Bulgaria is the EU member state with the largest Muslim population. According to the 2011 census, the total number of self-identified Muslims in the country is 651,341, or about 13.5% of those who profess religion, while the Turkish minority alone is 612,541; they are of Turkish, Bulgarian and Gypsy ethnic origin. Most Bulgarian Muslims are Sunnis, as Sunnism is a form of Islam officially supported by the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the country for five centuries. Shiite sects, such as the Kazalbashi and Bektashi, are also represented. Muslims in Bulgaria have over 1,300 mosques.
Mustafa Alish Hadji was re-elected Chief Mufti of the Muslims in Bulgaria at their highest forum – the National Muslim Conference, convened by the Chief Mufti’s Office in the Republic of Bulgaria.
The forum, which took place today at the National Palace of Culture, was attended by nearly 1,200 delegates and over 100 guests, including MRF Chairman Mustafa Karadayi and Turkish Ambassador to Bulgaria Eileen Sekizkyok, BTA reported.
Earlier today at the forum, Mustafa Hadji reviewed the work done by the Chief Mufti over the past years, highlighted the successes and outlined the upcoming challenges in the organization of religious affairs.
As the main task in the work of the Chief Mufti for the next five years, Mustafa Hadji noted the provision of better salaries to employees of the Muslim faith and in particular the imams. According to him, for this purpose it is necessary for all employees to work together and to commit to explain the activities of the religion, as well as the need to support this activity by all Muslims.
In second place, Mustafa Hadji put the increase in religious and pedagogical training. He also identified the expansion of the functions of the Waqfi department as an important task, which he said will contribute to the better exploitation of the waqfs of the Muslim faith. Also, according to Mustafa Hadji, attention should be paid to the possibilities for acquiring new waqf properties.
According to Mustafa Hadji, the urgent task of the “Education” department in the Chief Mufti’s Office is to improve the educational process in theological schools. Social activity is also an important factor in society, which is why in the future attempts will be made to export this activity outside the country, where the first steps have already been taken, said the re-elected Chief Mufti Mustafa Hadji.
According to information from the Administration of the Head of State of Bulgaria, President Rumen Radev met with the Chief Mufti of the Muslim faith in Bulgaria Dr. Mustafa Hadji even before the holy month, at the end of which they celebrate the great holiday of Ramadan Bayram. the topic of maintaining Muslim temples in the country and the accreditation of the Higher Islamic Institute was discussed. President Radev and Chief Mufti Hadji agreed that joint efforts should be made to prevent radicalization among young people by affirming the traditional values of religion. Religions play an important role in fostering a sustainable value system in society.
Source: Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA)