Suffi master Baba Mondi, the spiritual leader or dedebaba of the Bektashi order, was the featured speaker at the Brussels headquarters of the Church of Scientology European Office of Public Affairs and Human Rights. The program was titled “What is Bektashism?” and was part of the Church’s initiative to create greater understanding and cooperation among faiths to deal with the issues that concern all living and working in Europe.
Sufism is a mystical form of Islam that emphasizes the inward search for God. The Bektashi Order is a Sufi Islamic creed with a long mystic tradition in Albania.
In an interview in New Europe, Baba Mondi spoke of the fundamental beliefs of the Bektashi:
“We as a faith, we respect all people, indifferently of where they come from, what is the color of their skin, what is their religion, nationality, culture or the values they espouse…
“As the leader of the World Bektashi Community, I use every chance I have to communicate and spread our values, our wisdom, our knowledge, and in particular, the role that we play in Albania in forging and maintaining harmony among religions. We want to spread that to Europe. It is unique, yet possible, to promote the peaceful co-existence and harmony that exist today in Albania in the rest of the world. And we want to see Europe in better harmony than it is today.”
He spoke of the challenges faced in North Macedonia, where the government has refused to grant religious recognition to the Bektashi community.
“There was a final decision issued last September, following a ruling in April 2018, a case brought before the European Court of Human Rights… The Court found in favor of the Bektashi community. Almost a year has passed since that decision entered into force but the authorities of North Macedonia have yet to implement it, which raises questions for North Macedonia, a country that has been pursuing European Union membership.”
“Since 1994, in every annual U.S. Department of State report on religious freedom it is clearly stated that we are discriminated against. Every association in Europe related to freedom of religion issues are with us. They have been supporting us.”
“The universal value of Bektashism is the human,” said Baba Mondi. “Knowing the human being, knowing that his values are universal as a perfect creation of God, and working to help, to improve the conditions for the human being, means that we have to work hard to achieve progress, to change things, to adopt things, to always strive to do good.”
From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.
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