četrtek, julij 29, 2004

Finally, a mosque for Ljubljana?

The Constitutional Court ruled on 13 July that a referendum on banning the construction of Slovenia’s first mosque would be illegal. The 7:1 vote brings to an end decades of pushing on the part of Slovenia’s Muslims and resistance on the part of the Ljubljana City Council and many local residents. [STA / 22.07.04 / Prva džamija v Ljubljani in Sloveniji do konca desetletja; TOL / 19.07.04 / A Mosque in Your Backyard]

Muslims first requested a building permit for the mosque from the government in 1969 and only now does it appear that they will actually get one.

The City Council proposed the referendum several months ago, and Ljubljana Mayor Danica Simšič led the charge against it. In February, she condemned the referendum plan, saying, “I believe that such a referendum would represent a constitutionally-forbidden encroachment on the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of a religious minority, in this case the Muslim community in Slovenia" [SB / 24.04.04 /
Mosque Referendum?].

There are about 47,000 Muslims in Slovenia. The percentage of Muslims in the total population rose from 1.5 in 1991 to 2.4 according to the 2002 census, making them the second largest religious community in the country. Catholics are the largest, and Orthodox are in third place at 2.3 percent.

The mosque could be finished within ten years. It will be located at cesta dveh cesarjev, on the southern fringe of the capital. [Finance / 22.07.04 /
Slovenia to Get First Mosque by 2010]