Congregational Prayer in Batumi, May 24, 2020. Photo: Manana Kveliashvili,

03 April 2021, 12:05

Muftiate and Batumi Mayoralty argue about prayer rooms for Muslims

There are enough places in Batumi, where Muslims can pray, an official from the city Mayoralty stated in court, justifying the Mayoralty's refusal to sanction the construction of a new mosque. About 2000 believers have to pray outdoors due to a deficit of room in mosques, the Adjara Muftiate has objected.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on September 30, 2019, the Batumi City Court, at the lawsuit lodged by the Muslim community, obliged the Mayoralty to reconsider the refusal to sanction the mosque construction.

On April 2, at the Court of Appeal (CoA) in Kutaisi, the Union of Muslims of Georgia insisted that it, at least, uphold the decision of the Batumi City Court on the re-consideration by the Mayoralty of its refusal to sanction the construction, and, at most, forced the Mayoralty to sanction the construction of a new mosque, Tamta Mikeladze, a lawyer from the Monitoring and Education Centre, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The city Mayoralty has demanded to cancel the decision of the Batumi City Court. According to an employee from the Mayoralty's legal division, in Batumi, namazes (prayers) are held in three institutions. "We forbid nothing to anyone. If people want to pray, let them pray," he said.

Ms Mikeladze, the lawyer, categorically disagrees with the employee's arguments. "The Mayoralty presents those prayer rooms equipped in hotels as places of worship," she has stated.

"The Batumi mosque is designed for 2000 prayer places – for males and females. The Adjara Government has launched a large-scale reconstruction of the mosque. After it, the mosque will be able to house 3000 believers, while we have 5000 of them for Friday Juma-Namaz. That is, after the reconstruction, 2000 believers will have to stay outside," Mikheil Mikeladze, the spokesman for the Adjara Muftiate, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 3, 2021 at 01:08 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov Source: CK correspondent

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