Macedonia's police have said they will monitor any possible Islamic extremism in the country following a request for help from the Islamic Religious Community, IVZ.
Macedonia police (archive photo)
The statement came on Wednesday after IVZ head Sulejman Rexhepi said help was needed from the state and western embassies to counter radical Islamic groups spreading across Macedonia.
Spokesperson Ivo Kotevski told Balkan Insight: “We are continuously monitoring the situation regarding the spread of radical Islam.
“If there is any relevant suspicion or knowledge of criminal activities, the Ministry of Interior is ready to intervene.”
Imam Ramadan Ramadani, who has been accused by the IVZ of leading and promoting the more extreme Wahhabi teachings of Islam among Macedonia’s moderate Muslims, rejected the claims, saying they were "faulty".
He alleged the IVZ leadership was corrupt, adding if Rexhepi remained as its head, “there is a risk of the IVZ collapsing, which would open grounds for radical groups that would harm the country”.
The IVZ has denied his accusations.
Ramadani controls one of the central mosques in the Macedonian capital of Skopje without the consent of IVZ, and is collecting signatures calling on Rexhepi to quit.
Islam is the second-largest religion in Macedonia after Orthodox Christianity.
Most of the country’s ethnic Albanians, who make up a quarter of Macedonia’s population of more than two million, are Muslims.
Die EU verlangt inzwischen von Albanien und Bosnien, das man die Konferenzen der Islamischen Extrem Aktivitaeten beendet.