The claim that there is no radical Islam in Bulgaria is untrue, Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov said on Wednesday. He was participating in a round table initiated by Krassimir Karakachanov, Co-Chairman of the National Assembly and the Patriotic Front, as well as Chairman of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation. The forum, titled “Radical Islamism – a threat to the national security of Bulgaria” gathered MPs, representatives of the State Agency for National Security (SANS) and other anti-terrorist institutions.

 

The claims that there is no ground or budding radical Islam in Bulgaria are, to put it mildly, untrue, Tsatsarov thinks.

 

The Prosecutor General is no supporter of total state intervention in the functioning of religious institutions but he also thinks a “slightly increased” role could be useful. In his opinion, there is a need of revisions to the Religious Denominations Act because the current registration procedure for the leaderships of the denominations is not the best. The role of the Directorate of Religious Affairs should also be increased, Tsatsarov thinks. According to him, the state should also regulate higher religious education and the relevant right to preach or serve, without intervention in the autonomy of the relevant religious institution, but at least has to introduce some minimum requirements.

 

The Criminal Code should feature a clear definition of “radical Islam”, Tsatsarov also said so that it could be interpreted correctly by the law-enforcement authorities. The Prosecutor General cited as examples the trials in Pazardzhik where charges of war propaganda, not preaching radical Islam were raised.