Bulgaria Hits the World’s News: “Burqa Ban” Covered in America and Asia

Written by on October 1, 2016 in Bulgaria - No comments

Bulgaria has made it into the world news, including some front pages. But, this was not about big achievements such as record tourist numbers, as they were released yesterday, but rather about the so-called burqa ban, which is actually a full face veil ban.

Bulgaria’s nationalist Patriotic Front pushed the ban through a parliament vote yesterday, the approval of which effectively bans clothing disguising or concealing the face, whether solid or translucent clothing and various other items, including masks, in public. The penalty for offences are high.

In the Washington Post, it said “The law was pushed by the nationalist Patriotic Front coalition, whose co-leader Krasimir Karakachanov on Friday cited security reasons for it.”

The Arab media network Al Jazeera connected the ban to the abuse refugees in Bulgaria and NGOs have been reporting: “Hostility towards Muslims has grown in Bulgaria, a major gateway for refugees trying to reach Europe from Turkey, with human rights groups criticising the country for its harsh treatment of refugees.”

The German Spiegel magazine indirectly criticized Boyko Borissov’s party GERB for supporting the venture pushed by their nationalist coalition partner, the Pariotic Front: “Observers believed, that by supporting the move, GERB just wanted to keep the coalition together.”

Most western media just re-printed neutral news agency reports on the veil ban. In Belgium, France and The Netherlands, similar full face veil bans apply.

The ban in Bulgaria does not apply if the covering of the face is necessary for health reasons, professional reasons, sports events or cultural, educational or other events in houses of worship of registered religious denominations.

By Imanuel Marcus

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