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Iran condemns Sofia mosque attack

Iran Materials 25 May 2011 11:57
The Islamic Republic of Iran has condemned the recent attack on Muslim worshippers at the Banya Bashi Mosque in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
Iran condemns Sofia mosque attack

The Islamic Republic of Iran has condemned the recent attack on Muslim worshippers at the Banya Bashi Mosque in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Press TV reported with reference to IRNA.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast called on the European Union to take measures to defend the rights of religious minorities and to create an atmosphere free of racism.

He called the numerous Islamophobic acts that have recently occurred in the bloc blatant violations of human rights and demanded that efforts be made to eradicate extreme racial discrimination from European society.

Mehmanparast also asked Bulgarian officials to punish the perpetrators of the attack in Sofia.

Supporters of Volen Siderov, the leader of the far-right ultra-nationalist party Ataka, attacked the Muslims during Friday prayers last week. Several worshippers and a number of policemen were injured in the attack.

Siderov, who is candidate in the October 11 presidential election, said during the Friday protest that he wants demonstrations against Muslims to continue in Bulgaria.

Around one million Muslims currently live in the country.

However, there are grave concerns that the Muslim community could be deprived of their constitutional rights of religious expression if the extremist Ataka party's leader takes power in the upcoming election.

The Bulgarian government has recently forbidden women from wearing headscarves in their passport photos and banned certain literature that focuses on Islam in moves that are widely viewed as part of a campaign against the country's Muslims.

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