ZAGREB, June 15, 2018 – The end of the Ramadan fasting ahead of one of the two biggest Muslim holidays, Ramadan Bayram, brought together in Zagreb on Thursday the highest political representatives in Croatia, representatives of the diplomatic corps, and the leaders of the Islamic and other religious communities.
Speakers extended their best wishes on Ramadan Bayram and said they were pleased with the co-existence of Muslims and other ethnic and religious groups in Croatia, saying Croatia could serve as an example to Europe in that regard.
The head of the Islamic Community in Croatia Aziz Hasanović said he was pleased the Muslim holiday had brought together political, diplomatic, cultural and religious dignitaries, which was evidence of the acceptance of Muslims in Croatia. “This is an encouraging picture for all, as not many countries, both in the East and the West, can send such a picture.”
The concept of living together is the greatest value in Croatia as it confirms the country’s multiculturalism and multiconfessionalism, Hasanović said, adding that he had proposals for Croatia’s presidency of the European Union and that he hoped to be able to present them to the state leaders.
He said religions could motivate people to do good and, unfortunately, the opposite as well. The Islamic Community in Croatia is determined to do good and calls on everyone to work on synergy and to respect universal values.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said he was pleased with Muslims’ contribution to the building of Croatian society. He said the government had an agreement with the Islamic Community which regulated their relations and under which Croatia financially supported Muslims’ needs.
He highlighted the construction of Islamic centres in Sisak and Umag, saying the mosque in Rijeka would be part of the future European capital of culture. He also recalled that over 1,100 Bosnian Muslims were killed in the Homeland War as members of the Croatian Army.
Speeches were also made by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Deputy Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner, highlighting the long and harmonious co-existence of Muslims in Croatia.