreb Islamic Centre is not the Community’s official position.
To interpret attacks against Hasanbegovic as Islamophobic and anti-Islamic is detrimental and unsubstantiated, and this may also push the Community into the sphere of politicisation, which is impermissible. If there were any elements of Islamophobic and anti-Islamic approach to the topic of appointment of Hasanbegovic as the minister, the Islamic Community would have raised its voice, according to the statement.
The president of the Meshihat of the Islamic Community writes that the Community deals with matters regarding the beliefs and promotion of universal values and continues to follow the good practice and opinion of the former president Mufti Sevko efendi Omerbasic about harmful effects for the religious community that may stem from interference into the political life.
Taking into account the fact that inside the society and inside the Islamic Community there are those who support and those who oppose Hasanbegovic and that this is a political issue and issue of ideological mindsets, the Islamic Community will not take a position on that matter.
The statement also describes Hasanbegovic as a well-known member among the community of Muslim believers in Zagreb and praises him as an outstanding, discreet, cordial man and established scholar. Also, it happens that not everybody agrees with Hasanbegovic’s views and interpretations of events in the past, as this is the case when it comes to opinions and thinking.