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ISIS-Related Arrests Pose Challenge for Moldova’s Muslims

Muslim men gather during the first Friday prayers of Ramadan at a mosque in Chișinău on June 19. (Photo: Nicolae Pojoga)

Four years ago, Moldova’s Muslims, a tiny minority in this overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian country of 3.56 million, won the legal right to organize. But now, following the arrests of suspected collaborators with Islamic State, they face another daunting challenge – fighting the stereotype that Moldovan Muslims are terrorists.
 
On May 30, two Moldovan men were sentenced to 30 days of pre-trial detention in the Moldovan capital, Chișinău, on charges of allegedly offering refuge to “mercenaries” from Islamic State and “creating a criminal organization.” Only one of their names (Abu Israfil) has been released.
 
The charges came three days after Moldovan police detained two men and two women suspected of intending to travel with three children to Syria via Moldova.
 

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Victoria Puiu is a journalist who writes for the weekly newspaper Timpul (Times) in Chișinău, Moldova.

ISIS-Related Arrests Pose Challenge for Moldova’s Muslims

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