Source: EMU via Muhamed Jusic
Strasbourg (EMU) – Following riots and attacks on a Mosque in Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city, European Muslims reacted with apprehension towards this new outburst of anti-Muslim hatred in this member-state of the European Union.
On Friday, 14th February 2014, hundreds of nationalists, fascists and football hooligans demonstrated against a court hearing regarding an ancient Mosque in the city of Plovdiv and its possible return to the Muslim religious authority, the Grand Mufti’s Office in Bulgaria. During the Communist rule, after 1946, the property was confiscated by the Bulgarian state. This is one of 25-30 legal cases entered by the Muslim community in order to regain control of their Waqf property.
The the property documents for the Awqaf presented to the court do not date back to the Ottoman period but rather were issued by the Bulgarian monarchy in 1919.
During a rally after the hearing a mob marched through the town and attacked the local Mosque with “firecrackers, torches and stones,” according to several news services like Reuters. “One policeman was injured. Some 120 people were detained,” said the police in a statement.
In Bulgaria, the Grand Mufti condemned the attack on the mosque and said the attempt to pressure the court put democracy at risk in the European Union country. Bulgaria’s Grand Mufti, Mustafa Haci, was horrified in the face of these attacks and called them a “pogrom”.
Outside Bulgaria, the European Muslim Union declared it is seriously worried by this new and unprovoked attack on an indigenous Muslim population of a European country, which is also a full member of the European Union:
“The European Muslims are in solidarity with their Bulgarian sisters and brothers. This negative event is yet another proof for the need to enhance and enlarge professional PR-work at a European level.
The trial in Plovdiv highlights also the Balkan-wide need for a thorough reconsideration and – if justified – return of property which was taken from the Muslims by nationalist and communist regimes after the Osmanli rule withdrew from the peninsula.”