Bulgaria Has 'No Problem' with Burqas - Education Min
The issue of burqas in Bulgaria is exaggerated, but should be considered in light of future security problems, Bulgarian Deputy PM and Education Minister Meglena Kunevas has said.
She has made her comments a day after embracing a suggestion of Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov, who over the weekend opined the wearing of burqas should be banned in public.
Tsatsarov's words were referring to the full Islamic veil and not to other hijab versions that cover only the hair and ears or everything except for the eyes. They follow the beginning of a trial against more than a dozen Muslims charged with spreading radical ideology and war propaganda in the town of Pazardzhik, amid allegations of connections to the Islamic State (IS) group and, formerly, to Saudi charities.
Kuneva, also a Deputy PM for internal affairs, has told private bTV broadcaster that there aren't "more than one or two, up to five cases" of girls wearing burqas in school.
However, she has warned that the issue should be raised in so far as security is concerned, and as migrants will have to adapt to Bulgaria's rules in the future.
Kuneva has insisted schools in Bulgaria are "secular" and this has to be stipulated in the legislation, without interfering with anyone's religious convictions.
Tsatsarov had been referring mostly to the wearing of burqas at institutions such as schools.
Currently, there is no explicit ban on wearing religious symbols at school.
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There is a difference between the hijab 9 which just covers hair and the full body and face covering which is the burqa. The burqa is not acceptable for a number of reasons
1 Security. You cannot see the face of the person or even whether it is a man or woman
2 More security. In other countries, burqa\'d women have \'passed \' their driving test by getting an experienced burqa\'d friend to take the test for them, resulting in an unqualified driver being given a licence and putting other roadusers in danger
3 Allowing the burqa will be the thin end of the wedge. If allowed, they will refuse to remove their face covering in court, for identification at airports and to the police as has happened in other countries
4 Allowing certain sections of society to move around in public with their faces fully covered while the rest of the public are forced to reveal their faces in public causes a great deal of anger and resentment - as has also happened in other countries