Bulgarian Town Rallies against Mosque Being Returned to Mufti

Society | November 9, 2013, Saturday // 13:26|  views

Kurshum Dzamiya (Bullet Mosque) in Bulgaria's Karlovo, photo bTV

Hundreds of Bulgarian gathered Saturday in the town of Karlovo in civil protest against the return of the local mosque to the Chief Mufti and turning it into active religious place.

People, including some from across the country, began arriving in downtown Karlovo one hour before the rally. At its outset, Verginiya Dimitrova, administrator of one of the groups in social networks turned to them with the following words:

"I want to call on all those present at this meeting to please not display party flags and symbols, not shout offensive words, not use the vocabulary of xenophobia, restrain from provocations and aggression."

Participants followed the advice and the rally is reported as peaceful. Over 12 500 people, including Muslims, have signed the petition against the return of "Kurshum Dazamiya" (Bullet Mosque) to the Chief Mufti.

One of the participants is quoted in saying that people in Karlovo from other ethnic groups did not want any problems as they already have a mosque where all can attend religious services.

Mayor Emil Kabaivanov emphasized in his speech that he would do everything possible to protect the interests of Karlovo people in Court.

Before the public radio, BNR, Stoycho Karagenski, chairman of the Town Council, described the situation in the city as a "revolutionary," stressing the issue did not pertain just to Karlovo because places such as Kyustendil, Samokov, Dupnitsa, Varna, Shumen, Stara Zagora, and Yambol, among many others, face the same problem.

He further informed that rule of the Plovdiv Regional Court for the return of the mosque is being appealed before a higher instance.

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Tags: mosque, Chief Mufti, Karlovo, protest, rally, Plovdiv Regional Court


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