Islam in the Czech Republic

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According to the 2001 census, there are 2,800 Muslims in the Czech Republic (less than 0,1% of country's population), compared to 495 in 1991.[1]

History[edit]

First documented visit of a person with knowledge of Islam was made (964-965) by Íbrahím ibn Jaqúb, a Jewish merchant from then-Muslim Spain. His memoirs were later published to become one of the first accounts about Central Europe in Islamic world.

During both sieges of Vienna, reconnaissance groups of Ottoman armies reached Moravia. Strong trade links between Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire emerged during 19th century.

Traditionally, influence of Islam on culture of Czech lands has been small.

Modern era[edit]

A law 1912 by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy recognised Islam as a "state religion" and officially allowed its presence in what is now the Czech Republic. The first community (Muslimské náboženské obce pro Československo) was established in 1934 and disbanded in 1949. An attempt to set up a new community in 1968 failed. In 1991, the Center of Muslim communities (Czech: Ústředí muslimských náboženských obcí) was established. In 1998 the first mosque was opened, in Brno [1] and a year later another, in the capital, Prague [2]. Attempts to open mosques in other cities have been stopped by local citizens. In 2004 Islam was officially registered in the Czech Republic: the community is thus eligible to obtain funds from the state.

Most of the Muslims are from Bosnia-Herzegovina (early 1990s) and former countries of Soviet Union (mostly from Caucasus region, from the late 1990s until the present). A significant and influential part are the middle-class people of Egyptian, Syrian and other Middle Eastern ancestries (typically those who studied in Czechoslovakia and decided to stay). A few hundred Muslims are Czech converts.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population by denomination and sex: as measured by 1921, 1930, 1950, 1991 and 2001 censuses" (in Czech and English). Czech Statistical Office. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  2. ^ Panýrková, Petra: Konvertité k islámu v České republice, University of Pardubice, 2009.
  • Miloš Mendel, Jiří Bečka, Islám a české země, Olomouc, Votobia, 1998. ISBN 80-7220-034-8
  • Miloš Mendel, Bronislav Ostřanský, Tomáš Rataj, Islám v srdci Evropy, Praha, Academia, 2008. ISBN 978-80-200-1554-9

External links[edit]

(all texts are in Czech language)