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Photo: Plovdivutre.bg

  Last Friday Bulgaria’s Supreme Cassation Court, the country’s highest court of appeal, overturned the sentences of radical Pazardzhik imam Ahmed Musa and 12 others and returned the case to the Plovdiv court of appeals for a new trial. Importantly, the court determined that the Salafi ideology practiced by the accused imams is not among those “definitively established as anti-democratic movements in Islam,” that it is “determined by experts to be a religious, i.e. legitimate, movement in Islam” and that the sentences were wrongly imposed against a “contemporary ideological tendency within Sunni Islam.” Thus, the court argued that Musa and his colleagues were legitimately practicing their religion rather than engaging in subversive, anti-democratic activities as the lower court found. In doing that, the highest appeals court of the land essentially