Friday, July 02, 2004

Azerbaijanh(Asia)>Imam Is Expelled From Mosque for Speaking FOR Christians

Sad, but too good to be true.
Police today have twice forcibly expelled Muslims from a 1,000 year old Baku mosque that the authorities want to turn into a carpet museum, and tried to impose a new Imam on the community. However, community members were allowed back into the mosque for afternoon prayers, before being expelled again. The police attack was observed by Ambassador Steinar Gil of the Royal Norwegian Embassy, as well as diplomats from the British and US embassies, as well as the OSCE. Ambassador Gil told Forum 18 that the Muslims "behaved very calmly and with restraint, doing nothing to provoke further violence", and other witnesses told Forum 18 News Service that the police beat some community members up. The authorities' attempt to impose their own imam on the mosque community failed. The current imam, Ilgar Ibrahimoglu, is strongly disliked by the authorities for his religious freedom and human rights campaigning for Christians and Muslims.

This is a refreshing twist. Notice that the immam is "strongly dislinked…for his religious freedom and human rights campaigning…" Now if there were more Muslims like this…Sadly, it seems there aren't.


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