Lithuania's Tatar community issued a statement on Wednesday, criticizing the decision to build a mosque in the Vilnius area of Liepkalnis. It says it distances from this project.
© Shutterstock nuotr.

The community believes a problematic land lot has been picked for the mosque construction, and the initiator of this construction has no backing from Lithuania's Muslim and Tatar communities. Tatars say the head of the recently established community represent not Lithuania's Muslims but Muslims coming into the country from abroad.

"Nobody has given Alekandras Beganskas the right to personally decide the mosque construction matters in Vilnius. This person, who claims to be the board chairman mufti, the highest ranking Muslim clergyman, of the Council of Muslim Religious Communities in Lithuania – Muftiate – was not elected by the Lithuanian Tatar community and has a small number of supporters, mainly foreigners," the Tatar community said in the statement.

"Muslims who recently came to live in Lithuania can ask for a land lot to build a prayer house, but that should not be mixed with the old community of Lithuania's Muslim Tatars and one should not act on its behalf," the Tatars said.

Mufti Romas Jakubauskas, board chairman of the Spiritual Centre of Sunni Muslims of Lithuania, says Beganskas' picked land lot in Liepkalnis had been offered to the Tatar community for the same purpose but it refused because the lot includes part of an old mariavite cemetery, and a filling station is also close to that area.

Lithuania's Tatars have already picked, as the most appropriate, a 3.2 ha land lot in Sietyno Street in Vilnius, and Jakubauskas says they have already invested into the vision of the mosque complex and architectural calculations.

Jakubauskas says a mosque is really necessary in Vilnius but he called the decision to build it in Liepkalnis hasty and unacceptable in many aspects.

The 15min.lt news website reported earlier Beganskas hopes to receive 7–8 million euros in funding for the new mosque from Turkey, and probably Saudi Arabia or Qatar

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius says the picked place is not the best. He believes the new mosque should be built near Lukiskes Square in central Vilnius where it used to be until 1968 when the Soviet demolished it.

And the Tatar community backs this position.

The majority of Muslims in Lithuania are Tatars who are Sunni Muslims. Some 3,000 Tatars live in Lithuania, based on the 20–11 census figures.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Foreigners stand trial for drug production in Latvia, sale in Lithuania

A Vilnius court on Friday started hearing a case of several oreigners who produced drugs in Latvia...

Pennsylvania Guard to help army to develop division-level HQ

Representatives of the Lithuanian Land Force and the 28th Infantry Division (28ID) of the...

New political group formed in parliament

The formation of a new political group in the Lithuanian parliament was on Wednesday announced...

Chief of Public Procurement Office asks to be dismissed

Diana Vilyte , the head of Lithuania's Public Procurement Office , has handed in her request to be...

Appeal court opens case of two former troops convicted for spying for Russia

The Court of Appeal of Lithuania on Wednesday started hearing the case of two former troops found...