Islam in the Czech Republic
|Islam by country|
There are an estimated 20,000 Muslims in the Czech Republic, representing 0.2% of the country's population.
In the Czech Republic, there are two mosques in Prague and one mosque in Brno.
The 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 the 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 the 19th century. Individual Muslims from the late 19th century began to settle in Czech lands after Bosnia became part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Traditionally, the influence of Islam on the 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), Kosovo (late 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.
- 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)