Bosnia's main university suspends classes during Muslim prayers

02.01.2017

Bosnia's main university will not hold classes during Muslim Friday prayers, prompting criticism from some that it represents a step towards Islamisation.

The University of Sarajevo this week adopted a plan to halt activities for about an-hour-and-a-half each Friday during Muslim prayers. Although the university has also decided not to hold classes during the hours of Catholic and Orthodox worship on Saturdays and Sundays, Milorad Dodic, president of the Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska condemned the move, saying "this is increasingly like an Islamic state".

Dodic said Sarajevo authorities had also banned alcohol on New Year's Eve. The sale of alcohol is also prohibited by the internal regulations of two newly built shopping centres in the city owned by Gulf investors.

Three left-wing and liberal political parties including the Social Democratic Party (SDP) also denounced the move amid concerns over radicalisation among a minority of Bosnian Muslims.

The university however said the decision was taken with the aim of respecting "human rights and denominational freedoms".

Around half the population of 3.5 million is Muslim, according to 2013 Census figures published in 2016.    (AFP)

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