Sunday 15 November 2020

Islam in Croatia

There are only a few countries where Muslims freely observe their religion and religious rituals and Croatia is one of these countries. Islam that entered in areas that now include Croatia and surrounding areas during the Ottoman Empire from 15-16th centuries. In fact the advancing Ottoman forces halted at Croatia for it was a strong Christian stronghold. Croatia is the second European country to recognize Islam as an official religion and that was done only four years after Austria which recognised Islam in 1912

The total number of Muslims in Croatia differs according to various estimates, but the largely accepted figure comes from the 2011 census according to which Muslims are 1.47% of the country's population, which makes Islam as the second largest religious entity after Christianity. As of 2011, 62,977 Muslims live in Croatia. Most of them declare themselves as Bosniaks (31,479) while others declare themselves as: Albanians (9,594), Roma (5,039), Turks (343), Macedonians (217), Montenegrins (159) and other (2,420).

The Islamic Community of Croatia (Mešihat Islamske Zajednice u Hrvatskoj) is the main organization of Muslims in Croatia that is officially recognized by the state. Muslim communities operate freely in Croatia and with little formal influence or restrictions (Country Reports 2003 25 Feb. 2004; Freedom House 2003). Furthermore, the Ministry of Education recognizes the diploma conferred by the Muslim community's secondary school in Zagreb (International Religious Freedom Report 2003 18 Dec. 2003) and Muslims are granted paid holidays for Ramadan Bairam and Kurban Bairam (ibid.; Croatia 2002).

The first modern mosque in Croatia was built in Gunja in 1969. Today there are 4 mosques and 2 Islamic centers in Croatia (in Zagreb and Rijeka). The Mosque of Rijeka, completed in 2013 is the largest mosque in Croatia, and is unique in its architecture. Some 20,000 Muslims from Croatia and abroad attended the opening ceremony of the Islamic Centre in the western Croatian town of Rijeka on May 4, 2013. 
Zagreb Mosque in Croatia is simply Out of This World  [Photo: ilmfeed]

The Rijeka Islamic Center is located in Croatia’s coastal city, Rijeka. It was designed by prominent Croatian sculptor, Dušan Džamonja (1928 – 2009) who created a miniature model of the Mosque reflecting his abstract sculptures. Later, the architects Darko VlahoviÊ and Branko VuËinoviÊ used the concept to design what we see today.

In Croatia, academics and imams are putting the finishing touches on a new encyclopedia documenting the country's Muslim community. The Islamic Community in Croatia has been promoting for years the idea that it can serve as a model for resolving the Muslim issue in Europe and also the issue of Christian minorities in the Islamic world. With this aim in view, an international conference on Muslim communities in Europe and their duties and responsibilities was held in Zagreb in 2019. The conference was organized by the leadership of the Islamic Community in Croatia and the World Council of Muslim Communities. [4]

Halal food may prove to be difficult to come by in Croatia. Halal tourism is still relatively new in most cities like Zagreb. Well, there are some halal-certified restaurants in these Croatian cities but it’s usually rare and expensive due to its rarity. Muslim travelers can expect 100KN (~S$20) for a simple kebab and 20KN (~S$4) for a small glass of apple juice. [7]

Please watch a video on how do Muslims celebrate Ramadan in Rijeka, Croatia:
Disclaimer: The data for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

To know more about life of Muslims in other non Muslim countries, please visit our page: Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Croatia Flag | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
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