Bulgaria MPs to Discuss Possible Ban on Face-Covering VeilsSociety | June 15, 2016, Wednesday // 10:44| views
Photo by BGNES
Lawmakers are set to discuss this week a proposal put forward by a nationalist coalition that could result in the ban of veils fully or partially covering the face in public spaces.
Over the past few months restrictions have already been imposed by four Bulgarian cities on wearing veils, known in the public space as "the burqa ban". These include Burgas, Pazardzhik, Stara Zagora and Sliven. In the second-largest city Plovdiv, a similar proposal was tabled but was turned down by municipal councilors.
If the bill is passed, veils will be prohibited in public spaces and institutions.
Exceptions will be allowed in cases of people taking place cultural, sports or other activities and using face-covering garments for their purpose.
The Patriotic Front, a nationalist coalition which backs the minority government of Bulgaria but has no ministers, submitted the proposal late in April, following a call by the country's Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov to ban "burqas" as a measure to improve security.
Burqas are not common among Bulgarian Muslims, but other types of sartorial hijab (a garment covering the face) have gained some popularity in Pazardzhik, in southern Bulgaria, where some Muslim families have been exposed to radicalization, suspectedly with the use of money channeled through foundations with ties to Saudi Arabia.
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