"They are wolf-dogs, they will attack our children" – Bosnian Villagers in Clash With Wahhabis
News anchors Lejla Zvizdić and Damir Simić: "Around 100 residents of Barčići village near Kalesija [in the vicinity of Tuzla, a major city – CIP] clashed this morning with some 15 Wahhabis. One Barčići resident was injured in the incident. A prompt police intervention prevented larger clashes. Villagers have announced that they will no longer tolerate the behavior of the Wahhabis at the local mekteb [Islamic school for children]."
BHTV1 Reporter Samir Kahrović: "Around 15 Wahhabis this morning tried to connect the local mekteb in Barčići village to the electricity grid, after it was recently disconnected on request of the Kalesija Islamic Community. As the villagers tried to prevent this, one of the Wahhabis hit hadžija Šaban Barčić with ladders. This provoked around 100 villagers to take out of the mekteb the stove, generator and the books used by the Wahhabis. The police prevented an all-out clash between the Wahhabis and the villagers."
Šaban Barčić, on camera: "I burst out crying. I am an elderly man, my heart is weak and cannot stand much."
Reporter: "Barčići villagers have announced that they will no longer allow the Wahhabis to use the local mekteb. They are obviously afraid and do not trust the colleagues of their neighbour Jusuf Barčić [student in Saudi Arabia, prominent Bosnian Wahhabi from Barčići, notorious for incidents he caused because of his radical view of Islam]."
Fikreta Mijkić, villager: "We have no choice but fight for what is ours. We built [the mekteb], and not they, the newcomers."
Šemsa Barčić, villager: "They should shave their beards and use deodorant instead of coming here like dogs. For me, they are wolf-dogs, they will attack our children. I have female children and do not dare to send them [to the mekteb] at all. They are capable of anything. I do not trust them."
Reporter: "The Kalesija Islamic Community says that the Barčići mekteb was for a long time usurped by the Wahhabis, underlining that this prevented the use of the mekteb for its main purpose – the religious education of the [local Muslim] children."
Mustafa Turić of Kalesija Islamic Community: "Our proposal will be to close down and seal the building temporarily."
Reporter: "Jusuf Barčić's Wahhabis are preparing a response to this announcement of the Kalesija Islamic Community, which requires serious analysis and taking of a serious position by the Islamic Community of Bosnia-Hercegovina."
[Wahhabi] Jusuf Barčić: "We have the right to use the religious facility for the purpose that it is intended for. If the Islamic Community persists in preventing Muslims from using the religious facility for rituals, we will be forced to ignore such a community, in a way, separate from them and start operating outside that structure."
Reporter: "Barčić has added that in that case the Islamic Community will bear all the consequences of such a decision of the Wahhabis, without specifying what he implied by this."
Edited by CIP from BBC Monitoring European, March 4, 2007
Further comment by CIP:
Jusuf Barčić is described in the Bosnian-language volume Vehabizam/selefizam, by Hasan Ali Sekkaf, edited by Jasmin Merdan and Adnan Mešanović, Sarajevo, Srebreno Pero, 2005, as "among the first generation [of Bosnian Muslims] to study at the Islamic University in Medina, Saudi Arabia… well-known for provocations in mosques and elsewhere."
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