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Bulgaria mosque voice silenced

Source : Agencies
Sofia | 05 Jun 2011

Bulgarian Muslims will have to remove loudspeakers at Sofia mosque during Friday prayers, in another setback for locals that far-right party members attacked during the prayers.

The ban came after supporters of Bulgarian party ATAKA or "Attack" attacked Muslim worshippers during Friday prayers in front of the Banya Bashi Mosque in central Sofia May 20.

According to Bulgarian media, the Muslim leadership announced the ban on June 2 while Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov and the chief mufti, Mustafa Hadji met.

"Two loudspeakers have been dismounted completely while the others will be turned downi," the report said.

The chief mufti also said, that those worshippers, who are forced to pray outside since they cannot find room in the mosque during Friday prayers, can not pray on pavements outside the mosque.

This is also another victory for the racist party that led a series of provocation which started some years ago against the loudspeakers.

Muslims often say Sofia's mosque is now too small to hold the capital's Muslim community during Friday prayers and urge the officials to authorise construction of a second mosque.

Muslims make up about 12 percent of the Balkan country's 7.6 million people and they are native in European Union member-Bulgaria. Most are the descendants of ethnic Turks who arrived during five centuries of Ottoman rule that ended in 1878.


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