Kosovo police have been investigating threats made in graffiti against senior government and religious officials over plans to build a new mosque in the Kosovan capital Pristina, reported sources.
According to a police statement issued on Wednesday, the graffiti scrawled on the Pristina University campus spelled out the names of President Hashim Thaci, Pristina's mayor and the head of the Islamic Community with the words "death to."
Moreover, the words "There will be no Turkish mosque in Dardani" also appeared on the campus. Kosovo's Islamic Community called on students "not to fall prey to individuals that call for violence, spread defamation and contribute to hatred and intolerance."
Kosovo has a predominantly Muslim population, but a strong nationalist current that regards religion with suspicion runs through the country.
Earlier in June, a group of citizens had urged the Islamic Community of Kosovo and the municipality not to allow the construction of the mosque in the Dardania neighborhood. Dardinia is a section of Pristina.
According to these objectors, the project does not fit with the Neighborhood Settlement Plan and is a copy of mosques built “in another country.”
“The object selected by the Islamic Community of Kosovo has an architectural style completely contrary to the context and surrounding environment of the neighborhood because it is an architectural project styled on the 15th and 16th centuries, while the surrounding objects [in Dardania] belong to the Modernist, utilitarian style of architecture,” the letter signed by members of civil society read.
The Islamic Community of Kosovo, BIK, together with former senior state officials, placed the cornerstone of the Central Mosque back in 2012 in the city's Dardania district. It was laid when Pristina was governed by Mayor Isa Mustafa, who is now the Prime Minister.
According to the BIK, it has taken a long time since 2012 to receive and review the applications for the project - and select the winning one.