In late April 2016, Hungary became the first European Union country to “constitutionally ban” Islamization in order to “promote and safeguard our heritage, our unique language, [and] Hungarian culture.”
Now the small central European country of Slovakia, which has a population is 5.4 million, where 62 per cent of it is declared Roman Catholic, does the same.
The Slovak parliament has just adopted a bill sponsored by the Slovak National Party (SNS), which 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, reports the Express.
The change will make it much harder to register Islam, which has just 2,000 supporters in Slovakia according to the latest census and no recognised mosques.
The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia estimates the number at around 5,000.
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, but it is no secret that Islam is the main target, with growing anti-Muslim sentiment across Europe.
SNS chairman Andrej Danko said:“We must do everything we can so that no mosque is built in the future.”
Prime minister Robert Fico's government has repeatedly said Islam has no place in Slovakia.
The far-right People's Party-Our Slovakia proposed to raise the religion membership bar to 250,000, but it was turned down by the parliament.
The African country Angola, which used a similar bill to ban Islam in 2013, set the bar to 100,000 members.
There, Manuel Fernando, director of Angola’s National Institute for Religious Affairs, denied reports of mosques or Muslims being targeted.
“There is no war in Angola against Islam or any other religion,” he told the AFP, while tearing down mosques.
There are roughly 90,000 Muslims in Angola now, so raising the bar could soon become a necessity.
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