Kosovo Meeting

KOSOVO MEETING FINAL DECLARATION

We the Religious Leaders of Balkan Countries, having convened at a working meeting in Pristina today, approve the following final declaration:

We would like to express our satisfaction in the fourth of our meeting being held in the capital city of Kosovo, the world’s youngest independent and sovereign country. Our meeting stands for the call, message, and effort of peace, love, and tolerance. At the same time, we call for constant respect for positive universal human values in light of sacred principles, yet sticking to culture and tradition, and recognizing the diversity that constitutes the richness of our peoples.

Predicating it upon support for one another, we once again confirm our effort to deepen the cooperation and interaction of our religious communities and preserve the historical doctrine that we have developed in our countries.

We Islamic Communities at this meeting state our commitment to work more on forms of religious education with regard to public agencies as well as the public and Islamic institutions.

We demand the formation of necessary legal infrastructure from governments of countries in the region for us to freely perform our sacred mission. We believe that the free realization of religion is key to peace. We request from governments that emerged out of the old communist system to prepare the necessary legal infrastructure to return the foundation properties that were seized by communist administrations.

We once again declare that we will predicate our known activities upon Sunnah and the positive Islamic tradition raised in this land by our ancestors since 600 years.

We religious leaders and our communities will work with every segment of society starting with governments to international organizations, religious communities, nongovernmental organizations, and fellow Muslims to make sure that the Islamic material heritage in our countries gets its due institutional attention. 

We would like to express our discomfort at attempts of certain individuals and organizations to present Bektashism as an independent religion. As is known to us, according to scientific and historical data, and based on religious evidence before anything, Bektashism is a Sufi order within Islam.

We have reached a consensus regarding cooperation between all Islamic communities in the region for Hajj and Umrah organizations to facilitate procedures for our prospective Hajjis.

We as Islamic communities in the region request that our citizens temporarily working and residing abroad be treated with special attention in a way they can preserve their language, religion, and identity.

We express our intent to work for constant mutual cooperation for the good of peace, tolerance, and integration between our communities, in a way that also includes openness to other religious communities.

Pristina, 12 May 2010