Bulgaria Moves to Punish Preaching of Radical Islam by Imprisonment
The preaching of radical Islam in Bulgaria will be punishable by imprisonment of up to three years or a fine up to BGN 5,000 (EUR 2,500) under draft changes to the Penal Code.
The proposal submitted by nationalist Patriotic Front (PF) coalition was passed on first reading in a 106-3 vote with 10 abstentions on Thursday, according to dnevnik.bg. It needs to be adopted on second reading to become law.
The MPs from the predominantly ethnic Turk Movemement for Rights and Feedoms (DPS), the second largest party in the current Parliament, did not vote. The PF supports in Parliament the minority coalition government composed of GERB and the Reformist Bloc but has no cabinet ministers.
The change to the Penal Code comes a week after the lawmakers tentatively approved a ban on wearing face-covering veils in public places.
Radical Islam is a new ideology that aims to conquer the world through violence rather than propaganda or belief, Krasimir Karakachanov, leader of VMRO, said in Parliament, according to dnevnik.bg. VMRO is one of the parties within the PF.
The preaching of radical Islam has been defined in the draft as campaigning for the creation of an Islamic State (Caliphate); for imposing the Islamic Sharia law over secular legislation; for the forced imposition of religious principles and norms of behaviour typical of Islam; for advocating violence against non-Muslims in the form of a Holy War (Jihad).
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