Tue10172017

Last update01:32:30 PM GMT

Font Size

Layout

Settings
Back Activities Alert Archive URGENT ALERT: Protest Hijab ban in Bulgaria

URGENT ALERT: Protest Hijab ban in Bulgaria

  • PDF
Share/Save/Bookmark
The Anti-Discrimination Commission in Bulgaria ruled that a school in Smolyan had the right to forbid two girls from wearing the hijab.

---------------------------------------------------------
Islamic Human Rights Commission
---------------------------------------------------------

06 September 2006

URGENT ALERT: Protest Hijab ban in Bulgaria

Background

On the 28th of July this year, a Parliamentary Anti-Discrimination Commission in Bulgaria ruled that a school in Smolyan had the right to forbid two Bulgarian girls from wearing the hijab. The ruling will now make it possible for the hijab to be banned from all state schools in Bulgaria. Following on from this, a statement issued by the Bulgarian Science and Education Minister in recent weeks stated that it has been declared that those wishing to wear the Islamic hijab should attend specific Muslim schools. However, there are only three Islamic schools in Bulgaria for a population of 1.5 million Muslims out of a total population of 7.6 million.

Although not a member yet, Bulgaria is set to join the European Union in January 2007 and to do so, it must comply with the Copenhagen criteria which states that applicant countries must comply with democratic governance and human rights. It is clear that banning the hijab in schools denies Muslim girls many fundamental rights including the freedom to practice one's religion and the right to education. Wearing the hijab is obligatory for Muslim women and so a ban is clearly an infringement on religious freedom.

It seems now that the Bulgarian government is trying to legitimize Islamophobia throughout the country. IHRC has received reports that the Bulgarian government has also decided to expel the Roma community from the industrial centres, many of whom are Muslims. Furthermore, new reports have alleged that a number of individuals are collecting signatures for the approval of a law banning the broadcasting of Azan from the mosques in Bulgaria.

France, Germany and Belgium have already prohibited the wearing of the headscarf in schools, and Norway has prohibited the wearing of the nikab in schools. Unless effective action is taken, the ban will spread throughout the whole of Europe.

Requested Action

Please contact your political representative, the Foreign Minister of your country, the Bulgarian Embassy in your respective countries and the EU President to condemn the law. A model letter that can be adapted as well as useful links for contacts can be found below. Please copy IHRC into any correspondence and let us know of responses.

Please send details of contacts for your country's representatives (as below) to update this resource.

For UK Campaigners

For contact details of your MP
www.theyworkforyou.com

Details of Foreign Secretray;

Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AL

Fax: +44 20 7839 2417
Email private.office@fco.gov.uk

For Bulgarian Embassies

Details of Bulgarian Embassy in UK:

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
186-188 Queen\'s Gate
London SW7 5HL
Telephone: 0207 5849 400
Fax: 020 7584 4948
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 09.00 - 18.00

For contact details of Bulgarian embassies around the world http://www.bulgaria.com/embassy/

For the EU President

Ms Anu Kurki
Secretariat for Finland's EU Presidency
Tel: +358 9160 22639
E-mail: accreditation@eu2006.fi


Model Letter


Dear [insert name],

Hijab ban in Bulgaria

I am writing to protest against the recent Hijab ban in Bulgaria, and urge you to take immediate action to demand that the ban be lifted.

It is fundamental to remember that to many Muslim women, the wearing of the hijab is not merely a personal display of faith - it is an obligation imposed by her religion. It is also imperative to remember that since Bulgaria is set to join the European Union in January 2007, it must comply with the Copenhagen criteria which states that applicant countries must act in accordance with the fundamental rights of individuals including the freedom to practice one's religion and the freedom to education.

Please use your position to campaign against the Hijab ban in Bulgaria as the ban clearly violates the freedom of religion. Basic justice demands that political representatives and those who hold influence and power take a moral stance on this issue and without hesitation condemn the ban.

I look forward to your swift action and response.

Yours sincerely,

[YOUR SIGN]
[YOUR NAME]




------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you are reusing this alert, please cite the source.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you want to subscribe to the IHRC list please send an email to subscribe@ihrc.org

If you want to unsubscribe from the IHRC list please send an email from your subscribed email address to unsubscribe@ihrc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”

Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

Join the Struggle for Justice. Join IHRC.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org,

Don't be a Silent Victim

silent-victimHave you been verbally abused, harassed, discriminated against or even violently attacked because you are Muslim? Have you been mistreated by the police or security services or a victim of anti-terror laws? Click here to report your incident to us in confidence and, if you wish, anonymously.