Bulgarian President Backs Opening of Islamic Institute in Sofia

Domestic | December 17, 2012, Monday // 17:11|  views

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev (left) and Chief Mufti Mustafa Hadzhi at the Chief Mufti's Office in Sofia. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has spoken in favor of the opening of an Islamic institute of higher education in Bulgaria's capital Sofia.

Plevneliev visited Monday the office of Bulgarian Chief Mufti Mustafa Hadzhi to talk over the initiative of the Chief Mufti's Office for the opening of the Islamic school, an initiative that has been publicly promoted by the office and the ethnic Turkish Bulgarian party DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms) for some time.

"I am not the person to lead the institutions through that way but I personally welcome it, I am well-intentioned in that sense, and I expect this project to find its realization, of course, withing the rules and laws," Plevneliev stated during his meeting with Mustafa Hadzhi, as cited by BGNES.

"I deem that such an institution will rather create an opportunity for tolerance and for evading radical teachings, and Bulgaria will be protected from the encroachments of radical tendencies," the Bulgarian President elaborated.

"The Bulgarian state is processing this initiative, to put it clearly, so that it could be realized within the law," he added.

Plevneliev further made it clear he has made a commitment to the project and will soon be visiting the Chief Mufti's Office to discuss the specifics for the initiative for founding an Islamic institute of higher education in Sofia.

He said he and Hadzhi discussed neither the ongoing radical Islamism trial against several immams in Bulgaria's Pazardzhik, nor the idea to hold a local referendum for the construction of a new mosque in Plevneliev's hometown – Gotse Delchev in Southwestern Bulgaria, whose region features a large community of ethnic Bulgarian Muslims.

Plevneliev did stress he was proud of the fact that he now became the first acting President of Bulgaria to pay a visit to the Chief Mufti's Office.

"For us, this visit is a great honor," stated Chief Mufti Mustafa Hadzhi, describing Plevneliev's gesture as an example of good attitude towards the Muslims and all Bulgarian citizens.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Bulgarian President, Mustafa Hadzhi, Chief Mufti, Chief Mufti's Office, Islamic Institute, sofia, radical Islam, radical Islamism, radical Islamists, Gotse Delchev, DPS, Movement for Rights and Freedoms


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