Bosnian Islamic Cleric Thanks COVID for Cancelling Pride Event

Tuesday August 11, 2020

Muhamed Velic
Muhamed Velic  (Source:Facebook)

A Muslim cleric in Bosnia-Herzegovina took to Facebook to express gratitude that the global COVID-19 pandemic has meant the cancellation of what would have been only the second Pride parade in Sarajevo, reports Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.

Fair Planet notes that the first Pride parade in Bosnia-Herzegovina happened last September, and required a heavy police presence. The second Pride parade was slated for Aug. 23, but concerns around COVID-19 caused the event's cancellation. The news was announced Aug. 6

The same day, Muhamed Velić, a leading Muslim cleric in Sarajevo, posted his happiness over the news at Facebook, writing:

"The media reports that the gay parade in Sarajevo has been postponed because of coronavirus. In every misfortune and tragedy there is also a grain of happiness, goodness and beauty."

Mediji nas izvještavaju da je zbog koronavirusa odgo?ena homoseksualna parada u Sarajevu.
...
U svakoj nesreći i...Posted by Muhamed Velic on Thursday, August 6, 2020

The post continued:

"Thank Allah for everything. May dear Allah give the corona and gay parade never return to our city and country!"

The Facebook post immediately drew widespread condemnation, with the Bosnia-Herzegovina office of the Grand Mufti seeking to "distance" itself from the post, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. An advisor to that office told the news agency:

"This is his personal position and it is not the position of the entire Islamic community."

Pride organizer Branko Culibrk stated his opinion in stronger terms, telling Fair Planet:

"It is horrible that Effendi Velić puts the current situation with the coronavirus and the cancellation of the gay pride on the same level, because this is about the struggle for human rights that citizens cannot simply have, but must fight for."

Culibrk noted that "the Interreligious Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina last year called for peace, tolerance and non-violence during the first pride march," Fair Planet reported.

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