State can’t provide rooms for Estonian Islamic Congregation (5)
Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur (Reform) said on Tuesday that the state couldn’t help the Estonian Islamic Congregation to find new premises. Aghanum Allahverdijeva, the community’s chairman, had requested help finding a new location for prayer.
The congregation had asked for the ministry’s support in the effort to find new premises in a letter dated Aug. 4. The minister responded in writing that the ministry didn’t have suitable rooms at its disposal.
Pevkur recommended to turn to the local council for help. He suggested the congregation should discuss its options which local council to turn to, and once it had made a decision request help from them.
Different attempts of the Estonian Islamic Congregation have lately been in the media, including its wish to build a mosque in Maardu. On Aug. 18 daily Päevaleht reported that the congregation had instead decided to buy a house in Kadriorg, which imam Ildar Muhhamedšin then denied later on.
Behind the need for premises are disagreements in the congregation. In general, there are two groups of muslims in Estonia, namely those who have lived in the country for several generations and who live the traditions handed down by their families, and all those who either arrived or converted later.
Allahverdijeva explained the situation in his letter to Pevkur, stating that despite the common religion there were different interpretations of scripture leading to different traditions in living and teaching them.
In the 2011 census, 1,508 people specified their faith as muslim.