Macedonian Islamic Leader Implicated In Financial Scandal, Links To the Muslim Brotherhood


A Macedonian Islamic leader probably linked to the Muslim Brotherhood has been implicated in a local financial scandal and been ordered to pay restitution. An Albanian newspaper has reported that Zenun Berisha, the former head of the Islamic Religious Community of Macedonia, has been ordered to pay an indemnity to the Community due to unspecified “financial irregularities” that took place while was in charge:

Shkup (Skopje), 16 September — The former head of the Shkup Muftiate, Zenun Berisha, is to pay an indemnity to the Islamic Religious Community of Macedonia (BFIM) owing to serious irregularities that took place while he was in charge of the richest Muftiate. This is what the BFIM officials have announced; adding that a full audit has already been conducted concerning his work and that the entire documentation has been submitted to the relevant institutions. BFIM head Sulejman Efendi Rexhepi has said that there is a judicial decree by which Berisha is committed to paying the indemnity. Meanwhile, the BFIM is expecting the relevant institutions to initiate criminal charges. “On the basis of all the judicial decrees, he is committed to returning the money, while the entitled institutions are left to decide on his criminal charges,” Rexhepi has said. The Interior Ministry officials have been unwilling to comment hastily on the BFIM head’s request regarding investigations into the work of the former head of the Shkup Muftiate, Zenun Berisha, and have stressed that the Interior Ministry could not take any concrete measures until they have looked at the documentation on the financial irregularities.

The report goes on to state that unidentified European security agencies have identified Berisha as “the link for radical Islamic structures who intend to enter this part of the Balkans.” A report from July 2005, carried on an online news portal covering the Balkans, also links Berisha to “pro-Arabic radical Islam”:

Well-informed sources have told Vreme that the Islamic Community’s armed incidents, violence, and tension are the result of a battle between two Islamic factions — the pro-Arabic radical Islam and the traditional one, which the young Skopje imams are advocating.According to these sources, the young muftis from Skopje are trying to preserve the Islamic Community’s autonomy and the foundations of the so-called secular or traditional Islam. An the other end is a faction represented by Skopje Mufti Zenun Berisha, whose goal is allegedly to strengthen the position of radical Islam — fostered by a movement known as Wahabism — in the Islamic Community.

This report goes on to suggest that the aim of this movement is to unify the Balkans religious communities under the of the Sarajevo-based Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Community:

According to intelligence reports, one of the chief objectives of the Wahabi current in the Balkans is the unification of the Islamic religious communities of Macedonia, Kosovo, Sandzak, and Montenegro under the umbrella of the Sarajevo-based B-H Islamic Community, as they used to function before the SFRY’s [Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia] disintegration. The pro-Arabic Islam has already infiltrated the Balkans, finding its firmest stronghold in the B-H Islamic Community. These factions have been successful in pursuing their goal of expanding and getting embedded in the Islamic religious communities of Macedonia, Montenegro, Sandzak, and Kosovo.

It should be noted that the Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Community is led by Dr. Mustafa Ceric who is tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood through his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) headed by Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi. Previous posts reported on Dr. Ceric’s desire to see a new European organization to govern Islam in Europe, his dispute with Bosnian Salafists, and his role in using a Saudi donation intended for war victims for the creation of an Islamic investment bank.

(1st report source: Skopje Koha in Albanian — privately owned daily)Macedonia: Former Head of Skopje Muftiate Suspected of Financial Irregularities Report by Krenar Sadiku: “Police Investigate Zenun Berisha’s Irregularities” Koha Friday, September 21, 2007 T16:07:29Z Document Type: OSC Translated Text)

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