Bulgarian Fined for Disrupting Anti-Mosque Sign-up

Crime | July 30, 2006, Sunday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

A Bulgarian man has been fined for hooliganism because he disrupted a nationalist sign-up against the loudspeakers placed on the mosque in the Danube city of Ruse.

The 29-year-old Filip Chernev insulted Ataka (Attack) activists who were gathering signatures against the mosque, and jumped on the table where the sign-up sheets were. He tore Bulgaria's flag and tried to destroy the papers too, Ataka members told the court.

The man was charged with hooliganism, but the nationalists want him charged with desecrating a national symbol too.

The judge has sent all the materials to the prosecution, who have to decide whether they are going to charge the young man with a second offence.

Tension over Sofia's downtown mosque has been escalating as well, after a nationalistic Bulgarian party launched a campaign claiming that the "ezan," a Muslim invitation to prayer via loudspeakers, was too loud and disturbing for people in the capital's central area. The nationalists say they collected over 35,000 signatures in support of their move to silence the speakers.

In the midst of the campaign, Ataka's official website was attacked by hackers, who moderated the main page and replaced its content with Turkish national symbols and music.

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