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THE MUSLIM FORUM OF ALBANIA

PRESS RELEASE

 

The Muslim Forum of Albania rejects the agreement made between the Muslim Community of Albania and the Council of Ministers


April 12 2008


After a process of consultation with a number of scholars and lawyers, the Muslim Forum of Albania expresses its concerns regarding the latest agreement made between the Muslim Community of Albania and the Council of Ministers of Albania. The Muslim Forum of Albania is worried by the way this agreement and its content were drafted, which, not only is unrepresentative of the Muslims of Albania, but does not protect even their interests.

First; The Muslim Forum of Albania  notes that the agreement has not been made out of any general consensus of the Muslims in Albania and it is not consulted by all interested groups affected directly thereof. The agreement has not passed through competent forums of the Muslim Community of Albania and no ideas or opinions have been drawn by them. The agreement has been drafted and controlled exclusively by the leadership of the Muslim Community of Albania, without consulting other bodies of Islam in the country. Therefore, this action attacks directly its legitimacy, for as long as the affected interested groups have been ignored permanently without asking their opinions or having their approval.

The Muslim Forum of Albania emphasizes that an agreement should not be binding for as long as the subjected parties havenít been included in the process of its drafting and approval.

Secondly; The Muslim Forum of Albania notes that the agreementís wording in many points is ambiguous and evasive, thus leaving room for misinterpretation and abuse. In this context the agreement doesnít offer the proper conditions for regulating the relations between the wider Muslim community and the Albanian government.

Third; the agreement risks extending Albanian governmentís power beyond the borders stipulated by the Albanian Constitution. Thus, the government according to the agreementís formula allows the state to interfere onto religious and spiritual affairs of the Muslims of Albania, a thing that goes against the laic nature of the Albanian state, in which religion and state are separated by law, and the interested parties cannot interfere in each others bussiness.

Forth; the agreement threatens the inner consensus of the Muslim Community of Albania as it underpins the absolute power of its leadership.

Fifth; the agreement violates in many of its points the fundamental human rights of freedom of religion in Albania, by making the state and MCA the only bodies which will enforce and certify the correct version of Islam in the country. In this way the agreement creates the precedent for future violations of religious freedoms in Albania, and in particular the freedoms of Muslims in practicing their faith.

In this respect The Muslim Forum of Albania calls that the approval of this agreement be postponed and approved only after a wide consensus among the Muslim Community of Albaniaís forums, scholars, and a wider circle of Albanian Muslim practitioners. In contrary, the approval of this agreement will negatively reflect the relations between the Muslims community in Albania and will harm the principles upon which the agreement was based. Furthermore, this form of approval would make many Muslims in Albania perceive themselves as being dismissed or being considered not being represented by the Muslim Community of Albania.

The Muslim Forum of Albania is following the development of this process with great attention and concern. We are open to public for opinions or suggestions regarding the possible amendments to this agreement. Any further information or change regarding the underlined agreement will be made publicly in the future.

MUSLIM FORUM OF ALBANIA
TIRANA

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Note for Editors:

The Muslim Forum of Albania is an NGO, part of the Albanian Civil Society whose aim is the fight against racism, discrimination and Islamophobia. For having more information on us please visit: www.forumimusliman.org

 

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