Bulgaria Bans Burqa — Offenders Will Lose Benefits
From The Express:
BULGARIA has banned the burka – and warned those who flout the law will be fined £662 and lose their benefits.
Bulgaria’s parliament banned the wearing of face veils on Friday in a bid to boost security in the wake of Islamist militant attacks in Europe.
The new “burqa ban” law, which had been driven by the nationalist Patriotic Front coalition, comes after France, the Netherlands and Belgium banned the wearing of burqas or niqabs in public.
The ban will not only apply to Bulgarian citizens but also to anyone temporarily in the country. The new law states that clothing that conceals the face may not be worn in the institutions of Bulgaria’s central and local administrations, schools, cultural institutions, and places of public recreation, sports and communications.
Krasimir Velchev, a senior lawmaker for the ruling GERB, said: “The law is not directed against religious communities and is not repressive. “We made a very good law for the safety of our children.”
Covering the head, eyes, ears and mouth will only be permitted for health reasons, professional necessity and at sporting and cultural events. The ban will also apply to houses of worship.
A minority of Muslim women in Europe cover their faces, but their veils have become symbols for some Europeans troubled by security, immigration and Muslim integration.
Muslims make up about 12 percent of Bulgaria’s 7.2 million population and most belong to a centuries-old community, largely ethnic Turks.
Many Bulgarians are concerned that the migrant inflows into Europe may pose a threat to their predominantly Orthodox Christian culture and help radicalise part of the country’s long-established Muslim minority.