Montenegrin prime minister blasts Serbia-based mufti
Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Đukanović has accused Mufti Muamer Zukorlić of "political quackery", after Zukorlić criticized him last week.Source: Beta, Tanjug
Zukorlić heads the Islamic Community in Serbia - one of the country's two rival Islamic organization.
Đukanović was reacting to Zukorlić's recent claims that he had signed an agreement with Montenegro's Bosniak Party (BS) leader Rafet Husović that allegedly concerns "the status of Sandžak".
Zukorlić also stated that the Montenegrin authorities worked on creating divisions among Bosniaks (Muslims) in Montenegro "with a political goal in mind".
"This is something that only Zukorlić is able to see from Novi Pazar, others do not see it. That's political quackery. Zukorlić aims to be both the religious and political leader of Bosniaks, not only in Serbia, but also in other countries. That's paternalism," Đukanović was quoted as saying.
The Montenegrin prime minister went on to say that he had signed an inter-party agreement with Husović, "only not abroad, as Zukorlić claims, but in Podgorica".
The agreement between the two parties concerns "improving of minority rights of Bosniaks in Montenegro, not in Sandžak, which is neither a territorial-administrative nor a political unit".
Sandžak is the name of a historic region that was located in what are today Serbia and Montenegro. In Serbia, the Raška District is informally known as "Sandžak".
In an interview for the Podgorica-based Atlas television last week, Muamer Zukorlić said that it was "unacceptable that we have (different) columns of Bosniaks in Montenegro, in the national sense".
He accused the country's authorities of "encouraging the splitting of the Bosniak corpus during the census-taking", and said that Bosniaks were "no asylum seekers, no minority that had arrived in Montenegro - they are the co-owners of Montenegro".
He also accused the Montenegrin authorities of complete failure to implement "the agreement on Sandžak as a cross-border region", which he said Đukanović and Husović signed ahead of the country's independence referendum in 2006.
Zukorlić also said that since the agreement was signed abroad - "it means it has international status and must be respected".
"If I were an enemy of Montenegro, it would have felt it more strongly a long time ago - but I am not, because there are Bosniaks living in that country, and I do not want Bosniaks to bring down Montenegro, or any other country," Zukorlić concluded.