Zagreb - A special session of the Croatian Parliament, marking the 100th anniversary of the institutionalised Islam in Croatia, was held on Wednesday with top state officials attending the event.
Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković recalled that Islam had been present in Croatia for several centuries. "Through that time, the relations between the state and Islam had been exposed to challenges, but ever since 1916 we have been building these relations on new foundations. Croatia is the second European country to recognise Islam as an official religion and that was done only four years after Austria which recognised Islam in 1912," Orešković said.
Croatia and the Islamic community can be proud of what they have built through joint effort, the prime minister said.
"Today we have the experience of coexistence and regulated relations between the state and the Islamic community, which can serve as a model for many countries in Europe and the world," Orešković said, underscoring that he was proud of the fact that Croatian Muslims were an integral part of modern Croatian society.
Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner said the law adopted by the Parliament of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia on this day in 1916, proved to be a wise and long-reaching decision.
"We particularly appreciate the meaning of this decision in today's turbulent world of wars waged by an instrumentalised minority allegedly in the name of Islam thus unfortunately causing immeasurable damage to Muslims, but also to global peace and development of humanity. Because Islam is a religion of peace," Reiner said.
He said that for centuries Croatia has been the homeland to the biggest three monotheistic religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam. (Hina)