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Serbia: Radical Islam 'latent threat' in Muslim-majority region

last update: September 24, 12:02

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Belgrade/Sarajevo, September 24 (Aki) - Serbia's Muslim-majority Sandzak could see a dangerous upsurge in fundamentalism, which is simmering in the southern region, an Islamology expert has warned.

"The symptoms are not serious threats at the moment but could trigger a chain of events in the future," Belgrade-based Islamology expert Darko Tanaskovicas aid on on Monday, cited by Pres daily.

His comments followed rallies held on Saturday by ultraconservative Wahabis in Sandzak's main town Novi Pazar and in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo calling for Muslim unity and a state governed by Sharia or Islamic law.

A group of about 100 Wahhabis got together in Novi Pazarì's central square but a Wahabi activist from Bosnia, Bilal Bosnic was not allowed to cross the border into Serbia to address the rally, according to rights activists cited by Serbia's Tanjug news agency.

Last Friday by thousands of fans from a local soccer club in Novi Pazar marched against a US-made film deemed insulting to Islam that has sparked deadly protests across the Muslim world, 'Innocence of Muslims'.

BH televison station RTRS quoted Bosnia's self-styled Wahhabi leader Nusret Imamovic as explaining the importance of Sharia law and “the indissoluble link between politics and Islam” in an address at Sarajevo's Muslim cultural centre.

Imamovic was earlier detained and than released by Bosnia police during an investigation into the sniper attack on the US Embassy in Sarajevo in October 2011 in which a policeman was wounded.

The attack on the American embassy was allegedly carried out by Wahabi member Mevlid Jasarevic, who was reportedly trained in mountains in northeastern Bosnia.

The Wahabi ideology is a fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam attributed to 18th century Saudi scholar Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab.

It was brought to the Balkans by thousands of mujahadeen fighters who came to fight on the side of Bosnian Muslims during the country's bloody 1992-1995 civil war

According to intelligence reports, many Wahabis remained in the country after the war, indoctrinating local youths with radical Islam and operating terrorist training camps in several locations in Bosnia


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