Poland’s Muslim Tatars be part of effort to assist migrants crossing from Belarus


BIALYSTOK/BOHONIKI, Poland (Reuters) – For Tomasz Miskiewicz, the mufti who heads Poland’s Muslim neighborhood, serving to migrants coming into the nation from Belarus is about humanity, not faith.

Miskiewicz is working with Lipka Tatars in jap Poland, a bunch of round 2,000 people who find themselves a part of one of many oldest Muslim communities in Europe, to point out that, like different Poles, they’re eager to assist.

The European Union says the continuing migration disaster has been orchestrated by Belarus – an ally of Russia – in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed over a crackdown on political protests, a cost that Minsk denies.

As much as 4,000 migrants, principally from Iraq and Afghanistan, are actually ready in freezing forests on Poland’s frontier, which can also be the exterior border of the EU and NATO, the Western navy alliance.

“Whether or not an individual has the suitable to remain legally in Poland or not, each particular person has the suitable to a roof over their head, to a heat place to remain, to a plate with heat soup and heat meals usually, to first rate clothes,” Miskiewicz advised Reuters.

The Tatars are a tiny minority in Poland, the place over 90% of Poles are Catholic and the Catholic church performs an important function in society and politics.

Miskiewicz praised the church’s efforts to supply humanitarian assist, and mentioned Poland’s Muslims have been doing the identical.

For the previous couple of weeks, he and the pinnacle of the Tatar neighborhood, Maciej Szczesnowicz, have been working collectively to supply help for these crossing and dealing on the border.

“Folks from Poland and Germany ship us packages, donations and donate cash to our county. From our Muslim neighborhood, there may be quite a lot of assist. We additionally prepare dinner soups for the troopers, we serve 300 parts day-after-day,” Szczesnowicz advised Reuters.

At the least eight migrants have died, and the funeral of 19-year-old Syrian migrant Ahmed al-Hassan in Bohoniki, the place a part of Poland’s Tatar neighborhood is predicated, was the primary to be held in Poland for a sufferer of the present disaster.

Miskiewicz mentioned society wanted to keep away from extra struggling, particularly after historical past confirmed what occurred at Nazi German focus camp Auschwitz and in the course of the Srebrenica bloodbath.

“We nonetheless have not realized from that lesson. The lesson about being humble: One human ought to assist one other.”

(Reporting by Felix Hoske and Fedja Grulovic; Writing by Joanna Plucinska; Modifying by Mike Collett-White)

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