Sofia Mayor: Nationalists Fully Responsible for Mosque BrawlDomestic | May 26, 2011, Thursday // 07:58| views
The Mayor of Bulgaria's capital Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova. Photo by BGNES
The Mayor of Bulgaria's capital, Yordanka Fandakova, has firmly rejected any responsibility regarding the May 20th incident in front of a mosque in downtown Sofia.
"Everyone who blames me either has no idea about the law or is making an attempt to twist it," Fandakova said Thursday, cited by the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR.
The comments were made in connection with the incident last Friday when followers and supporters of the far-right, nationalist Ataka party, including party leader, Volen Siderov, staged a rally in front of Sofia's Banya Bashi mosque, protesting the fact it has loudspeakers that sound Muslim prayers in the entire area around. says.
As many have blamed the City Hall for issuing a permit to the nationalists to stage the protest, the Mayor now pointed out those organizing events bear full responsibility for violations of public order, adding the application submitted by Ataka had listed as location for the meeting not the mosque, but the nearby Central Bathhouse.
"The fact they ended at the mosque is their own decision. But I am very alarmed by the incident because such activities can tarnish the long-standing image of Sofia as a symbol of ethnic and religious tolerance," Fandakova said.
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