Prague - Czech police intervened in the Islamic centre in Prague before the regular Friday prayer on April 25 and they called on diplomats, women and children to leave the place right away, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told CTK today in reaction to the criticism of the raid.
Asi 300 muslimů se 2. května sešlo poblíž ministerstva vnitra na pražské Letné k prostestní modlitbě kvůli nedávnému policejnímu zásahu v objektech Islámské nadace v Praze. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal
The relevant court ordered the police to act urgently, Chovanec said, referring to preliminary results of a check of the police raid. The final results will be available by the end of the week, he added.
Chovanec today dismissed the view that the police interrupted the regular Muslim prayers. He said the action started before the beginning of the prayers.
He noted that the results of the check were still incomplete.
"If further investigation confirms these results, then the police action was correct," Chovanec said.
The raid is being checked since it was criticised by Czech Muslims and Indonesia´s Embassy in Prague complained about it. Representatives of Czech Christian churches and the Jewish community joined the criticism of the raid.
The police unit fighting organised crime raided the premises of the Islamic Foundation in two buildings in the city´s centre and on its outskirts on April 25 and they seized dozens of people, including staff of the Indonesian Embassy.
The Indonesian diplomats said the police released them only after an hour and a half, although they wanted to present their diplomatic documents. The armed police did not communicate and forced those in the mosque to keep their heads down on the ground, one of the other Muslims present said.
The raid may have been staged over the Czech edition of the book The Fundamentals of Tawheed by Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, a Muslim militant who seems to justify suicide bombing as part of jihad.
Former Czech Muslim Lukas Lhotan filed a complaint against the publishing of the Czech translation of the book, which he says promotes extreme Muslim views. Vladimir Sanka, head of the Islamic Centre in Prague, repeatedly sued Lhotan in the past.