According to Habsburg’s eldest son and “successor”, Karl Habsburg, Otto Habsburg was intimately involved in the lengthy planning for his own funeral. His provisions included the attendance and involvement in the funeral of representatives of the “three monotheistic religions.” And so it came that along with Austrian cardinal Christoph Schönborn and a rabbi, Reis-el-, Ulema Mustafa Ceric from Bosnia and his veiled wife also attended the requiem in St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
More galling, however, Ceric, a proponent of sharia in Europe, was asked by the Habsburg family to recite a funeral prayer at Habsburg’s requiem in Munich, Germany, last week. According to a Catholic website, Ceric’s presence was sign of Otto Habsburg’s advocacy of a free and independent Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since the Bosnian war, Ceric had been a friend of Otto Habsburg and attended the latter’s 95th birthday celebration in 2007.
Bosnia’s Muslim spiritual leader, Reiss-ul-Ulema Mustafa Ceric, has drawn strong criticism from moderate Muslims and from Bosnian Serbs, after he called for Islamic Sharia law to be incorporated into the Bosnian constitution.
…In May, while visiting a Muslim community in Serbia’s Muslim-majority Sandzak region bordering Montenegro, Ceric said “no force could separate” Muslims in Serbia from those in Bosnia, which he has described as a homeland for Muslims.
Strict Sharia law drastically reduces the rights of women, allows polygamy for men, forbids marrying non-Muslims and sanctions cruel penalties including stoning.
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik reacted angrily to Ceric’s remarks, saying he was deliberately ignoring the presence of Serbs and Croats in Muslim-majority Bosnia.
- European royals gather for Habsburg funeral (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Letter: Otto von Habsburg obituary (guardian.co.uk)