Friday, March 31, 2006

Muslims in Albania's northern city of Shkoder are opposing plans to erect a statue to Mother Teresa

Benet Koleka:

The dispute is unusual for Albania, where religion was banned for 27 years under the regime of dictator Enver Hoxha and where religious harmony and mixed marriages are the norm.

Seventy percent of the population are liberal Muslims, the rest are Christian Orthodox and Catholic.

But Muslim groups in Shkoder rejected the local council plan for a Teresa statue, saying it "would offend the feelings of Muslims."

"We do not want this statue to be erected in a public place because we see her as a religious figure," said Bashkim Bajraktari, Shkoder's mufti or Muslim religious leader.

"If there must be a statue, let it be in a Catholic space."

Several residents told Reuters they felt there was an underground effort to treat Shkoder as a Catholic town, ignoring its majority Muslim community.

Shkoder's Muslims recently protested against crosses being erected on prominent hilltops.

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At 5:05 AM, Anonymous Piers said...

Thanks for the post, pretty helpful data.
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