Slovakian president vetoes religious law particularly affecting the Muslim minority

By Hasan Tosun, 3 January 2017
A law that would make it harder for Muslims and others to form religious societies is an "infringement of fundamental rights and freedoms", President Andrej Kiska said Tuesday as he vetoed the legislation. "The amendment inappropriately interferes with the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution,” Slovakian news agency TASR quoted Kiska as saying. The legislation will now return to parliament where lawmakers will attempt to override the veto. It was approved by parliament Nov. 30 after the bill was submitted by the right-wing Slovak National Party (SNS). According to the legislation, any religion would need at least 50,000 members to become official. The current threshold is 20,000.  The new law would make it harder for Muslims to open a mosque or for Islam to be an official religion. Nearly 5,000 Muslims live in Slovakia where there are no mosques and all applications for mosques have been rejected as the total number of Muslims are fewer than 20,000.


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