Asmir Fatkić

Asmir Fatkić was born in 1968 in Velika Gata near Bihać. By profession he is an imam, a khatib, and a mualim. He worked in the Islamic Community for about twenty years and during that time held responsible positions, such as secretary for the association of the Bihać imams and religious teachers from 1995 to 1998. He was a member of the executive council of the Bihać Islamic Community Majlis from 2007 to 2008. He was wrongly dismissed from that duty in 2008. He is married and they have three small children.

The Duško Kondor Civil Courage Award is being given to Asmir Fatkić of Klokot, because, fully cognizant of the risk he was undertaking, he demonstrated civil courage by the following:

  • As president of the Executive Board of the Bihać Majlis, in agreement with the Board, he filed a lawsuit with the Prosecutor's Office against members of the Islamic Community who had abused their position and embezzled Islamic Community funds.
  • As a responsible member of the community he spoke out against theft, fraud, abuse and crime; the Disciplinary Committee of the Supreme Council punished him with illegal dismissal because of "what he said in public," exhorting that "he should not have filed lawsuits that resulted in a series of problems and negative publicity for the Islamic Community."
  • He is the only person in the history of the Islamic Community who has spoken out against fraud in that organization. He did not heed the pressure of religious and political leaders to withdraw his lawsuit.
  • Because of his just act he was assaulted five times while in service, and the police, some of them corrupt, did not want to protect him.
  • He survived an assassination attempt while in service to the community, leading to his hospitalization for stress and trauma.
  • He remained true to his fight for justice; at the insistance of the members of his ja'amat he has remained their imam, khatib and mualim, although he has not been offiicially hired to serve these functions and receives no salary or benefits for his service.
  • He is has been isolated yet remains committed to his fight for the truth. The authorities have not protected his rights as a community member or as an employee of the Islamic Community.
  • He made the religious leaders look at themselves and think about how they ought to act. He said "I was schooled to be a person of integrity and I must maintain a higher standard of honor than a secular person would. My message to all imams and citizens is that we must not tolerate crime in our community."

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Who bears the most blame for the lack of civil courage?

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