Bulgaria: Raid on Islamist organization, imams demand apology

Bulgaria: Raid on Islamist organization, imams demand apology

Al-Waqf Al-Islam has headquarters in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands.

Via Sofia Echo:

An unregistered branch of Islamist organisation Al-Waqf Al-Islam was bust in a joint operation by prosecutors, the Interior Ministry and the State Agency for National Security on October 6 2010, Bulgaria's Interior Ministry said.

District prosecutors from Blagoevgrad, Pazardjik and Smolyan were involved in the raid.

During the raid, conducted at homes and offices, a large amount of propaganda material preaching religious hatred and the overthrow of Bulgaria’s constitutional order was found, along with financial documents showing illegal financial transactions and violations of tax laws, according to the ministry.

An organisation by that name was registered in Bulgaria in 1993. It has been involved in the financing of more than 150 mosques built in Bulgaria in recent years. In 1999, its representative in Bulgaria, Abdulrahim Taha, was expelled from Bulgaria for reasons of national security.

The October 6 Interior Ministry statement described the organisation that had been raided as unregistered.

The Eindhoeven headquarters have been the subject of monitoring by Western intelligence services. A 2002 report by the Netherlands intelligence service report alleged that Al-Waqf Al-Islam was linked to the propagation of radical Islam.

The Interior Ministry statement said that the organisation was funded by circles in Saudi Arabia.

Via Novinite:

Bulgarian Imams are staging a national meeting to issue a joint declaration asking the authorities and Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, for official apologies.

The statement was made Thursday in a TV interview by the Blagoevgrad Regional Mufti, Aydan Mohamed in the village of Lazhnitsa, just one day after the Bulgarian National Agency for State Security (DANS), the anti-mafia police, and the Prosecutor's Office carried out a special operation against the alleged illegal Bulgarian branch of the extremist Al Waqf al Islami Foundaton.

The operation stirred strong tensions in Lazhnitsa prompting many of the villagers to gather in front of the raided house of Imam, Mohamed Kamber, as a sign of support.

Kamber told the TV reporter he is outraged and offended and will seek justice after the authorities complete the probe of the seized documents. The police informs they found a large number of propaganda brochures with radical Islam content, promoting religious hate and change of the Bulgarian constitution while, according to Kamber, these were 1 000-years-old Islam books about purity, prayer, marriage and divorce.

The Imam reiterated there is no terrorism in Islam which forbids killing innocent victims, adding the fact that some use the religion as excuse for terrorist attacks somewhere around the globe should not reflect on the entire Muslim community.