The leader of the Bulgarian ultra-nationalist party Ataka, Volen Siderov, claims that the ‘noise’ generated by the call for prayer from the Banya Bashi mosque in the capital Sofia is ‘intolerable’.
In Siderov’s words, the ‘whining of the Imam’ during Friday prayers is violating public order because it is ‘too loud’. Ataka also sent an open letter to Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandakova, demanding a ban of religious rites outside the mosque in central Sofia.
The Banya Bashi mosque has space for about 800 faithful which is sometimes not enough to accommodate everybody, so people have to stand outside.
Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire for 500 years until 1876 and still has a substantial Turkish-muslim minority.
See my photo report from the anti-Islamist rally in front of the Sofia municipality on Demotix.