LJUBLJANA – Following the footsteps of Greece, Slovenia has produced the second hijab-clad Muslim nominee to represent its Social Liberal Party at the coming European Parliament elections later on May 25.
Faila Pasic Bisic, a women’s rights activist from a Bosnian origin, will compete for one of the eight seats allocated for Slovenia in the European parliament.
Living in Slovenia, Bisic will focus on integration of immigrants, unemployment and ethnic and religious minorities.
She is the second veiled Muslim women to seek election into the European Parliament after Greece’s Anna Stamou.
Nominated from Greece Green party, Stamou is the first veiled nominee in the European Parliament (EP) elections.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
The most prosperous of Yugoslavia’s six republics, Slovenia saw an influx of people from across the region – including Muslims – seeking work over the past 50 years, particularly with the collapse of their joint state in the early 1990s.
Slovenia broke away in 1991 and its economy boomed, while the likes of Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo descended into war.
Slovenia is home to nearly 50,000 Muslims, making up some 2.4 percent of the country’s two million people population.
A 2002 census found that it was the second largest religion in the country behind Catholicism, which has 1.1 million followers.
Muslim groups claim there are around 80,000 Muslims in the country.