Home      |      Weblog      |      Articles      |      Satire      |      Links      |      About      |      Contact


Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > U.S. Embassy in Zagreb gives books to Saudi funded Islamic Center

U.S. Embassy in Zagreb gives books to Saudi funded Islamic Center

August 28, 2006

http://zagreb.usembassy.gov/policy/index.htm

Islamic Center Receives Book Donation

On February 15 a delegation from the Islamic Center and Mosque in Zagreb had a tour of the U.S. Embassy and met with Ambassador Ralph Frank, who donated a collection of books to the Center Library

] Report from the Aga Khan Travel Grant 2005-2006 Azra Aksamija

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
as the Islamic Center in Zagreb, Croatia. Built from 1981-1987, this mosque represents. one of the two significant examples of the mosque buildings during ...
web.mit.edu/akpia/www/travelaksamija05.pdf - Similar pages

However, the novelties in Bosnia's mosque architecture are not only coming with new technologies, but also from another set of historical and geographical referents such as the Islamic Center in Zagreb, Croatia. Built from 1981-1987, this mosque represents one of the two significant examples of the mosque buildings during the Communist regime. The other example is the famous Sherefudin's White Mosque in Visoko built in 1980 by Zlatko Ugljen. Becoming internationally known receiving the Aha Khan Award for architecture While the White mosque left a significant impact on writing about contemporary mosque design, but surprisingly it does not have it does not have any visible impact on the contemporary mosque design in Bosnia. The Islamic Center in Zagreb however, which became known as a triumphal achievement of the 23,500 Muslims living in Croatia in 1981 is now referenced in several examples throughout the country. The expressive mushroom like dome combined with an extensive program of an Islamic and educational center became a new paradigm for large scale projects. This
Page 6
expression of monumentality stands against the new models coming from the outside of the country. A new architectural language of "airport-style" mosques, currently developing mostly in the capital, Sarajevo, has been closely tied to the monetary donations from Saudi Arabia. Next to the King Fahd Mosque in Sarajevo, Saudi Arabia is sponsoring a whole range of large scale Islamic Centers throughout the country, which are currently exhibited in the center. This kind of development does not only affect the building of new structures, but it also influences reconstruction of older monuments, resulting in "tabula rasa" (re)building strategies of mosques that were only slightly damaged during the recent war. Many other Islamic countries are currently also building their mosques in Sarajevo, such as the Kuwaiti, Malaysian, Jordanian, Indonesian mosque, etc. These donated mosques also act as cultural centers. Being representative of the donating country's culture, they can be understood as cultural embassies through mosques. Thus, their representative architecture homogenizes their own culture to the religion of Islam only. In addition, these foreign donations are both very welcomed and very controversial, not only because they impose their own stylistic preferences and ignore local context or building traditions, but because of their missionary program. While the King Fahd mosque in Sarajevo is one of the most controversial examples of Whabi missionarism in Bosnia, it also provides a community and educational center offering diverse language and computer courses for free, which is a unique case compared to other foreign centers with similar program, such as the British Council for example. Although these educational possibilities are offered to non-Muslim population as well, they are mostly taken advantage by Muslims. Then, the tension between the indigenous, converted and foreign communities adds to the already disunited and fragmented Bosnian Umma. Perhaps, Bosnia could rather be learning from a creative engagement of the foreign donations and its own recourses as suggested by the two contemporary mosque examples designed by the Bosnian architect Amir Vuk. Built with a Kuwaiti donation, the new mosque in Tuzla is attached to a boys-madrassa. The architect combined the architectural signature of the donor with elements of the local building traditions, with creative and minimal means, through carpet design and shadirwan. By blurring the boundaries of the outside and inside, the entire mosque takes on a L-shaped plan, which can be expanded through the openable fašade elements that enable an outdoor prayer. While the light seems to be the major guideline in his design, the whiteness of the space is only interrupted by the forest like column and dome structure. The use of wood is also playfully employed in his second mosque project in the mountain village of Ostojici. Using traditional shingle roof and stall-like shape, Vuk's design integrated this small mosque into the agricultural setting. That this statement of a critical regionalism will have any impact on other contemporary mosque designs in Bosnia is rather questionable, but it certainly points at the existence of the country's own potential and recourses However, the novelties in Bosnia's mosque architecture are not only coming with new technologies, but also from another set of historical and geographical referents such as the Islamic Center in Zagreb, Croatia. Built from 1981-1987, this mosque represents one of the two significant examples of the mosque buildings during the Communist regime. The other example is the famous Sherefudin's White Mosque in Visoko built in 1980 by Zlatko Ugljen. Becoming internationally known receiving the Aha Khan Award for architecture While the White mosque left a significant impact on writing about contemporary mosque design, but surprisingly it does not have it does not have any visible impact on the contemporary mosque design in Bosnia. The Islamic Center in Zagreb however, which became known as a triumphal achievement of the 23,500 Muslims living in Croatia in 1981 is now referenced in several examples throughout the country. The expressive mushroom like dome combined with an extensive program of an Islamic and educational center became a new paradigm for large scale projects. This
Page 6

