Czech Police complete investigation of radical Islamic book
Officers from the Organized Crime Detection Unit (Útvar pro odhalování organizovaného zločinu - ÚOOZ) have completed their investigation of a case of the alleged dissemination of a radical Islamic book in the Czech Republic. Pavel Hanták, spokesperson for the unit, updated the Czech News Agency about the case on 16 March.
The case is connected with last year's intervention by police at Muslim centers in Prague, after which Vladimír Sáňka, the chair of the Muslim community of Prague, was charged with publishing a book that disseminates racism. Hanták said that the case is now at the phase of file review.
After this step, officers usually either propose an indictment or halt prosecution. On 25 April 2014, police broke into buildings located near Wenceslas Square and in the Černý Most quarter of Prague that house the Center of Muslim Communities in the Czech Republic, the Muslim Community of Prague, and the Islamic Foundation of Prague,.
Subsequently Mr Sáňka (age 55), a Czech citizen, was charged with promoting and supporting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms, for which he faces up to 10 years in prison. He is suspected of having arranged for a book disseminating racism to be published in the Czech Republic and of distributing it.
According to previous reporting, the charges concern a book entitled Fundamentals of TAWHEED (Islamic Monotheism) (in Czech, "Základy tauhídu-Islámský koncept Boha") by Bilal Philips, who is not permitted to enter several Western countries because of the publication. The book is also banned in several states.
At the start of 2014 the Czech daily Právo reported that the ÚOOZ had a damning report available to it about the controversial book. The paper said the report confirmed that the publication contains hateful, racially intolerant statements.
Last year's police raid on the Muslim centers in Prague took pace during Friday prayers, which are of special significance to Muslims. Many of those attending the prayers, including foreign diplomats, complained about the raid.
Witnesses criticized the intervention, alleging it was too disruptive. They did not like the fact that they were required to lie face down on the ground, and some witnesses testified that officers pointed their weapons at them.
The Czech Interior Ministry investigated the case and found the intervention to have been in order. Police are said to be able to prove that they called on people with diplomatic immunity, women, children and the disabled to immediately leave the scene.
According to a previous statement by Czech Police President Tomáš Tuhý, the officers went into the intervention on the understanding that some of the people at the scene might be armed. He claimed that this was subsequently confirmed, but a a follow-up investigation by detectives discovered that the people who had weapons on them were legally licensed to carry them.
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