BRATISLAVA – Slovakian parliament passed a legislation on Wednesday, November 30, that effectively prevents Islam from being registered as a state religion in the near future.
“Islamization starts with a kebab and it’s already under way in Bratislava, let’s realize what we can face in five to 10 years … We must do everything we can so that no mosque is built in the future,” Slovak National Party (SNS) chairman Andrej Danko said earlier, Reuters reported.
The bill, sponsored by the SNS, junior member in Fico’s coalition, requires a religion to have at least 50,000 members, up from 20,000, to qualify for state subsidies and to run its own schools.
The change will make it much harder to register Islam, which has just 2,000 adherents in Slovakia according to the last census and no recognized mosques.
The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia estimates the number at around 5,000.
The law was approved by a two-thirds majority in parliament, comprising both ruling and opposition parties.
Lawmakers turned down a proposal by the opposition far-right People’s Party-Our Slovakia to raise the religion membership bar to 250,000.
The SNS said the new law was meant to prevent speculative registrations of churches, such as the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which has amassed followers worldwide.
The small central European country’s population is 5.4 million; 62 percent of it is declared Roman Catholic.
Danko had called for steps to prevent the registration of Islam and ban the wearing of burqas in public and the construction of mosques and minarets.