The Meshihat of the Islamic Community of Croatia, which was established over a century ago, works to promote inter-religious dialogue, understanding, inclusivity and tolerance, especially among young people. By running projects within and between different religious communities, the Meshihat of the Islamic Community of Croatia creates opportunities for people from different backgrounds to socialise, get to know each other, understand each other, and respect each other. The Islamic community of Croatia is committed to engage in further progress including in using the UN’s framework to build strategies to prevent intolerance and exclusion through a human rights-based approach. This includes an emphasis on promoting integration and acceptance of migrants.
The Meshihat of the Islamic Community, jointly with other religious communities in Croatia, have made particular efforts to organise joint religious activities such as meetings, visits of different places of worships as well as the celebration of joint services, in order to combat intolerance and prejudice. For instance, schools founded by religious communities, whether Christian, Islamic, Jewish, or Orthodox visit each other on a regular basis. Moreover, at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Zagreb University, all ‘religious thoughts’ are taught, and the staff includes teachers from Jewish, Christians and Muslims backgrounds.
Furthermore, in January 2019, the Community together with the World Muslim Communities Council organised a conference in Zagreb ‘Muslim Communities in Eastern Europe, Rights and Duties’. The conference brought together representatives of Islamic communities from across Europe for discussions and, sought to encourage common initiatives on topics related to, inter alia, the relationship between religion and the State in Europe, as well as the issue of Islamophobia and religious extremism. One of the key conclusion was that with rights come responsibilities – if religious leaders want their communities to be treated with dignity and respect by others, they must also treat adherents of other religions with respect and love.