The Mufti of Zagreb, Aziz Hasanovic, on Sunday hosted the last iftar of Ramadan and a formal reception, telling his guests that they had been invited to confirm unity in challenging times.
The last iftar marks the end of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the beginning of Ramadan Bayram or Eid al-Fitr, the festival of the breaking of the fast.
Among the guests were President Zoran Milanovic, Culture Minister Nina Obuljen-Korzinek, Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic, members of Parliament Zeljko Reiner and Veljko Kajtazi, Zagreb City Assembly Chairman Josko Klisovic, former presidents Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Ivo Josipovic, Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor, and Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) Director Daniel Markic.
Milanovic said that relations between Croats and Muslims had been “contaminated and polluted” during the 1991-1995 war. “We must discuss this because our relations were not harmonious,” he noted.
Milanovic said that the Croatian model of protection of the rights of ethnic minorities and religious communities was good and civilised, but that there was still a lot of work to be done to remove the existing prejudices. “It is up to us to try and calm this demon. I’m not going into who’s responsible for it, but the sooner we come to grips with it, the sooner we will start resolving the problems.”
The president said that the door of his office was always open to the Islamic community to talk as often as possible and exchange views.
Minister Obuljen-Korzinek said that the iftar brings people together “to show mutual respect based on the universal values of our faiths that mean peace and love and that make society open to all citizens regardless of their religious, ethnic or any other affiliation.”
Mayor Tomasevic said that the only way to face challenging times was cooperation. “Cooperation between citizens, between nations and between religions, cooperation between all people to achieve the universal values of peace, love, respect and tolerance.”