Anti-Semitism and Islamofobia in Bulgaria. Actual legal and sociological aspects - di Irena Ilieva

SOMMARIO: 1. Introduction – 2. Statistical data – 3. The Muslim community – 4. The Jewish community – 5. General overview of the relevant law provisions in Bulgaria – 6. Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and the political rights according to the domestic legislation – 7. The Law on Protection against Discrimination, the concept of “positive” discrimination and some new case-laws - 8. Religious Rights and Freedoms – 9. Criminal Law – 10. Some conclusions.

ABSTRACT: The article is aimed at presenting briefly the actual legal regulation of protection of the religious rights of the individuals belonging to the Muslim and the Jewish communities in Bulgaria. The author has tried to combine the legal issues with some recent sociological studies on Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and the related violence and crimes. The phenomena Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are based on the presence of Muslim and Jewish communities in Bulgaria. The article gives some recent statistical data on Turks (Muslims) and Jews in the country according to the last census in 2011. The focus of the study is on the domestic legislation, especially the political rights, the protection against discrimination, the notion of “positive discrimination”, the religious rights and freedoms and the relevant Bulgarian criminal law. This legal regulation is analyzed in the light of Art. 5, Para. 4 of the Bulgarian Constitution which stipulates the primacy of the obligations under the International Public Law. Some relevant case-law is quoted. The legal analysis demonstrates the fact that there are no legal definitions of “Anti-Semitism” and “Islamophobia”. A general conclusion is drawn about the compatibility of the Bulgarian system for protection of individuals that belong to minorities with the international obligations.