Bulgaria Education Ministry Mulls Ban on Religious Symbols Display
Students with Christian crosses or girls with Muslim scarves will no longer be allowed in Bulgarian public schools.
The mandate is included in the project for the new Public Education Act.
The Act includes a clause declaring that Bulgarian schools are secular and students cannot display symbols, which aggressively and visibly demonstrate their religious beliefs.
The Act is yet to be discussed by the Cabinet.
After the scandal involving the school in the village of Ribnovo over allegations that teachers there promote fundamentalist Islam, Bulgaria's Education Minister, Daniel Vulchev, commented that the number of children in Bulgaria studying Islam, as a required or elective subject, was very low. Vulchev voiced his opinion that the schools are not a place to teach religion, especially when the country is facing Parliamentary elections.
Vulchev further said that he had received numerous signals about extremist Islam being taught at many Bulgarian schools, not only in Ribnovo.
The Head of the Education Department at the Chief Mufti, Husein Karamola, informed that 4,000 students in 44 villages, towns and cities all over Bulgaria are enrolled in Islam classes during the 2008-2009 school year.
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Well, with headscarves, the issue could be contentious because so much of the head could be covered--from a security point of view, it could be impossible to identify someone if some offense of some sort takes place. Possibly a utilitarian view behind this... Of course, there should be other ways to allow Muslim students to proudly display their faiths (although only it, Christianity, and Judaism really do that--Hindus and Buddhists don't--people who wear Yin-Yangs are hippies or wannabe-hippies, not followers of any Chinese religion)
"Vulchev voiced his opinion that the schools are not a place to teach religion, especially when the country is facing Parliamentary elections."
This is an unbelievably stupid opinion expressed by Vulchev regarding dealing with a situation that requires cool heads and sound positions backed by laws.
Forbidding people to wear head scarves and crosses is rediculous. On the other hand there should be measures taken to ward off the radicalization of the Muslim population but band-aid solutions like the above one will do nothing for achieving that.