Rabat - A new ban against full-face veils in a Bulgarian town will prevent tension between communities and boost security, according to local leaders of the government of Pazardzhik, where the new provision was enacted on Wednesday.
Rabat – A new ban against full-face veils in a Bulgarian town will prevent tension between communities and boost security, according to local leaders of the government of Pazardzhik, where the new provision was enacted on Wednesday.
Al-Arabiya reported that full-face veils had become common among Muslim Roma woman living in the town, which prompted the town of some 70,000 to ban the veil with backing from local politicians across the political spectrum.
The ban is the first of its kind in Bulgaria and would fine women found to be veiling their faces as the covering “hampered” quick identification, according to the police.
“I am tired to hear that Pazardzhik is the town of the burqas,” Mayor Todor Popov told a national radio channel in an interview. “We want to say aloud that we are not that, but a town of responsible people and we will be associated with other achievements.”
A majority of Bulgarian Muslims belong to the country’s centuries-old community of ethnic Turks. The full-face veil is uncommon among the Turkish community, but a part of the Balkan country’s Roma population practices an “ultra-conservative” form of Islam, which had led the Roma women to begin wearing the now-illicit veils in recent years.
A few weeks ago, the right-wing Patriotic Front coalition proposed to enact a nation-wide ban on full-face veils, arguing that the covering is not common among Bulgarian Muslims.
During February, a group of 13 men – a majority from Pazardhik’s Roma minority – faced courts with charges including the assistance of people attempting to leave Bulgaria to join the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) in Syria, spreading extremist ideologies and inciting war.
Earlier this year, an article from The Intercept reported the United States Air Force’s white papers on combatting terrorism included an essay describing the “hijab phenomenon” – when increased numbers of women in community suddenly begin wearing a veil – as a tactic to identity communities in the process of being radicalized by the Salafi model of Sunni Islam.