Bosnia’s first gay festival criticised as “provocative” to Muslims

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A Muslim politician in Bosnia has criticised the country’s gay community for holding an LGBT event that coincides with his religion’s observance of Ramadan.

Queer Sarajevo Festival is to take place in from September 24th to 27th. The Dutch, Canadian and Swiss embassies are among those supporting the event.

“We respect freedom and tolerance, but the festival is a kind of provocation since it is taking place during Ramadan,” Amir Zukic of the Muslim Party of Democratic Action told newspaper Dnevni Avaz.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight hours.

Croat and Serb leaders also expressed their displeasure at gay people holding such an event.

“We’ve been preparing the project for the past year and I would not spend my time only to provoke someone,” Svetlana Djurkovic, head of the gay and lesbian rights group Association Q, told AFP.

“It is a festival of culture and art.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a potential candidate country for EU membership.

If admitted it would have the largest Muslim community of any member state.

Recent figures indicate that 40% of the population are Muslims, 31% are Orthodox Christians and 15% are Roman Catholics.

There is an equal age of consent but discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is “widespread” according to the EU.