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SLOVAKIA has passed a law which will effectively ban Islam from gaining official status as a religion, in the latest signs of a growing anti-Muslim sentiment across Europe.
Rebecca Perring | Express UK Media | London | Dec 2, 2016:: The legislation hints at a dramatic changing attitude towards the religion in the past year across the continent, which has struggled to stem the escalating migrant crisis.
The former communist state has fiercely resisted European Union (EU) efforts to cope with an influx of migrants travelling into Europe by turning its back on the bloc’s introduction of migrant quotas.
But prime minister Robert Fico’s government has repeatedly said Islam has no place in Slovakia.
Attitudes toward the religion appear to reflect fear of so-called Islamisation.
Parliament adopted a bill sponsored by the Slovak National Party (SNS), which requires a religion to have at least 50,000 members, up from 20,000, to qualify for state subsidies and to run its own schools.
The change will make it much harder to register Islam, which has just 2,000 supporters in Slovakia according to the latest census and no recognised mosques.
The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia estimates the number at around 5,000.
The SNS said the new law was meant to prevent speculative registrations of churches, such as the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which has amassed followers worldwide.
SNS chairman Andrej Danko said:“We must do everything we can so that no mosque is built in the future in Slovakia.”
The law was approved by a two-thirds majority in parliament comprising both ruling and opposition parties. Lawmakers turned down a proposal by the opposition far-right People’s Party-Our Slovakia to raise the religion membership bar to 250,000.
The small central European country’s population is 5.4 million and 62 per cent of it is declared Roman Catholic.
Mr Danko has previously called for steps to prevent the registration of Islam and ban the wearing of burkas in public.
A series of Islamist terror attacks across Europe has stoked an anti-Muslim feeling across the continent, making way for far-right, anti-immigrant parties.
Courtesy : Express UK