Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Christian Democrats against new mosque in Brno

Brno, July 27 (CTK) - South Moravian Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) are against the construction of a second mosque in Brno, Stanislav Juranek, chairman of the regional party organisation, said Monday.

He said the Muslims who want to live in the Czech Republic should adapt themselves to the local traditions.

"It would be a great mistake to allow them (traditions) being pushed away by a foreign culture and religion," he told journalists.

Munib Hasan, from the Brno-based Islamic foundation, who recently announced the plan to build a new mosque, dismissed Juranek's opinion.

He said Brno Muslims have always rejected any radicalism and oppression.

KDU-CSL deputy chairman David Macek said the Christian Democrats recognise freedom of religious faith, but added he is embarrassed about some demands of Islamists.

He said, for instance, Vladimir Sanka writes in a manual on what is allowed and what is banned in Islam that Muslims need not obey anyone who does not preach Islam.

The manual also sets death penalty for unfaithful women and renegades from Islam, Macek said.

Hasan said the sentences are torn out of context. He added that it is necessary to look at the teaching of the churches as such, not at individuals' opinions.

"One thing is toleration and another thing is naivety. Such a group should not be accommodated in southern Moravia," Macek said.

He said the Czech Republic should not repeat the mistakes of western Europe where many Islam followers moved and now their communities clash with the majority society.

Macek also said the minaret that could be part of the planned mosque in Brno would change the city's cultural relief.

The Muslims, however, say they do not want a regular minaret, but a spire reminiscent of the minaret.

The Muslims now have a mosque in Brno but they say it no longer meets their requirements. It is small and it does not have study and lecture rooms.

Hasan reminded that previously the Brno mosque was opened in Brno 11 years ago as the first Muslim place of prayer in the Czech Republic.

Some 120 Islam followers meet in it and their number is growing.

Hasan said he believes that a new mosque can be built in Brno without provoking the public's resistance. He said Muslims have coexisted with other Brno inhabitants without any problem to date.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the mosque opening last year, the Muslims handed out 3653 roses as a sign of friendship. One rose was for one day in the ten years.

(Prague Daily Monitor)