Bosnians elect new Grand Mufti

Updated 25 September 2012

Bosnians elect new Grand Mufti

SARAJEVO: Bosnian Muslims have elected Hussein Kavazovic, as their new spiritual leader or Grand Mufti, the Islamic community said yesterday in a statement. Kavazovic replaced Mustafa Ceric, who served as Grand Mufti for 19 years, notably during the 1992-1995 inter-ethnic war, said the statement published on the community’s web site.
Ceric stepped down after serving his maximum two mandates under the rules of Bosnia’s Islamic community.
Kavazovic, who has been the mufti of the north-eastern region of Tuzla since 1992, completed Islamic law studies at Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
According to local analysts, the 48-year old is a moderate religious leader looking for appeasement in a country deeply divided among its three ethnic groups — Muslims, Catholic Croats and Christian Orthodox Serbs — even 17 years after the end of the war.
After the July 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslims in the eastern enclave of Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb army, Kavazovic urged his community to avoid acts of vengeance.
“Innocent people do not deserve our contempt and they do not deserve a punishment,” he said earlier this year in a speech at the site of a mass grave containing victims from Srebrenica.
Muslims represent some 40 percent of the estimated 3.8 million inhabitants of Bosnia.


Man suspected of killing wife, three children in Australia fire

Updated 20 February 2020

Man suspected of killing wife, three children in Australia fire

  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was ‘shocked, saddened and devastated’ by the tragedy
  • A passer-by who tried to intervene in the situation was also taken to hospital to be treated for facial burns

SYDNEY: An ex-rugby league player is suspected of murdering his three children and estranged wife in Australia by burning them alive inside their car, in what police described as one of the most horrific incidents they have encountered.

Officers said 31-year-old Hannah Clarke died in a Brisbane hospital on Wednesday just hours after her three children aged three, four and six were found dead in the car on a suburban street.

Her husband, Rowan Baxter, who also died, allegedly approached the vehicle and doused it with petrol before setting it alight, The Australian newspaper reported.

The paper said Clarke jumped from the burning car and rolled on the ground, saying “he’s poured petrol on me.”

Officials said she was rushed to hospital with severe burns following the “horrific” incident but later succumbed to her injuries.

Baxter, a 42-year-old former rugby league player for the New Zealand Warriors, was believed to be in the burning vehicle but got out and died on a footpath.

Queensland Police detective inspector Mark Thompson said Thursday that Baxter died as a result of burns and a self-inflicted wound.

“Information that’s to hand has led us to believe that the Baxter children and Hannah Clarke were killed and I don’t believe there’s any suspicious circumstances around the death of Rowan Baxter,” he said.

Clarke’s sister-in-law, Stacey Roberts, set up a fundraiser to pay for funeral costs and support Hannah’s parents, who she said had “exhausted themselves to try and help Hannah escape this monster.”

“All those who knew Hannah or had even just met her once would know how much of a beautiful soul she was. Her children (were) her life,” Roberts posted on Facebook.

The page has so far raised almost Aus$100,000 ($67,000).

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was “shocked, saddened and devastated” by the tragedy, which has led to an outpouring of grief on social media.

“Hannah and her three children were so senselessly and maddeningly murdered in what has occurred in a terrible act of violence and it just grieves our hearts terribly today,” he said.

Natasha Stott Despoja, a former senator and chair of anti-violence group Our Watch, called for stronger action to address violence against women in Australia, which she described as a “national emergency.”

“I know people want change, people are angry & sad today,” she tweeted. “How long before we stop this slaughter in our suburbs?“

A passer-by who tried to intervene in the situation was also taken to hospital to be treated for facial burns, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson said.

The emergency responders who attended the scene have been stood down from their duties and will receive support, he added.