Also Via Human Rights Without Frontiers



Author: DPA


Polish Muslims Call for Change in Law to Recognise Islamic Weddings


Warsaw - Polish Muslims want to change a 1936 law that requires them to pray for Poland and the country's president, Polish Radio reported Wednesday. The Muslim community also want days off for Islamic religious holidays, in the predominantly Catholic country, and to recognise weddings in mosques.

The current law requires all Polish Muslims to mention the Republic of Poland and the president during Friday prayers, and regulates relations between the state and the Muslim Religious Association.

"A Muslim religious wedding still doesn't have civil effects," said Pawel Borecki, of the Religious Law faculty at the University of Warsaw. "Followers of Islam also still do not have a guaranteed right to celebrate their holidays."

Poland's Foreign Ministry is currently working with Polish Muslims on a draft bill that will abolish the required prayer for Poland and change the legal status of the country's Muslims.

The new law would allow Muslims to take days off for religious holidays and would make a marriage in a mosque equal to a civil marriage, reported the broadcaster TVP Info.

Settlements of Poland's first Muslims date back to the 14th century, when Tatars made their home in the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth and practiced Islam freely in exchange for military service.

Today most estimate there are some 30,000 Muslims in Poland including some 2,000 Tatars. Muslims make up less than 0.1 per cent of the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic population.

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