The Muslim community of Abkhazia is concerned about an obvious anti-Muslim campaign in Abkhazia, Timur Dziba, the chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Abkhazia (SBM), said on August 27.
“Several months ago we officially notified the security services that some of our congregation who come to the mosque, are harassed and this is a source of concern for us,” Apsnipress quoted Dziba as saying. “But there was no response from the security services.”
“Unfortunately,” he said, “blood has already been shed.”
Daur Mutsba, a local Muslim, and his wife were killed in Sokhumi on July 2. On August 17 Khamzat Gitsba, an imam at a mosque in Gudauta, was also shot dead. The media speculated that Gitsba had fallen out of favor with the Abkhaz authorities as the latter feared he was “inspiring Wahhabism.”
Timur Dziba, the chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims, however, said: “We are preaching Islam, not extremism.”
“Why should we be treated differently from Christians? We are also citizens of Abkhazia. Why should we be killed if we have nothing to do with terrorism?” Dziba said.