Czech Muslims plan Constitutional complaint over raid on mosque
The Center of Muslim Communities in the Czech Republic (Ústředí muslimských obcí v ČR) is preparing a constitutional complaint over a recent police raid on their mosques in Prague. Munib Hasan Alravi, chair of the center, informed the Czech News Agency of the move on 5 June.
"We insist that this raid was planned in advance, we don't know by whom, but this entire maneuver, in our opinion, intentionally targeted the Muslim minority," Alravi said. The group also filed a complaint against the police over the raid at the end of April, but Alravi says he no longer has faith in them.
News server Lidovky.cz reports that Czech Police President Tomáš Tuhý has rejected that complaint. "It will take a long time, but we mainly want to see the Muslim community receive what we are owed. I don't much believe anymore that the police will find out who was behind this whole thing," Atravi said.
The raid during Friday prayers sparked outrage not just in the Muslim community, but also among members of other religious groups in the Czech Republic. According to the Czech Interior Ministry, however, the police officers involved from the Organized Crime Detection Unit did not break domestic law and the raid was performed legally.
Indonesian diplomats who were present during the raid also complained. They believe it violated Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, as diplomats are not supposed to be arrested or detained in any way whatsoever according to that treaty.
The Czech Foreign Ministry, however, says nothing of the sort took place. Police charged a 55-year-old Czech man with promoting and supporting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms after the raid.
The suspect is from Prague and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He is suspected of having arranged for the publishing and distribution in the Czech Republic of a book that allegedly disseminates racism.
There has been media speculation that the man arrested was the director of the Islamic Center in Prague, Vladimír Sáňka. He has long been involved in a dispute with Lukáš Lhoťan, a man who has left the Islamic faith and whose speeches allege that Islam ppses a danger to Czech society.
After the raid, the Czech media reported that Lhoťan had recently filed criminal charges against the book in question. Sáňka has also previously repeatedly filed criminal charges against Lhoťan.
The media believe the book in question is by Bilal Philips and is called Bases of the Tauhid - The Islamic Conception of God. Orientalists and other academics, along with representatives of the Muslim community in the Czech Republic, have said they do not believe that book (or any other) is so dangerous to society as to justify a raid on a mosque.
The book has been available in bookstores and e-shops for approximately two years. Anyone can purchase it at any time.
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