Valentin Karamomchev October 10, 2019
Bulgaria’s past – and its specific religious culture – offer one explanation for why the country’s large Muslim minority has proved so resilient to the lure of terrorism and groups like ISIS.
It is a little known fact that Bulgaria has the largest Muslim minority of all EU member states. Bulgaria’s demographics place it in first place in the EU in terms of the percentage of people who identify as Muslim. As of 2019, over a million Bulgarians are Muslims, equal to about 15 per cent of the population. In France, by comparison, Muslims make up only about 9 per cent of the population.
Yet despite these figures, Bulgaria is one of the rare examples of countries in Europe, and indeed globally, which have not reported any of its citizens having joined the terrorist network called ISIS. Hardly any reports suggest that Bulgarian nationals have travelled to Syria or Iraq to participate in hostilities on the side of ISIS.