Islamophobic Attacks Increasing in Bulgaria
The Grand Mufti of Bulgaria has complained of increasing Islamophobic attacks in the country towards Muslims.
With around 250 cases of systematic attacks on Muslims and Muslim places of worship since the end of the country's communist regime 25 years ago, the Mufti Ahmet Aptullov said there had been 12 attacks since 2012.
The most recent attack was said to be on the historical Karaja Pasha Mosque led by a far-right group called Nevrakop just six weeks ago.
A cross was placed on the minaret of the mosque by Christian extremist groups, who also spray painted crosses on the mosque walls. The groups have called for all mosques in Bulgaria to be closed down.
Muslims are no foreigners to Bulgaria, with a population of around 1.5 million out of an overall population of 7.5 million people.
Most Bulgarian Muslims are ethnic Turks who settled in the region centuries ago during the Ottoman era.