Begins first Ramadan in independent Kosovo

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Kosovar religious and political leaders wished all Kosovars of Muslim creed peaceful and joyous moments during the fasting month of Ramadan.

On the occasion, Kosovo Grand Mufti Naim Tërnava wished all Muslim believers peace, plentitude and comfortable fasting. Tërnava said that this Ramadan is more special because it is the first one to be observed in the state of Kosovo.

During the 1998-1999 war, hundreds of mosques and Islamic religious sites were desecrated and fully destroyed, and many Muslim imams were massacred by Serbian paramilitary and regular forces.

The President of the Republic of Kosovo Fatmir Sejdiu in his statement emphasized his cordial respect and wishes of a peaceful, joyful and healthy Ramadan to all citizens of the Republic of Kosovo who observe this important Muslim event.

“Ramadan is the month of human sacrifice, devotion to God, peace, tolerance and respect for humankind of all religions, races and ethnic groups. It’s a symbol of understanding and love for one another and certainly this marks an important beginning for all citizens of Muslim creed in the Republic of Kosovo as well,” said Sejdiu.

President Sejdiu also added that “Islam in the Republic of Kosovo has played an important role for centuries in becoming an example of tolerance, peace and love between all ethnic and religious groups.”

In a letter sent to Grand Mufti Naim Tërnava, President Sejdiu wrote: “Today, we all feel happy because this is the first time Kosovo observes this important Muslim holy month as an independent and sovereign nation. The contribution of all citizens of Muslim creed, particularly the Islamic community of Kosovo and its Grand Mufti Naim Tërnava’s contribution and commitment towards building a democratic independent and sovereign state of Kosovo and its recognition in the large family of world nations, is very much appreciated,” said Sejdiu.

Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi in a statement also praised the importance of the holy month of Ramadan for the citizens of Muslim creed of the Republic of Kosovo.

“The holy month of Ramadan is very important for the Muslim believers, for whom it reflects one’s religious piety and challenges to commit to higher spirituality with respect to all human beings. I wish all citizens of Muslim creed of the Republic of Kosovo a peaceful, joyful and harmonious fasting. At the behest of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, my family and myself, I with you most sincere blessings,” said PM Thaçi

The Apostolic Administrator of Kosovo, Roman Catholic Archbishop Dodë Gjergji, in a statement issued for the media offered his best wishes to all citizens of Muslim creed of the Republic of Kosovo as they observe the holy month of Ramadan.

“The holy month of Ramadan is a very important event for the citizens of Muslim creed of Kosovo. Observance of holy month of Ramadan is a symbol of tolerance between all religious communities of Kosovo. The long co-existence between Catholic and Muslim communities [in Kosovo] is exemplary to the entire world and the struggle to breathe free today in an independent and sovereign Kosovo explains Islam’s peaceful teachings and contribution for tolerance and love for one another. I wish all citizens of the Republic of Kosovo who observe the holy month of Ramadan joyful and harmonious moments with their families,” stated Archbishop Gjergji.

Serbian Orthodox Church did not issue any statement regarding the holy month of Ramadan.

The international community also offered best wishes for all citizens of Muslim creed of Kosovo as they observe Ramadan.

Yves de Kermabon, chief of European Union Mission (EULEX), in a statement offered his sincere wishes to all Kosovars who observe the holy month of Ramadan.

“Islam in Kosovo is the symbol of peace and tolerance and its commitment to promote love and build relations with all communities is very much appreciated. Certainly, the holy month of Ramadan is an important event, with a long tradition in Kosovo, distinguished for its deep tolerance and coexistence with all other religions. I am glad that holy month of Ramadan begins in an independent Kosovo and I offer my sincere wishes to all Muslims around the world and in Kosovo and joyful time with their loved ones during the holy month of Ramadan,” was the statement of EULEX chief, Yves de Kermabon.

In addition, many countries’ embassies and liaison offices in the Republic of Kosovo, peacekeepers, and international police officers who work in Kosovo have issued statements offering sincere and respectful wishes to all Kosovar citizens of Muslim creed, marking it as an important event for the first time in the independent Kosovo.

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