The law, which amends the criminal code and passed the first reading in the parliament, criminalizes the promotion of radical Islam, including advocating for violent jihad, a caliphate and sharia law, Breitbart reported.
The law makes promoting any ideology of violence or promoting the replacement of the nation’s laws or constitution criminal. It also criminalizes the “forcible application of religious principles, “promoting a “[violent] sacred war against non-Muslims” and “agitating for the creation of an Islamic State [i.e., caliphate].”
The law is not meant as an attack on the religion of Islam but rather addresses the extremist Islamist ideology, Bulgarian MP Boris Yachev told Breibart. “Radical Islam is a particularly aggressive and dangerous ideology that justifies violence and the murder of [infidels],” Yachev said, adding that the ideology also excused “slavery and genocide” as a “systemic policy.”
As of 2017, Bulgaria’s Muslim’s account for 15 percent of its total 7.1 million population, one of the largest percentages in Europe. In October, Deputy Prime Minister Krasimir Karakachanov said in a speech, “It turns out that problems [with radical Islam] we see in a number of European countries already exist in Bulgaria.”
Karakachanov blamed “extremely liberal” laws for the proliferation of radical Islam in the country as well as “financing by private structures of religious communities.”
Clarion has examined the question of how much of a minority radicals in Islam really are. We presented our findings in our short film By The Numbers (watch below), which looked at a cross section of poll data to assess the extent of various radical views across the Muslim world.
Now we are looking at why minorities are able to have such outsized impacts on the wider world. To do that, we turn to the work of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a writer, statistician and risk analyst with a background in finance. One chapter of his new book, Skin in the Game, deals with “the dictatorship of the small minority.”
Taleb argues that intolerant minorities are able to set the agenda in human affairs not in spite of the tolerant majority, but because of them. “It suffices for an intransigent minority –a certain type of intransigent minorities –to reach a minutely small level, say three or four percent of the total population, for the entire population to have to submit to their preferences,” Taleb writes.
“Further, an optical illusion comes with the dominance of the minority: a naive observer would be under the impression that the choices and preferences are those of the majority.”
This occurs because the intolerant minority will not alter their preferences in the face of criticism, whereas the tolerant majority will allow themselves to go along with the intolerant minority’s preference for sake of group cohesion and civic harmony.
He uses an example of a family whose daughter decides to only eat non-GMO food. For simplicity, the entire family switches to this diet. When they attend a barbeque in the neighborhood, the hosts provide non-GMO food for everyone, for the same reason, it’s easier to go along with it.
This impacts the local grocery store, which will now alter its stock to fit increased demand for non-GMO food. Thus, even though only one person actually made the shift to eat non-GMO, that decision impacted the whole neighborhood. (And that was how the giant supermarket chains in UK are now forced to sell only Halal food in their stores.)
Such patterns follow for moral principles as well. Because of the impact a committed follower of a particular rule can have, Taleb argues, “once a moral rule is established, it would suffice to have a small intransigent minority of geographically distributed followers to dictate the norm in society.”
With regard to radical Islam, Taleb sees the small minority of extremists as easily able to capitalize on the tolerance of those around them, with more extreme strains more able to dominate the conversation precisely because of their intolerance.
“As I am writing these lines, people are disputing whether the freedom of the enlightened West can be undermined by the intrusive policies that would be needed to fight Salafi fundamentalists,” he says. “We can answer these points using the minority rule. Yes, an intolerant minority can control and destroy democracy. Actually, as we saw, it will eventually destroy our world.
“So, we need to be more than intolerant with some intolerant minorities. It is not permissible to use ‘American values’ or ‘Western principles’ in treating intolerant Salafism (which denies other peoples’ right to have their own religion). The West is currently in the process of committing suicide.”
Understanding this notion can help the struggle against radical Islam in two ways. Firstly it puts the problem into perspective, helping people explain the apparent contradiction between a relatively small number of extremists having such an outsized impact on public life. It thus helps lessen unwarranted discrimination against Muslims in the aggregate.