Macedonia: Islamists blamed for attack on Skopje mufti

Skopje, 2 July(AKI) – Three people have been detained by police in Macedonia after local mufti Ibrahim Sabani was expelled from a mosque during religious services, local media reported on Friday. Islamists linked to the fundamentalist Wahabi movement have been blamed for the attack on the mufti and police said three suspects had been charged with disorderly conduct.

The Macedonian Islamic community said the incident occurred last Sunday and had been reported to police.

Sabani told Skopje media that “criminal Wahabi bands” were active in the Macedonian capital and were trying to take over the mosque in which he conducted services.

He said Wahabis had slapped him and a man who tried to defend him before they were expelled from the mosque.

The Wahabi movement, originated in what is now Saudi Arabia, and advocates a form of fundamentalist Islam.

It was brought to Bosnia by mujahadeen fighters who came from Islamic countries to support local Muslims in the 1992-1995 civil war.

Last week Wahabis bombed a police station in the Bosnian town of Bugojno, killing one police officer and injuring six others.

One in four of Macedonia’s two million people are ethnic Albanians, who are Muslims.

The Wahabi movement has slowly been taking roots in Muslim populated areas of the Balkans, increasingly resorting to violent acts.


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