expression of monumentality stands against the new models coming from the outside of the country. A new architectural language of "airport-style" mosques, currently developing mostly in the capital, Sarajevo, has been closely tied to the monetary donations from Saudi Arabia. Next to the King Fahd Mosque in Sarajevo, Saudi Arabia is sponsoring a whole range of large scale Islamic Centers throughout the country, which are currently exhibited in the center. This kind of development does not only affect the building of new structures, but it also influences reconstruction of older monuments, resulting in "tabula rasa" (re)building strategies of mosques that were only slightly damaged during the recent war. Many other Islamic countries are currently also building their mosques in Sarajevo, such as the Kuwaiti, Malaysian, Jordanian, Indonesian mosque, etc. These donated mosques also act as cultural centers. Being representative of the donating country's culture, they can be understood as cultural embassies through mosques. Thus, their representative architecture homogenizes their own culture to the religion of Islam only. In addition, these foreign donations are both very welcomed and very controversial, not only because they impose their own stylistic preferences and ignore local context or building traditions, but because of their missionary program. While the King Fahd mosque in Sarajevo is one of the most controversial examples of Whabi missionarism in Bosnia, it also provides a community and educational center offering diverse language and computer courses for free, which is a unique case compared to other foreign centers with similar program, such as the British Council for example. Although these educational possibilities are offered to non-Muslim population as well, they are mostly taken advantage by Muslims. Then, the tension between the indigenous, converted and foreign communities adds to the already disunited and fragmented Bosnian Umma. Perhaps, Bosnia could rather be learning from a creative engagement of the foreign donations and its own recourses as suggested by the two contemporary mosque examples designed by the Bosnian architect Amir Vuk. Built with a Kuwaiti donation, the new mosque in Tuzla is attached to a boys-madrassa. The architect combined the architectural signature of the donor with elements of the local building traditions, with creative and minimal means, through carpet design and shadirwan. By blurring the boundaries of the outside and inside, the entire mosque takes on a L-shaped plan, which can be expanded through the openable fašade elements that enable an outdoor prayer. While the light seems to be the major guideline in his design, the whiteness of the space is only interrupted by the forest like column and dome structure. The use of wood is also playfully employed in his second mosque project in the mountain village of Ostojici. Using traditional shingle roof and stall-like shape, Vuk's design integrated this small mosque into the agricultural setting. That this statement of a critical regionalism will have any impact on other contemporary mosque designs in Bosnia is rather questionable, but it certainly points at the existence of the country's own potential and recourses

http://www.weforum.org/en/KNContributors/index.htm?personid=32396

Mustafa,Ceric

Islamic Community in Bosnia Herzegovina

Graduate, Madrasah Koranic school, Sarajevo; 1978, BM, Azhar University, Cairo; 1987, PhD, University of Chicago. 1981, Imam, Islamic Cultural Center; 1985, Lecturer, American Islamic College, Chicago; 1986, Grand Imam, Islamic Centre, Zagreb; 1987, Lecturer, Faculty of Islamic Theology, Sarajevo; 1988, Editor, Islamic Symposium, Islamic Centre, Zagreb; 1991, Associate Professor, and 1992, Professor, International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, Kuala Lumpur; 1993, Raisu-l-ulama (supreme head), Islamic Community, Bosnia-Herzegovina. 1992, Member of Bosnian presidential delegation to Saudi Arabia; 1992, Member, Bosnian presidential delegation to Iran; 1992, Special Representative to President of Bosnia-Herzegovina; 1992, Official Representative, Bosnia-Herzegovina government. Author of: Roots of Synthetic Theology in Islam; A Choice Between War and Peace; other publications in Bosnian.

Printer-friendly version   Email this item to a friend