Mufti criticizes school patron saint day
|25 January 2011 | 09:47 | Source: Beta|
|NOVI PAZAR -- The Islamic Community in Serbia announced that it would inform international institutions of the problem of celebrating an Orthodox Christian holiday.|
The St. Sava Day is celebrated as a school feast day in Serbia, "a secular state", said one of the country's two rival Islamic communities, that headed by Mufti Muamer Zukorlić.
"We urge parents of the Islamic faith not to allow their children to attend such celebrations, because it is an open continuation of assimilation and attempt to impose something to which they do not belong. We will organize round tables on the topic soon and air our views, and we will also inform international institutions charged with protecting human rights," spokesman Samir Tandir told Beta.
Zukorlić said earlier that Muslims should not allow their children to attend the celebration of the holiday of St. Sava, widely considered the patron saint of schools in Serbia. Zukorlić said it was incomprehensible that "in a secular state, such as Serbia, public institutions such as school had their Orthodox feast day, while at the same time loyalty is demanded from all other non-Orthodox citizens."
Serbian Ombudsman Saša Janković said on Jan. 24 that all school children belonged at school celebrations on St. Sava day, describing it as "a day and way to remind everyone, regardless of ethnicity or religion, of the importance of education and personal industriousness, not the place or time to exhibit religious affiliation."
However, he went on to say that religious rites or services could not be mandatory.