Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fax Howard Berman and Email the Commission on Religious Freedom

Howard Berman (D, California) is the current chair of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and a good person to contact regarding the tekke situation, especially in the few weeks we have left before the NATO summit where Macedonia will be invited to join that organization. We should press him to ask tough questions of the Macedonian government about the tekke situation, and recognition of the autonomy of the Bektashi community, before they are admitted to NATO.

You can fax Mr. Berman at (202) 225-3196 and (818) 994-1050; you can send up to two free faxes a day through FaxZero, and it only takes a few minutes to do so. Enough people pestering Mr Berman with unwanted faxes every day might make a difference!

You might try telling Mr Berman:
"I, as a member of the Bektashi community of the United States, wish to express outrage and concern over the 2002 invasion of the Harabati Baba tekke in Tetovo, Macedonia by armed extremists and the unwillingness of the Macedonian government to remove these men from the compound or to register the Bektashi community of Macedonia, something which they have consistently sought since 1993.

I find it grievously incongruous that Macedonia should find admittance to NATO though it allows armed men to determine ownership of property and refuses to recognize a legitimate religious community older than the country itself.

I ask you to press the Macedonian government to find a just and peaceful solution to this stand-off and return the tekke to its rightful owners, the Bektashi community of Macedonia."

Also, please contact the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and let them know your opinion as well.

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