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Slovakia adopts law barring Islam from becoming state religion

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Participants hold flags and a banner during an anti-refugee rally organized by an initiative called “Stop Islamization of Europe” in Bratislava, Slovakia, September 12, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Slovakia has adopted a law, which effectively prevents Islam from becoming an official state religion in the country amid surging anti-Muslim sentiments across Europe.

The legislation, which had been proposed by far-right Slovak National Party (SNS), held that a religion needs to have at least 50,000 members, up from 20,000, so it could be registered as official.

It earned support from two-thirds of the parliament, which blocked another proposal that any religion had to have 250,000 followers so it can be considered an official faith.

The party’s Chairman Andrej Danko said, “We must do everything we can so that no mosque is built in the future.”

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico has said “Islam has no place” in the country.

Muslims forced out of German Christmas market

In Germany, Muslims, who had set up an information stand at a Chrismas market in the town of Rudesheim on the Rhine, were ordered to leave.

Locals had alerted the police, citing “security concerns” after members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which has some 40,000 supporters in the country, started to put up the booth.

Others had also complained that the move was not in keeping with the Christmas mood.

Judge takes issue with veil

Separately, a judge in New South Wales (NSW), Australia refused to hear a case from a Muslim woman unless she would remove her veil, saying failure to do so on the part of the plaintiff would obstruct justice.

Moutia Elzahed was attending a session held to address her complaint that she had been punched by the police in the face as the law enforcement agents were carrying out a raid against her house over “terrorism” suspicions.

The police had broken down the door to the residence, forcing Elzahed to cover herself with a blanket. They then tried to remove the blanket and threw the blow as she refused their efforts, she said.

NSW District Court Judge, Audrey Balla said the complainant had to remove the veil as it would prevent him from reading her expression.

Her counsel Clive Evatt explained, “I’m instructed that she’s of the Muslim religion and it’s against her religion to reveal her face to men, although not to women,” adding, “Therefore, I’m instructed she will not remove her veil, if that’s the correct expression, or whatever it is.”

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