news 09 Jan 13

Sarajevo Embassy Gunman Attacks 'Sinful' Astrology

Mevlid Jasarevic, sentenced to 18 years for attacking the US embassy in Bosnia, has urged a daily paper to cut out its "sinful" horoscope section in the course of a longer letter complaining about the media treatment of his trial.

Elvira M. Jukic

The daily Oslobodjenje on January 8 published a letter from Mevlid Jasarevic, the US embassy attacker sentenced to 18 years in prison, in which he urged the newspaper to remove its "sinful" horoscope section.

“I call on the owner of Oslobodjenje to cut out the horoscope from his newspaper. That is one of the biggest sins against Allah,” Jasarevic said.

“If a man raped and killed his mother, it would not be a bigger sin than... assigning a companion to Allah,” he wrote.

Religious Muslims, like religious Christians, strongly oppose the use of magic, star signs, astrology or any other forms of divination, seeing it as a form of rebellion against the divine will.

Jasarevic, who referred to himself as Abdurrahman, wrote about the astrology section in Oslobodjenje in a post scriptum; the bulk of the letter was a sharply worded criticism of the judge in his trial, Branko Peric, and the media reports of the trial.

He said the daily Dnevni Avaz had misinterpreted his words when he had written to them, emphasizing that this had caused harm not only to him, but also to his family.

Jasarevic also said that the prosecutor in his case had demanded the highest sentence as a deterrent to others from doing anything similar.

However, he recalled that he said in his final words to the court that whatever his sentence, it would not dissuade others who felt ready to die for their beliefs.

Recalling the word of Judge Peric, that this was an open threat to the court, Jasarevic said the judge took his words out of context.

“He heard very well what I said but again acted in a bad way,” Jasarevic wrote. “I ask Branko Petric to go public and apologize to my mother for pulling those words out from their context.”

Jasarevic, 24, born in Novi Pazar, Serbia, later lived in the northeast Bosnian village of Gornja Maoca, known as a basis of a hard-line Wahhabi movement.

On October 28, 2011, he came to Sarajevo, approached the US embassy and opened fire for some 50 minutes, firing at least 105 bullets and wounding a Bosnian policeman.

His verdict on December 6 still has to be confirmed. The trial raised many questions about security in the country.

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