The headstones of Muslim soldiers killed in the first World War have been vandalized in the North-western Slovenian Log pod Mangartom. The tombstones were sprayed with Serbian nationalistic symbols. Community Secretary Nizet Poric reacted angrily to the act of defacement, saying that the incidents are “first-class vandalism (and were) right out of order.” The local Islamic community has been notified, and the police are still investigating the incident. The cemetery is the final resting place of Bosnian soldiers who fought in the Austrian army during WWI and killed in the battles of 1916.
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The Muslim community in Slovenia is hoping to raise enough money to establish a long-awaited mosque – which would be the first ever built in the country. The city municipality has granted Ljubljana permission for the building and allocated land for the prospective mosque. However, money is needed to secure the building and construction, with a looming deadline that closes at the end of the year.
The Muslim community is seeking help from international Muslim NGOs to help raise the money, and the Islamic sheikhdom of Slovenia has sent letters to governments of several Muslim countries concerning their fundraising initiatives. About 700,000 Euros have been collected far – 3.6 million Euros are still needed.
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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that Bosnian refugees living in Slovenia have a difficult time integrating in the country. Groups with special needs are often overlooked when there re mass refugee movements, and those who are above the age of 60 have a much harder time adapting than young and middle-aged refugees. Among the difficulties they experience are adapting to new homes, achieving economic self-sufficiency, legal-recognition, and absorbing the socio-cultural characteristics of the host country.