Demographic study of the Muslim population in Spain

17 February 2013Población+1

In terms of national origin, the two main Muslim groups in Spain are the Spanish and the Moroccan, adding now the growing Pakistani group (a majority in some towns like Barcelona and Valencia); being the rest divided among different nationalities considered in the census made by the Observatorio Andalusi and the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE), for the year 2012.

By its geographical location, the Muslim settlements are higher in the southeastern half of the country, Andalusia, Catalonia, Madrid and Valencia, followed by Murcia, and the clear percentage of Ceuta and Melilla; having smaller presence in the northwest quadrant of the Peninsula.

The reasons to migrate and even to move around Spain are related to the economic crisis; to the search for employment and better life conditions.

Summary of the Demographic Study of Muslims in Spain

The number of Muslims in Spain has reached almost 1.6 million (1,595,221), of which 1.1 million are foreigners in opposition to the 464,978 Spanish Muslims, according to the exploitation of the census of the Muslims in Spain made by the Andalusian Observatory, the autonomous body of the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE).

The study reveals that the community with the highest number of Muslim citizens is Catalonia with 427.138 Muslims from which 66.029 are Spanish; and 361.109 are foreign; followed by Andalusia, with 252,927 Muslims from which 93,579 are Spanish and 159,348 are foreign; and Madrid, with 248,002 Muslims from which 123,952 are Spanish and 124,050 are foreigners.

On the other hand, communities with fewer people professing Islam are Cantabria, with 4.146 Muslim citizens (472 Spanish and 3.674 foreign Muslims); Asturias with 6.386 Muslims (677  Spanish and 5.709 foreign Muslims); and Galicia, with 13,151 Muslims (1.647 Spanish and 11. 504 foreign Muslims).

 

Muslims represent about 3% of the total population of inhabitants.

30% of Muslims is Spanish while 70% are immigrants (50% Moroccans and 20% of other nationality).

90% of the Muslim students have no Muslim religion classes.
90% of the Teachers of Muslim religion are unemployed.

5% of Islamic religious communities have no mosque or oratory.

95% of the Islamic communities have no cemetery.

 

Download report PDF

Oklahoma Senate panel approves bill prohibiting judges from basing decisions on foreign law

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma lawmakers are considering banning judges in the state from basing any rulings on foreign laws, including Islamic Sharia law.

r-OKLAHOMA-SHARIA-APPEAL-large570

A Senate panel on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the bill, which has broad support in the Republican-controlled Legislature. The bill would specifically make void and unenforceable any court, arbitration or administrative agency decision that doesn’t grant the parties affected by the ruling “the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions.”

“This is a way to protect American citizens … where somebody may try to use any kind of foreign law or religious law to affect the outcome of a trial,” said Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, who sponsored the bill. Shortey described it as “American Law for American Courts.”

“This bill is entirely unnecessary and creates significant uncertainty for Oklahomans married abroad as well as those Oklahomans who have adopted a child from another country or are seeking to do so,” Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said in a statement. “These Oklahoma families don’t deserve to have this type of doubt cast over them.

“It also creates an atmosphere of uncertainty for foreign businesses seeking to do business with Oklahoma businesses.”

Bans on court use of sharia/international law: heavily modified bills introduced in 2013, exempts contracts, Native American tribes, avoids using word “sharia”

This year’s batch of bans of sharia/international law use by state courts looks very different than those of the past several years. After criticism that a) past versions would effectively cripple businesses who have to sign international contracts and b) that bans on references to the law and court decisions of other nations would make the judicial determinations of tribal courts in the U.S. enforceable, most such bills have been completely rewritten. Specifically, most now specify the prohibition on the use of foreign law/sharia

  • applies only to a particular case type (such as family law or domestic relations)
  • does not infringe on the right to contract
  • does not apply to not apply to a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, etc.
  • does not apply to recognition or use of tribal court decisions in state courts
  • does not apply to ecclesiastical matters within a denomination

Even with these modifications, as in the past, most such bills are failing to advance in the legislatures.

