Thursday, May 30, 2024

Games for the throne of IRC

Autor: Sefer Selimi Jr. 

“When you’re going through hell, keep walking.” An extraordinary summary of Wilson Churchill on consolation, hope and devotion in such a short and concise sentence that almost perfectly describes our 30-year transition in all spheres of society.

For a long time now, one of the most important structures in the social organization of our country, like many others, has been producing completely opposite results from the very essence of their existence. The main organizations of religious communities, the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC) and the Islamic Religious Community (BFI) as the main responsible for the organization of religious life in the country and which should be the vanguard of morality and collective ethical principles have become a source of scandals, not only with the divine right they preach, but also with the rule of law. In a series of scandals, from his violent appointment, internal and external coups, scandals and accusations of financial misconduct, connections and clashes with politics – the former Reis epic seems to have closed as fast as it started. With a qualified majority of 2/3 of the votes from Riyaset of IRC – his closest associates, they fired Sulejman Rexhepi from the position, thus opening the way for the “throne games”. Still unclear, including the transfer of power to the new incumbent, on the horizon are the first signs of a clash that is not known how it will end but which clearly seems to be big.

To understand the games for the throne of IRC, it is enough to take a slightly deeper look at the reactions of party activists, party noisemakers. They are a reflection of party attitudes and best show the willing desire that political parties have to be in close, possibly direct contact with BFI leaders and of course, that they best serve their political and party interests. The first wave of reactions split into two nuances, one camp rejoicing over Reis’ dismissal and the other camp being immediately skeptical of the move, alluding that everything is orchestrated.

In the meantime, the first camp began to split into different camps in the group that continued to praise the act and the new incumbent and those who hailed the dismissal act but immediately returned to discredit Reis’s incumbent. Moreover, this group did not hesitate to set in motion all the propaganda machinery they had used to discredit Sulejman Rexhepi and now turn it towards Shaqir Fetahu and thus become closer to the other group that was skeptical from the beginning, but with one very big difference – who should be in the head of IRC.

In the social networks, in parallel with the campaign for discrediting the main contenders for the throne, a competition is held with praise and exaltation for figures who would be more popular to be in charge of this religious institution. Here, too, it is enough to connect the points through party activists and you will find out which party which imam they like to see as the head of the BFI. The nervousness will increase even more now that the early parliamentary elections are on the verge of calculating the votes that the party can reach.

In all this noise and the frontal battle behind the scenes to sit at the head of the BFI, one thing remains constant: the erosion of even the slightest moral credibility left within it. In many of the studies and research conducted on the causes and reasons for the spread of extremism and religious radicalism among the population, one of the factors was the lack of trust in the bodies of the Islamic Religious Community, which created a gap for action by other more extreme groups it is precisely this distrust to recruit and attract followers of their moral and religious compass.

In addition to the importance of the imam who will be elected to lead this institution, it is also the work I will do to restore faith and credibility to be the moral and religious compass for the believers of the Islamic religion. This can be done through many concrete actions, but the most important is the transparency of financial management and the sincere as well as real separation from politics. There is nothing more dangerous and harmful to a democracy than the misuse of religion in politics and the instrumentalization of politics for a particular religion.


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