Croatia Celebrates 100 Years of Islam with Halal Day

OPATIJA – Among other events planned to celebrate 100 years of Islam in the Southeast European country, Croatia is will organize a world halal day next month to actively engage its Muslim population to the economic development of the country.

“We are celebrating 100 years since the state of Croatia recognized Islam,” Aldin Dugonjic, the director of the Center for Halal Quality Certification in Croatia, told (KUNA) on Saturday, October 29.

Dugonjic, who is in Brussels to take part in an international Halal conference, said they are organizing the World Halal Day in the city of Opatija in western Croatia from November 2-4.

The Halal day comes among other events organized by the Muslim Muslim community in Croatia to celebrate the occasion.

The event, which will be inaugurated by the President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, is expected to be attended by representatives from about 28 countries from all around the world.

The first day will be devoted to Halal food, second day to Halal tourism and the third day to Islamic finance and banking.

Around 40 experts from all the world will be discussing about all these issues.

It would also include an exhibition for halal products and services from 11 countries, said Dugonjic who has written over 12 papers on the subject of Halal and Halal certification.

The origin of Muslims in Croatia are mainly from Bosnia, Turkey, Albania, and the Arab world.

In Croatia, there is only one Islamic authority called the Islamic Community of Croatia which is headed by a Mufti who is elected by the Muslim community.

“We have a contract with our government that all our duties and rights as Muslims is recognized. We can build mosques and hold Islamic lessons in schools,” he said.

In Croatia there are three mosques with minarets and 15 without minarets and now the Muslim community is building three new mosques with minarets to accommodate the worshipers.

The Islamic Center in Zagreb holds regular lessons in Qura’n and organizes an annual international Quran recitation competition.

“We are trying to attract more Arab countries especially from the Gulf to come to Croatia for investments,” said the Croatian Halal expert.

“Croatia has huge potential in sports, tourism, and culture to invest. This event that we are organizing we want to show what Croatia can offer especially because Croatia treats its minorities very well,” he said.

“I feel nice to be a Muslim in Croatia. We have all the rights and we don’t have any problems. You can come to see it for yourself,” he added.