Muslims Rally Against 'Radical Islam' Trial in BulgariaCrime | September 18, 2012, Tuesday // 11:40| views
Several hundred Bulgarian Muslims have gathered in the Southern town of Pazardzhik to protest against the court trial. Photo by BGNES
Several hundred Bulgarian Muslims have gathered in the Southern town of Pazardzhik to protest over a trial against 13 people accused of preaching radical Islam.
The protesters are holding Bulgarian and EU flags, dnevnik.bg reports.
The relatives and supporters of the 13 suspects have claimed that they have been preaching traditional and not radical Islam.
The trial against the 13 members of the Al Waqf-Al Islami organization's local branch kicked off on Tuesday.
The organization is not officially registered in Bulgaria.
The suspects have been charged with preaching an undemocratic ideology and seeking to impose Sharia law, for leading and participating in an unregistered religious entity preaching an undemocratic ideology and for preaching religious intolerance.
According to the indictment, the defendants built their belief systems in line with elements of Salafism, which they presented in Bulgaria in a radical version in the period March 2008 – October 6, 2010.
One of the defendants has a prior conviction on a similar charge for which he was handed a three-year suspended sentence with five years of probation and a public reprimand.
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