Slovakia passed legislation on Wednesday that effectively bans Islam from gaining official status as a religion in the near future, signifying the growing anti-Muslim sentiment that has rapidly spread across the European Union.
Prime Minister Robert Fico’s has said in the past that Islam has no place in Slovakia, and the government has followed through with this view by strongly opposing EU efforts to cope with the influx Muslim migrants into Europe since 2015, by opposing quotas to share out asylum seekers among EU members, Reuters reported.
Parliament adopted a bill sponsored by the Slovak National Party (SNS) which requires that a religion must have at least 50,000 members to qualify for state subsidies and to run its own schools. This bill increases the membership requirement from the 20,000 needed before.
The legislation was approved by a two-thirds majority in parliament comprising both ruling and opposition parties.
This change will make it much harder to register Islam as a religion, since there are only 2,000 followers currently in Slovakia according to the last census and no recognised mosques. The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia estimates this number is actually closer to 5,000.
“Islamisation starts with a kebab and it’s already under way in Bratislava, let’s realise what we can face in five to 10 years … We must do everything we can so that no mosque is built in the future,” said SNS chairman Andrej Danko.
Danko has called for a ban on the wearing of burqas in public and a ban on the construction of mosques and minarets.
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