In the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, the festivities for Ramazan Bayram — the Turkish term for Eid al-Fitr — began with an armed skirmish in a mosque.
Many thanks to our Bulgarian correspondent RR for translating this article from Plovdiv.dir.bg:
Ramazan Bayram begins with a fight in Jumaya mosque in Plovdiv
Fist-fighting inside the Jumaya mosque in Plovdiv opened the Eid al-Fitr [Ramazan Bayram in Turkish] celebrations, reports bTV. The victim was one of the imams.
Early in the morning on the first day of the Eid one imam was called to the office of the mosque supervisors by the bodyguards of the local Mufti. At the entrance of the mosque he was beaten and hit in the eye. A crowd of nearly 2000 laid siege to the Mufti’s office, but further clashes were avoided.
“They got a pistol, they pulled out knives. It was at that door… two or three bodyguards, who stopped us to help the imam,” explained Erol Mesut, a member of the Muslim board in Plovdiv.
According to the injured imam, the guards attacked him because he dared to report his superior Mufti to the prosecution. In his words, the Mufti was illegally holding the ban cards of local imams and withdrew several hundred euros from their salary accounts without their approval.
“Here they hit me in the eye… and I ran into the mosque. Once I was in the mosque I fell down and I don’t know what happened later,” says the imam Hayri Feimi Murad.
The police confirmed that a report of some turmoil in the mosque was indeed received about 7am, but their patrols did not notice anything suspicious when they arrived at the site.
RR comments: “How dare they notice?”