Islam in the Czech Republic
|Islam by country|
According to the 2010 census, there are around 3500 Muslims in the Czech Republic (less than 0.1% of country's population), compared to 495 in 1991. In 2016, there were an estimated 20,000 Muslims in the Czech Republic representing 0.2% of the country's population.
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.
Traditionally, influence of Islam on culture of Czech lands has been small.
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  and a year later another, in the capital, Prague . 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.
Fears of Islamic fundamentalism
President Miloš Zeman is among those who have expressed fear that Islamic terrorism could threaten the Republic. In August 2016, for the first time, a Czech citizen was charged on suspicion of trying to join the ISIS.
- 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
(all texts are in Czech language)