“Slovakia passed legislation on Wednesday to effectively block Islam from gaining official status as a religion in the near future in the latest sign of growing anti-Muslim sentiment across the European Union.
The former communist state has fiercely resisted EU efforts to cope with a big influx of mainly Muslim migrants into Europe since 2015, in part by opposing quotas to share out asylum seekers among EU members. Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government has said Islam has no place in Slovakia.
Parliament adopted a bill sponsored by the Slovak National Party (SNS), junior member in Fico’s coalition, that 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.
The change will make it much harder to register Islam, which has just 2,000 adherents in Slovakia according to the last census and no recognised mosques. The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia estimates the number at around 5,000.”