SLOVAKIA has passed a law which will effectively ban Islam from gaining official status as a religion, in the latest signs of a growing anti-Muslim sentiment across Europe.
By REBECCA PERRING
The legislation hints at a dramatic changing attitude towards the religion in the past year across the continent, which has struggled to stem the escalating migrant crisis.
The former communist state has fiercely resisted European Union (EU) efforts to cope with an influx of migrants travelling into Europe by turning its back on the bloc’s introduction of migrant quotas.
But prime minister Robert Fico’s government has repeatedly said Islam has no place in Slovakia.
Attitudes toward the religion appear to reflect fear of so-called Islamisation.
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 small central European country’s population is 5.4 million and 62 per cent of it is declared Roman Catholic.