“You are not Europeans, you are barbarians…”
With the crowd estimated at 2,000 or more, Bulgarians took to the streets of the nation’s second largest city to protest what they consider a Muslim attempt to “Islamicise” the Balkan country, as reported on Feb. 14, 2014 by The Sofia Globe (of Sofia, Bulgaria), the Anadolu News Agency (of Ankara, Turkey), and the Bulgarian internet news portal PlovdivUtre.bg.
Seeking a court order to take possession of properties previously owned by Muslims during the rule of the former Ottoman Empire, which was finally expelled in 1878 after 500 years of oppression, the current Grant Mufti of Bulgaria’s small Muslim minority has been filing legal applications under the country’s Religious Denominations Act.
This is seen by many as something of a judicial jihad and power grab against the overwhelming Christian majority, especially with a veritable tsunami of Syrian and North African illegal Muslim immigrants swamping the country.
Despite police barricades, demonstrators hurled rocks and firecrackers at the Dzhumaya Mosque in the city of Plovdiv, chanting “freedom or death.” The marchers seemed to remember their history lessons of the 500-year Ottoman occupation which killed hundreds of thousands of Bulgarian Christians.
Protesters also shouted in unison, “Down with the MRF,” (Movement for Rights and Freedoms), a liberal, predominantly ethnic Turkish party.
Kept at a distance by local law enforcement, marchers also headed to the Turkish Consulate in Plovdiv, yelling at the officials within, “You are not Europeans, you are barbarians.”
Protesters were quoted by various media at stating:
We will not let the howling minarets to silence churches in the town of Levski.
Today blood is not shed, there were only national flags. There was love and anger.
We are only Bulgarians, who are fighting for their land. Plovdiv, come out to defend you city.