List of bills below the fold

Bill
Does not affect right to contract freely/contract provisions
Does not apply to corporations
Does not apply to tribal court decisions
Does not apply to ecclesiastical matters/religious orgs
Other items
Status
X
X
Full faith and credit with other states suspended if they use international law
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
Full faith and credit with other states suspended if they use international law
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
X
X
Limited to Family law. Does not apply to use of English common law.
Approved by Judiciary Committee’s Civil Justice Subcommittee 2/7/13.
X
X
X
X
Limited to Family law. Does not apply to use of English common law.
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
X
X
In House Judiciary Committee.
X
In Senate Rules Committee.
X
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
In House Judiciary Committee.
X
X
In Senate (no committee).
X
Specifically uses word “sharia” Died in House Judiciary A Committee.
X
X
X
Died in House Judiciary A Committee.
X
Died in House Judiciary A Committee.
X
X
Died in Senate Judiciary A Committee.
X
X
X
X
Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/6/13.
X
In House States’ Rights Committee.
X
X
In House Rules Committee.
X
X
X
In House Rules Committee.
X
X
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
X
X
Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/12/13.
X
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
In House Judiciary Committee.
X
X
Limited to family law (divorce, marriage, parent-child relationship)
In House Judiciary Committee.
In House (no committee).
X
X
Limited to family law (divorce, marriage, parent-child relationship)
In Senate State Affairs Committee.
X
X
In House Judiciary Committee.
Does not apply to use of English common law, if enacted
Killed by full House 1/24/13.
Does not apply to use of English common law, if enacted
Died in House Judiciary Committee.
Limited to Domestic Relations (marriage, divorce, custody, visitation, support, adoption)
Withdrawn at sponsor’s request

Muslims and Evolution in the 21st Century: A Galileo Moment?

Early last month, a conference was held in London, entitled “Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution?” under the auspices of The Deen Institute, an organization which aims at promoting engagement between the Islamic tradition and modernity. The event sparked off a debate on social media and op-ed columns regarding the place of evolution in the Islamic worldview.

The conference, whose lectures were recently published online, brought together scientists like Prof. Ehab Abouheif and Prof. Fatimah Jackson with theologians like Dr Usama Hasan and the prominent Shaykh Yasir Qadhi. Also invited was Dr. Oktar Babuna, representing the hardcore creationist ideas of Harun Yahya, who is deemed by many Muslim scholars to be a charlatan. Sadly, by the end of the day, Babuna was reduced to such a laughing stock that even Qadhi distanced himself from him.

Some commentators have described this conference as marking a Galileo moment for Muslims. I would argue that this isn’t quite the case, as Islamic religious authority is decentralized, and there is no formal ‘religious establishment’ that has binding authority over Muslims. With even the historic center for Sunni learning, al-Azhar University, and influential scholars like al-Qaradawi accepting that Muslims could believe in evolution–though neither seems to–it doesn’t seem like this is a serious issue in theology. Rather it seems to be so only in the popular Muslim consciousness. As Muslims continue in the path of learning, as encouraged by the Prophet, I hope that a more nuanced attitude to this issue will emerge at a popular level, and then we can focus on more important discussions like that of climate change or alleviating poverty. This conference was an important step in that direction.

Celebrating Darwin: Religion And Science Are Closer Than You Think

The MIT Survey on Science, Religion and Origins, which we’re officially publishing today in honor of Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday. We found that only 11 percent of Americans belong to religions openly rejecting evolution or our Big Bang. So if someone you know has the same stressful predicament as my student, chances are that they can relax as well. To find out for sure, check out this infographic.

So is there a conflict between science and religion? The religious organizations representing most Americans clearly don’t think so. Interestingly, the science organizations representing most American scientists don’t think so either: For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science states that science and religion “live together quite comfortably, including in the minds of many scientists.” This shows that the main divide in the U.S. origins debate isn’t between science and religion, but between a small fundamentalist minority and mainstream religious communities who embrace science.

So is there a conflict between science and religion? The religious organizations representing most Americans clearly don’t think so. Interestingly, the science organizations representing most American scientists don’t think so either: For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science states that science and religion “live together quite comfortably, including in the minds of many scientists.” This shows that the main divide in the U.S. origins debate isn’t between science and religion, but between a small fundamentalist minority and mainstream religious communities who embrace science.

U.S. Muslim Group Offers ‘Best Wishes’ to Resigning Pope, Seeks Positive Relations with New Pontiff

In a statement reacting to Pope Benedict’s decision to step down at the end of this month, Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:

“We offer the American Muslim community’s best wishes to Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves his position as head of the Roman Catholic Church.

“In recent years — and despite some passing controversies — relations between Muslims and Catholics have strengthened, particularly on issues related to social justice and family values.

“We look forward to continued and growing positive interfaith relations under the new pontiff as Muslims in the United States and worldwide join with people of all faiths and cultures who seek to make a better world.”

Who should regulate kosher and halal food?

Food and religion–A meaty question?

KEEPING the government’s nose out of anything with a religious whiff is one of America’s founding principles. With this in mind on January 31st a federal district judge in Minnesota dismissed a lawsuit contending that Hebrew National, a big American meat-products brand, fraudulently labelled its hot dogs “100% kosher”. Critics had claimed that the meat used did not meet kosher requirements. The judge, however, ruled that since kosher is a standard “intrinsically religious in nature”, under the first amendment it was none of the court’s business. Triangle K, the certifying body that gave the wieners the kosher seal of approval, and its Orthodox rabbis, would have to rebut the critics themselves. Unhappy customers could always shop elsewhere.

Few Western countries have laws explicitly regulating kosher or halal products—chiefly meat produced by the ritual slaughter of animals, subject to particular standards of health or hygiene. Governments prefer to rely on private companies and market forces to do the job.

America has been battling with this issue for decades. Of its 50 states, 22 have introduced kosher-fraud laws over the past century. Anxious about the industry’s rampant corruption (half of all “kosher” food was not), price-fixing and bitter rivalries (including drive-by shootings in poultry markets), New York started the trend in 1915 with a bill saying that food labelled fit for Jews must comply with “orthodox Hebrew religious requirements”. But in the past 20 years courts in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York have deemed such laws unconstitutional. New Jersey firms must merely produce documentary proof that their products are kosher.

Still, Jews are more united than Muslims about the exact nature of their religion’s dietary rules. Jewish law leaves no doubt that stunning animals before slaughter is prohibited. Muslims disagree about that. Hundreds of halal-certification bodies operate, with varying standards and logos. They differ in their methods of slaughter.

The importance of the halal label spreads well beyond food. Many of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims want reassurances that medicines and make-up, for example, are free from animal products or alcohol. Websites are abuzz with the news of a halal nail varnish produced in Poland. Just don’t test it on animals.

Muslim MPs come under pressure over the gay marriage voting

16 February 2013

 

Recently passed gay marriage law which enabled gay couples to marry in religious institutions have angered Muslim community since homosexuality is banned under the Islamic law. However, their feelings have become stronger after the voting in the Parliament since five Muslim MP voted in favor of the gay marriage. Muslim MPs came under harsh criticism from Muslim groups, some of those accused the MPs with “apostasy”.

 

It has been also reported that some of the MPs have received death threats over the vote. According to Daily Mail, Sadiq Khan, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary has received death threats after voting in favour of gay marriage. Police have told Sadiq Khan, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, that the threats are credible enough that he should review the security around him and his family following the Commons vote.

 

Mufti Muhammed Aslam Naqshbandi Bandhalevi, who is the head imam of the Jamia Islamia Rizvia mosque in Bradford, has issued a fatwa, or ruling, declaring Mr Khan an ‘apostate’ from Islam and said he should ‘repent before Allah’.

 

Hizbut Tahrir Britain said “some people hold up these MPs as examples for young Muslims to follow yet nothing could be further from the truth”.

 

Horse meat scandal reveals halal meal scandal

15.02.2012

Le Point

The recent discovery of horse meat being falsely sold as beef throughout Europe has uncovered another meat scandal which particularly concerns the Muslim communities in Europe. The French Council of the Muslim faith is worried that a Dutch intermediary who was involved in the horse meat scandal has also sold false halal meat to Muslims in France.

The weekly magazine Paris Match reports that the meat salesman was convicted last year for the sale of falsely as halal classified meat between the years of 2007 and 2009, which has also been sold in France. The French Council of Muslim Faith reacted outraged and in shock about the lack of information on such a scandal amongst meat consumers and demands the authorities to publish the names of the companies which have been implicated by the scandal.

France’s enemy from within

French Secretary of State, Manuel Valls, has warned of the dangers of Islamic radicalisation in France. In an interview published by Le Parisien, Valls voices his concern about the state of Islamic radicalism in the country and estimates that there are dozens of more new Merahs in the country who need to be fought against.

According to him, France is fighting an “exterior enemy” in Mali whilst simultaneously fighting on a battlefront against the “enemy from within”, Muslim radicals, in France itself. As a result of France’s battle against fundamentalists, the government has dismantled a number of radical groups in the country and threatened with the deportation of radical preachers.

He calls on “French Islam” to ally itself with French imams educated in the country’s universities “who speak French and preach in French”.  He however also speaks of the financial situations of mosques and raises the question of looking into who is behind the funding of mosques, whether its “friendly states or not”.