Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, issued a statement on the opening of Bosnia’ first gay-festival in which he both called the event a provocation while urging tolerance. According to one media report:
Bosnia’s first-ever gay festival opens this week amid fears of violence, with homophobia overriding usual divisions among the country’s wartime foes — Muslims, Serbs and Croats. The Muslim majority is particularly upset about the four-day Queer Festival because it will open in Sarajevo on Wednesday — during the holy month of Ramadan. Many others including members of various ethnic political parties have gone as far as declaring homosexuality an illness and the behaviour deviant. ….” Such statements have been accompanied by a broader campaign of hate which has seen posters declaring “Death to Homos” appear in the capital and a torrent of abuse on Internet forums. They have been met by condemnation and calls for tolerance from rights groups like Amnesty International and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The OSCE said that it “strongly condemns attempts to incite violence against any group within Bosnia. Posters appearing in and around Sarajevo are intended to do just that.”… In a sermon during Ramadan’s first Friday prayers, the leader of Bosnia’s Islamic community, Mustafa Ceric, called the festival a “provocation” while urging tolerance among the faithful. “In line with the message of peace we are sending both to those with whom we agree and those with whom we disagree on moral issues, we should also be left to live in peace, free to practice our religion and to respect our moral values,” said Ceric.
Dr. Ceric is tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood through his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and by his participation in the U.K.-based “Radical Middle Way” consisting of a wide range of associated scholars representing the global Muslim Brotherhood. A previous post discussed comments by Dr. Ceric at a recent interfaith conference suggesting that the West was responsible for “moral degeneration” being imported into the Islamic world. Several earlier posts have discussed Dr. Ceric’s increasing visibility and importance within the global Muslim Brotherhood.
(Source: Agence France Presse — English September 21, 2008 Sunday 3:02 AM GMT Fears of violence ahead of Bosnia’s first gay festival)