Bosnia cleric reaches out to Utahns
He offers sympathy to shooter's victims
by Joe Baumann
Deseret Morning News
March 4, 2007
TALOVICI, Bosnia - The imam over part of eastern Bosnia implores Salt Lake City residents not to judge all Muslims from Bosnia by the actions of Trolley Square shooter Sulejman Talovic.
Sulejman Sulejmanović is the imam, or Muslim religious leader, over the region of Nova Kasaba, where the village of Talovići is located.
Sulejman Talović, whose Feb. 12 rampage at Trolley Square left six dead, including himself, and four seriously wounded, was born in Talovići.
On Saturday he was buried here.
Shortly after he led the funeral for the teenage shooter, Sulejmanović asked the Deseret Morning News to convey this message:
"Bosniacs in Bosnia, especially the people from this region where the unlucky Sulejman (Talović) was born, we are sending the greetings. And we are praying to Allah that he help them (Salt Lake City residents impacted by the tragedy). And we share the grief with them, and we beg them to not to have a wrong image about Bosniacs here."
The Bosniacs - Muslims from Bosnia - are a peaceful people whose hearts feel for anyone's suffering, he said, as translated by Sarajevo journalist Nedim Hasić.
The imam also said:
"We are praying and asking them to stay friendly people to the Bosnian people, as they were in the past 50 years. That's what I ask them, and all these people (at the funeral) ask them also, because we don't want anybody to have a wrong impression about us.
"Also, I would ask you to send our condolences to all the victim's families, and also to the families of the people who are wounded. And I'm praying God that similar things will never happen again. That's my message."
CIP Note: In an accompanying story, reporter Joe Baumann reported: "Hasić translated when Suljo Talović [the shooter's father] spoke in his native tongue: 'He had more friends among Americans than he had before, because people understand the tragedy and what he's (enduring) right now.' Among those mentioned with gratitude were 'the Mormons.' He added that he 'will never move from Salt Lake City.' "
Related Topics: Bosnian Muslims
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