Sofia Takes Disciplinary Action over 'Quran Verses'

Society » CULTURE | September 10, 2015, Thursday // 10:28
Bulgaria: Sofia Takes Disciplinary Action over 'Quran Verses' Photo by BGNES

A Sofia Deputy Mayor has said disciplinary proceedings have been launched against the principal of a local kindergarten over so-called "Quranic verses".

The image greeting parents and children who would enter the website was promptly removed after private bTV station reported the "verses" were used by the Kalinka kindergarten, where most children are ethnic Roma, for self-promotion through showing off religion.

Todor Chobanov, who is Deputy Mayor for culture and education at Sofia Municipality, told bTV on Thursday that the State Agency for Child Protection and the national security and counter-intelligence agency DANS had already been informed.

Both the regional mayor nor the principal deny it was "wrong" to use the quotes, calling them a means of integration in a predominantly Roma and Muslim neighborhood.

It should be noted, however, that the text on Kalinka's website does not include verses of the Quran. It reads:

"A father gives his child nothing better than a good education."
"Fear Allah and deal justly between your children."
Prophet Muhammad

Both phrases are actually hadith - sayings which are not part of the Holy Quran, but are widely attributed to the prophet and are considered important for understanding the book's message. They were collected throughout the centuries by generations of people who claimed to have heard them from ancestors whose ancestors heard the Prophet utter them.

Chobanov has not commented on the Christian image that is also part of the picture.

While "imposing of ideological and/or religious doctrines" is strictly prohibited under Bulgarian law, authorities are yet to say whether posting the hadith on Kalinka's website is tantamount to that.



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Tags: Todor Chobanov, Quran, Muhammad, Chobanov, DANS
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