The Slovakian Parliament passed a bill on Wednesday that will require a religion to have 50,000 followers to be officially recognized.
While American Muslims are feeling the pressure building up against them, with many of them feeling that being a Muslim in the US is today more difficult than ever, Slovakia took to an extreme step to prevent the spread of Islam in the country. It tightened its laws so that Islam can no longer be recognized as a religion in Slovakia.
There are currently 2000 Muslims in Slovakia. The new bill, which was proposed by the Slovak National Party (SNS), states that a religion should have at least 50,000 adherents to be officially registered as a religion. This will prevent Islam from being recognized as a religion for many years. This law will also stop Muslims from receiving any state-funded subsidies.
Slovakia, which has been strongly anti-Islamic, does not have a single mosque. The 5.4 million population-strong country strongly opposed allowing of refugees into the country. The largely Roman Catholic country defied the European Parliament’s suggestion to take in Muslim refugees from Turkey in July. The prime minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, declared that Muslims weren’t welcome in Slovakia. The prime minister also urged Slovakian politicians to discuss the issue of curbing rights for Muslims openly because he believes that Muslims create trouble in whichever country they go to. The Premier did not hesitate to say openly that he didn’t want the Muslim population to grow in Slovakia, and so affirmed that he would take stiff steps to curb the community from growing.
The bill was passed by the Parliament with a two-third majority, by members of the Parliament from both, the ruling as well as the opposition parties. The original plan to keep the threshold at 250,000 was blocked.
The ruling SNS party claims that the law is actually meant to prevent the rise of new-fangled churches like the Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. However, it’s not difficult to gauge the actual intention from the country’s undisguised hostility towards Islam. In fact, the SNS party’s president, Andrej Danko, warned that if left unchecked, Islam would pose a serious problem for the country in the next 10 years. He added that the Slovakian government should do everything possible to make sure that no mosque is built is Slovakia, ever.
The legislation, which was passed on Wednesday, has raised the threshold for recognizing a religion by 30,000. Although official sources say that the country has 2,000 Muslims, The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia maintains that the actual number is 5,000.