Bulgarian Mayor Defends Imam against Radical Islam Charges
Mustafa Alikanov, Mayor of the southern Bulgarian town of Sarnitsa, has defended a local imam, who, alongside 12 other people was charged Monday with preaching radical Islam. According to Alikanov, the accusations against Said Muutlu are unfounded and will have a negative impact on the tourist season in Sarnitsa.
The Mayor of Sarnitsa told journalists Tuesday that the alleged head of the Bulgarian branch of the Al Waqf-Al Islami foundation was still delivering lectures and sermons at one of the three mosques in the town.
He said that Muutlu had always observed permissible limits, preaching the translated Quran.
Alikanov stressed that officials from the US Embassy and of the Bulgarian Chief Mufti's Office had visited Sarnitsa over a month ago to examine the case and had concluded that it was all about attempts at defamation.
The Mayor insisted that the residents of the southern Bulgarian town stood firmly behind the imam and his sermons. (...)