Macedonia: Moderate Muslims seek help against sect

Skopje, Macedonia - Moderate Muslims in Macedonia are urging the government and the international community to crack down on radical Wahhabi groups on the rise in the country.

The head of Macedonia's official Islamic Religious Community, Suleyman Rexhepi, says he wants "radical measures" against the Wahhabis by the government, the U.S. and the European Union.

The radical brand of Islam embraced by al-Qaida and the Taliban is seen as gaining a foothold in the Balkans, and Rexhepi claimed Monday that the sect wants to "to distort (Macedonia's) image."

Rexhepi's group is engaged in a power struggle with the Wahhabis, who are thought to control five mosques in the capital, Skopje. Most of Macedonia's ethnic Albanian minority - a quarter of the population of 2.1 million - are Muslims.