The head of the Islamic Community in Macedonia Sulejman Efendi Rexhepi called the Macedonian people “wild” and without identity.

The hateful comments were made three weeks ago, during the groundbreaking ceremony for the reconstruction of a mosque in a village west of the capital Skopje, but the video was uploaded and brought to public attention several days ago.

The people we live with are wild, incomparably wild. That is why they don’t have an identity and will never have one, Rexhepi can be heard saying during the ceremony.

The incident comes as the Islamic Community is involved in a dispute with the Government and demands the return of huge properties across Macedonia given to it by the Ottoman Empire and taken away after its defeat and during the Communist regime. Rexhepi also insists that construction work on a towering minaret in the center of Ohrid continues despite the fact that the city council refused to approve its construction.