Portugal in the sight of Spanish jihadists

June 08, 2014

Spain’s greatest experts on Jihadism, are unanimous: the Portuguese authorities have reasons for concern. “Portugal must be very alert to the movements of jihadists in the territory and for the radicalization within and outside its frontiers” warns Fernando Reinares, principal investigator of the International Terrorism Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid. The same opinion is shared by Oscar Perez Ventura, director of the Department of Analysis of Terrorism and Organized Crime adding: “These Iberian jihadists are considered very dangerous.”

Manuel Torres Soriano, University Professor and author of “Al Andalus, 2.0” emphasises “attention, that all these mentions of these groups to the recovery of Andalusia refer also to Portugal. The jihadists do not believe in national divisions, but in the existence of a unique Muslim community who embraces the entire peninsula.”

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

More than a million and a half Muslims in Spain celebrate the Feast of the Sacrifice

26 October 2012

More than a million and a half Muslims in Spain celebrate the Feast of  the Sacrifice in which they must sacrifice a lamb in remembrance of the moment when God asked Abraham’s sacrifice of his eldest son, and then changed it to a lamb.
Furthermore, this event is the culmination of the pilgrimage to Mecca that currently millions of Muslims are making around the world, including 1,500 who left last Wednesday from the Spanish areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Andalusia.
Speaking to Europa Press, the president of the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE) Riay Tatary, said that the number of lambs to be sacrificed in Spain these days depends on the area because, some Muslim families have “donated their sacrifices” to the needy countries like Palestine, Syria, Mali or Somalia.

Coín the first municipality outside Catalonia to impose a ban on the burqa and niqab

Coín Town Council (in the province of Malaga, Andalusia), led by a coalition formed by the Socialist and Andalusian Party, is the first municipality outside of Catalonia to instate a ban on the burqa and niqab. According to a member of the Council, there are at least three cases of women wearing the burqa whose husbands do not allow them to leave their homes.

Muslim municipal councillor resigns

Fatima Mohamed, municipal councilor at Gines city Council (a small town in Seville) and member of the conservative Popular Party, resigned. She declared that she was being discriminated by her own party because she wore the hijab. She also stated that the Popular Party had used her in order to “sell integration”, but that her opinion in favor of the wearing of the hijab had caused her to be rejected by key members of the Popular Party in Andalusia.

Digital Islamic channel in Spain

The first Islamic digital TV channel in Spain is going to be launched next August, coinciding with the beginning of Ramadan. The channel is promoted and financed by the Saudi sheikh Abdelaziz Al Fawzan. It might be called “Cordoba” and its headquarters are to be in Andalusia, most likely in the city of Granada or in Cordoba itself. The content on the channel is going to be similar to other religious channels promoted by Saudi Arabia including Iqraa or Saudi Channel. The channel is also going to broadcast in other Spanish speaking countries.

Spain recognizes Morisco population

The Spanish parliament will vote on an initiative to recognize the injustice done to the Moors expelled from the country 400 years ago. The non-legislative proposal asks the government to take action to strengthen economic, social and cultural ties to the descendants of the Moors expelled from Spanish territory in the seventeenth century.

The proposal comes after a request by the Islamic Board to this effect in 2007, and is based on a precedent set by the country’s recognition of the Sephardim. The Spanish Federation of Muslims in Spain called the proposal a “positive step”, Europa Press reports.

“Arab House” intuition publishes Spain’s first Muslim guide

Spain has released a guide on the Muslim community in the country. The guide includes such data such as demographic information and information about mosques and/or places of worship. According to the guide, there are approximately 1.3 Muslims in Spain, with Moroccans, Algerians, Pakistanis, and Senegalese making up the majority. Previous estimates put the number at about 1.5 million out of a total of 40 million in the country. Approximately 300,000 Muslims live in the north-eastern province of Catalonia, 120,000 in Andalusia, and 80,000 in the capital city of Madrid. The guide also shows that there are nearly 400 mosques and prayer spaces in the country, but only 13 “big” mosques and Islamic centers. The guide was released by the Arab House Institution of the immigration Ministry.

Muslim presence growing in Spain

The Union of Muslim communities in Spain (UCIDE) claims that 1.13 million Spaniards (2.5% of the country’s residents) are Muslims, reports Vatican Radio. The largest group includes Moroccan immigrants, numbering approximately 565,000. There are also almost 35,000 native Spaniards who are converts to Islam. UCIDE is pushing for Islamic religion classes to be held in public schools of four Spanish regions with the highest concentrations of Muslims – Catalonia, Madrid, Andalusia, and Valencia.

More than 900 Africans died in 2007 on way to Spain

At least 921 would-be immigrants died in 2007 in attempts to reach Spain from Africa, according to a Spanish human rights group. The figure only reflected confirmed deaths, said the Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos Andalusia, putting the real death toll at an alarming minimum of 3,500. Most deaths of the victims resulted from drowning, or hunger and thirst aboard their vessels. Among the confirmed victims, 287 came from Maghreb countries including Morocco and Algeria, while the other 629 were from other African countries; five were from Asia. The organization said that Spain and the European Union continued to ignore the root causes of emigration, and these kinds of casualties are the result of adopting extremely repressive frontier policies.