One of Reykjavík’s two cultural centers for Muslims is being shut down, under circumstances which are still unclear.
RÚV reports that four police officers and a locksmith, alongside movers, arrived at Skógarhlið 20 this morning to carry out the eviction. A recent ruling from Reykjavík District Court concluded that the Islamic Cultural Center of Iceland (ICCI) has no standing rental contract for the building, but this ruling has been appealed to the Supreme Court.
A spokesperson for ICCI spoke with both the police and a county seat representative to postpone the eviction, while the county seat is taking inventory of the property. Imam Ahmad Seddeeq told reporters that if the postponement was denied, they would abide the eviction orders.
The postponement request was subsequently denied, and so the eviction will go underway, with the building emptied and the locks changed on the doors by the end of the day today. One arrest was made when a suspect attempted to attack the aforementioned spokesperson. He was taken into custody by police, with no injuries to anyone reported.
ICCI contends on their Facebook that the former head of ICCI, Karim Askari, had forged their rental contract to be dated two years earlier, shortly before he was voted out of his position in 2014. Reykjavík District Court found no evidence of forgery, and thus ruled that the contract had expired.
However, ICCI also state – with photographic evidence – that while the eviction is dated May 17, notice was not delivered to them until May 24, although ICCI contends it was actually delivered May 26.
Where ICCI congregates will now gather for prayer and cultural events is still uncertain.
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