Bulgaria’s top Muslim religious leaders are demanding that the government provide financial support to mosques in their communities as the country seeks to cope with a wave of Islamic terrorism.
The head of the Central Council of Muslims of Bulgaria (KOMB) in the country’s south-east said the state was unable to provide enough funding to provide religious education to the countrys Muslims as the economy is still struggling.
“It is clear that the state is not in a position to provide sufficient support to the mosques,” Riza Abuzov told reporters in the capital Sofia on Wednesday.
The Central Council is the highest governing body of the Muslim community in Bulgaria, and it is the first government body to hold a meeting since President Ovidiu Krasilva resigned amid allegations of corruption.
Mr Abuzow said the Islamic community had suffered a series of attacks, including an attempted assassination of the chief rabbi of the town of Varna, which has a large Muslim population, and the kidnapping of a man accused of insulting Islam.
Mr Krasileva is due to give evidence in court on Tuesday over the killing of the man.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Andrei Stoychev said the government would set up a commission to investigate the cases of those who were killed.
“We will be working to establish whether any of those involved were targeted by a foreign state,” Mr Stoyevsaid.
The attacks have also forced the country to introduce new laws banning the wearing of face coverings and wearing of turbans, which is banned in most Muslim countries.
The government has also launched a new law banning all forms of public protests and marches, including in mosques.
Mr Stoyvans crackdown has led to violent protests in some Muslim areas of Bulgaria, as well as in the rest of the country.