Ucha Nanuashvili. Photo by Beslan Kmuzov for the "Caucasian Knot"

24 October 2014, 07:01

Developments in Mokha may trigger religious confrontation, Muslims and Georgian Ombudsman believe

The Muslims living in the village of Mokha, Adigen District of Georgia, demand to stop construction works in the building, which was formerly a mosque, and return the appropriate status to the building.

The mosque is owned by Muslims; and its reconstruction into the House of Culture is fuelling radicalism, said Tariel Nakaidze, the deputy chairman of the Union of Muslims of Georgia. The Ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili said that he sees a threat of religious confrontation in the context of the latest events in the village.

On October 22, Mokha villagers held a protest rally; and policemen detained 14 people who opposed the construction works in the building of the mosque.

Adam Shantadze, the Deputy Chief Mufti of the Administration of Georgian Muslims has urged the government to suspend the works in the building and continue negotiations.

According to the "News-Georgia”, Ucha Nanuashvili, the Georgian Ombudsman, also called to suspend the dismantling of the building. According to his story, in 2013 and in the first half of 2014, quite a lot of violations of believers’ rights were registered.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported about other religion-based conflict situations in Georgia. Thus, on September 11 in Kobuleti a protest action was held by locals against the opening of a medrese.

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