Wife and daughters of Muslim official face Islamophobic attack in Bulgaria

Published 29.06.2017 11:39

The wife and two daughters of the assistant to the head mufti of Bulgaria experienced a religiously motivated attack on the streets of Sofia.

Assistant to the head mufti Birali Birali's wife and daughters were passing a shopping center in Sofia when two Bulgarian women and a man verbally abused them.

The Bulgarians targeted the three women, who wear Islamic headscarves, saying, "You can't walk around like that" and similar insults.

The men and women then physically assaulted Birali's daughters, who are aged 16 and 20.

Spokesman for the Head Mufti's Office Celal Faik stated that Binali's wife and daughters were taken to hospital after the incident.

Faik said that the office and the Muslim community wanted the attackers to be found and tried, adding that they do not want this ugly incident to be without consequences.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms Party (HÖH) brought the issue to the parliament, making a statement on the incident and condemning Islamophobia in the country.

HÖH chairman Mustafa Karadayı said, "We are all in shock. It is extremely dangerous to act out of hate. Someone should say 'Enough is enough.' We will never stop warning against these kinds of incidents. We say let's return to tolerance."

The Sofia police has stated that the suspects in the incident have been found and taken in for questioning, while a complete statement will be given once the investigation is complete.

The incident comes after Bulgarian nationalists blocked three main crossing points with Turkey in March to prevent thousands of Turks with Bulgarian passports coming to vote in Bulgaria's elections.

Bulgaria is home to a 700,000-strong Muslim minority, most of them ethnic Turks, while at least 200,000 ethnic Turks with Bulgarian passports live in Turkey. The two groups make up more than 10 percent of the population.

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