Bulgarian Mayor, Priest, Mufti Promote Tolerance on March 3

Society | March 3, 2010, Wednesday // 17:59|  views

Priest Garena, Mayor Azis, and Mufti Mehmed drink coffee together in Kardzhali on March 3. Photo by BGNES

For a second year in a row the Mayor, the Orthodox priest, and the mufti in Bulgaria’s Kardzhali marked together the National Liberation Day, March 3.

Priest Petar Garena, Mufti Beyhan Mehmed, and Mayor Hasan Azis had a cup of coffee together on the national holiday.

“On this day I treat the mayor and the mufti as a sign that holidays unite us in spite of their historic burden. It is on purpose that I invite them to the this regular cafe in the open. I think that this holiday belongs to everybody. Back in the day, during the Liberation War, everybody participated regardless of their ethnicity and religion,” said the priest as cited by BGNES.

“This is our people’s cafe; we have called it that because everybody comes here – Bulgarians, Turks, Bulgarian Muslims,” Mayor of Kardzhali, Hasan Azis said.

Mufti Mehmed has just been appointed, and promised he would be looking up to the Mayor and the Orthodox priest.

“This is the holiday of our Liberation but also of our unity. I think that our people is not fully united – religiously, as a world view, and socially. It would be offensive to say to any one of us that this is not their motherland because they are from another ethnicity. If somebody does not love the place where their mother gave birth to them, then they are not human,” Priest Garena said.

A large portion of the population in the District of Kardzhali is ethnic Turkish and Muslim.

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You can watch a video report of the meeting of the priest, mayor, and mufti HERE

Tags: Kardzhali, March 3, Liberation Day, ethnic Turkish, mufti, priest, Hasan Azis


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