Prague, Czech Republic – Walking along the idyllic streets of Prague just blocks away from the famed Wenceslas Square, 38-year-old Palestinian-born Raed Shaikh stopped to point out a halal grocery store he and the handful of other Muslim residents in town frequent.
He then motioned towards a Middle Eastern restaurant to the right, hidden behind a small mosque.
“Here is the highest concentration of Muslims in Prague,” the IT project manager said laughingly.
Though no exact figures exist, the Muslim community in the Czech Republic is small, between 5,000 and 20,000, or less than 0.02 percent of the total population.
Just a portion lives in Prague.
|Prague Muslims, Czech Republic [Philip Heijmans/Al Jazeera] [Al Jazeera]|
Yet Islam has become a hot-button topic in Czech national politics, where the power to resolve the country’s hung parliament could lie with a politician whose only policy is, “No to Islam. No to terrorism”.