Sofia May Need 2nd Mosque if Muslims Surpass 30 000 - Ex Diaspora Minister

Society | July 1, 2011, Friday // 10:05|  views

Photo by BGNES

If Bulgaria observes the Geneva Conventions, it must keep the Soviet Army monument where it was built, according to Prof. Bozhidar Dimitrov, Director of the National History Museum and former Diaspora Minister.

In a Friday interview for the morning broadcast of state-owned BNT, he rejected the allegations of Stefan Ivanov from the Sofia Municipal Council that the inscription below the monument, "To the Soviet liberators who gave their lives for Bulgaria", contradicts historical facts.

Dimitrov reminded that he was the one with a degree in history and therefore better acquainted with the matter.

"If I listen to what they are saying now, Bulgaria should be a very quiet country", Dimitrov stated.

Regarding the coexistence of various ethnic groups in Bulgaria and the clash in front of the Banya Bashi mosque, Dimitrov said that the loudspeakers were not a part of the Muslim tradition and therefore it was only natural to turn down the volume. On May 20th, activists of the Bulgarian nationalist party Ataka assaulted praying Muslims in downtown Sofia during a protest rally against the loudspeakers of the Banya Bashi mosque.

The History Professor suggested that the Hodzha use his own voice to summon the people to prayer.

On the topic of the proposed second mosque in Sofia, Dimitrov reminded that Turkish norms required a separate place of worship per 30 000 followers of Islam, "which is why I believe that if Muslims in Sofia exceed 30 00, then maybe a second mosque should be built".

Asked about the forthcoming presidential elections in Bulgaria, he dismissed the rule of thumb that the candidate with the highest approval rating should always be elected.

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Tags: Bozhidar Dimitrov, National History Museum, Banya Bashi, Banya Bashi, Soviet Army Monument, musliims, mosque


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