Former Prague imam Samer Shehadeh admitted on Tuesday that he had helped
his brother and sister-in-law travel to Syria to join a the organisation
Jabhat Fatah as-Sham (Conquest of Syria).
However, Shehadeh said he does not consider it a criminal act because he does not recognise the Syrian government or perceive Jabhat Fatah as-Sham as terrorists. He also said any Czech courts' decision is irrelevant to him as they do not follow Islamic sharia law.
The former imam’s brother and sister-in-law are also defendants in the case. Czech intelligence services began investigating the trio in 2016. Shehadeh is also accused of using charity money to support terrorism financially.
The Supreme Court has ruled that a Prague school was wrong to ban
headscarves for hygienic reasons in a suit brought forward by a Somali
schoolgirl who wore it for religious reasons.
The court ruled that religious pluralism must be respected and no religious group should be discriminated against or disadvantaged.
A lower court had ruled in favour of the school, which argued that since the Somali schoolgirl was yet not enrolled there, she could not have been discriminated against for wearing a hijab.
Imam Leonid Kushnarenko, head of the Prague Muslim Community, has been
removed from office and expelled from the community. Both the Czech Muslim
Community and its Prague branch distanced themselves from Kushnarenko after
he posted a call on Facebook for Muslims to arm themselves in response to
the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The head of the Czech Muslim Community Munib Alvari said the vote to expel Kushnarenko had been unanimous. Kushnarenko, who on Facebook offered to help any community members who wanted to acquire an arms license to protect their lives and property, said he would not appeal the decision and said it was important for emotions to subside.
Prague’s Muslim Community has distanced itself from statements made by
its new chairman, Leonid Kušnarenko. In a video posted on his Facebook
profile he offered to help members of the community to acquire firearms. He
made the offer in response to the recent terrorist attack on Muslims in New
Zealand’s Christchurch and a growing anti-Islamic mood in the Czech
The Prague Muslim Community said that any statements made by Mr. Kušnarenko expressed his views alone and did not represent the attitude of Muslims in the capital or elsewhere in the Czech Republic.
The National Centre for Combatting Organized Crime issued its annual report on Wednesday highlighting potential security risks to the country. It reported a growing number of sham marriages, particularly with citizens of Turkey, and warned of “uncontrolled numbers of people practicing Islam entering the country”.
A Somali girl who was barred from wearing a hijab at a Prague secondary
school has lost an appeal in which she was seeking an apology and CZK
60,000 in compensation from the institution. Prague’s Municipal Court on
Tuesday confirmed a previous ruling under which the girl’s allegation of
discrimination was dismissed.
The plaintiff had argued that wearing the veil was an expression of her religious conviction. However, a Municipal Court judge said that the school, which prepares students for a career in medicine, had to remain a “neutral environment”.
The number of animals in the Czech Republic slaughtered according to halal requirements increased in 2016 by nine percent on the previous year, according to the data of the State Veterinary Administration. Nearly 114,000 animals were slaughtered according to Halal, which is less than one percentage of all the animals slaughtered in the country per year. There are currently nine slaughterhouses in the country which can carry out ritual halal or kosher slaughters.
At the start of this year historian Matěj Spurný came in for a great deal of online abuse – and even death threats – after an interview he gave a magazine headlined This country is not just for Czechs. Spurný’s work is focused on issues of nationalism and identity and he is a co-founder of Antikomplex, a group advocating for a more critical look at the post-war expulsion of the country’s German minority. When the Charles University academic visited our studios I was curious to know, given his specialisation, about his own family background.