Burqa law ban in Catalonia

In 2010 a ban against women wearing burqas in public buildings was approved by the city of Lleida in Catalonia. Women who would disobey such ban would incur in a fine between €300 and €600. The ban was adopted by several other localities in the area on the basis of public space control and public safety.

Later in 2013, all bans against the use of burqas and niqab in the region of Catalonia were annulled by theSpanish Supreme Court claiming that local authorities do not have the juridical right to legislate about fundamental rights.

Following the Strasbourg Court recent conclusions that the use of burqa or niqab in public buildings is not against the European Convention of Human Rights, the Catalonian Government announced that they will begin to prepare a new set of laws to regulate the use of integral veils and burqas in these spaces. The new conclusion of the European Court opens according to the Catalonia Government a new perspective that concerns the women’s right of dignity.

Spanish police conducting 368 investigations into Islamist terrorism

July 9, 2014

Right now there are 837 terrorism investigations underway in Spain, of which 368 involve Islamist groups, according to counter-terrorism sources.

The Interior Ministry considers that the risk of a new Islamist attack in Spain is “high,” and the government has activated a Level 2 alert because of the “probable risk of an attack.”

The main hubs of radical Islam activities are in Catalonia, the Mediterranean and the exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. The greatest threat comes from local self-radicalized groups and lone wolves, who find inspiration in the idea of global jihad preached by Al Qaeda. But authorities are chiefly concerned about Islamist combatants returning home after fighting in Syria and Mali.

A judge issues the first condemnation for Islamophobia in Catalonia

March 5, 2014

 

The Judge of a Barcelona Court, ​​María Pilar Calvo, has condemned Jaime T., the website administrator of “denunciascivicas.com”, to two years in prison for inciting hate and violence against Islam and for disseminating anti-Islamic beliefs. The condemnation is the first Islamophobia related condemnation in Catalonia.

Denunciascivicas.com, which has received at least 21,240 visits, contains material praising the Third Reich in Germany. It also encourages readers to carry out similar crimes against Muslims.

Police arrested the IT administrator in March 2011 and seized all kinds of xenophobic paraphernalia, such as photos of Adolf Hitler and swastikas, along with numerous videos from his computer which show him making anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim speeches.

But the man’s two-year sentence judgment — the first for Islamophobia in Catalonia — may be suspended if the defendant agrees to attend a human rights course and does not commit a new crime within three years.

In Catalonia the legal framing of anti-racist and anti-xenophobic laws is defined by the Spanish Constitution of 1978, by the Autonomous Status of Catalonia, Organic law 6/2006 from 19 of July 2006 and by the Organic Law of 4/2000.

 

http://www.thelocal.es/20140305/a-judge-gives-first-conviction-for-islamophobia-in-catalunya

http://www.diba.cat/documents/29578/9eaca6eb-7020-46b8-933c-a789eba1a686

http://noticias.juridicas.com/base_datos/Admin/lo4-2000.t1.html

Hundreds of extremists in Catalonia willing to act

December 16, 2013

 

In response to the expansion of Salafi-Wahabi extremism across Europe, Spanish State security has deployed a dense network of agents throughout Catalonia that have woven a stealthy early warning system for detecting terrorist threats from radical Islamist groups that have arrived to gain new supporters in the Catalan community. Several “conferences” held by Salafists in Catalonia during 2013 confirm the growing importance of Islamic extremism in Catalonia.

The general situation is as follows: although there has not been any recent terrorist activities in Spain, the danger posed by extremists has not disappeared. Instead, the jihadist message grows, especially in Catalonia. For example, security forces in the Barcelona area have calculated that the number of extremists willing to promote elaborate, violent actions is in the hundreds.

 

La vanguardia: http://www.lavanguardia.com/sucesos/20131215/54396209083/centenar-yihadistas-catalunya-dispuestos-actuar.html

Radical Islam in Spain: Summary of the Real Instituto Elcano Report

November 18, 2013

 

1) Seven out of ten Spanish jihadists become radicalized in Spain (homegrown terrorists).

2) They are concentrated in Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia and Ceuta.

3) It takes four to five years to become terrorists.

How are jihadist terrorists radicalized in Spain ? How long does it take them ? Where does this happens? These are some of the answers offered by the Real Instituto Elcano in an investigation that has just been published and signed by experts Fernando Reinares and Carola García-Calvo, who have been assessing Islamist terrorism cases from 1996 to 2012 .

The most striking finding of the report is that radicalization has become a “native” phenomenon in Spain: seven out of ten of those who become jihadists do it on Spanish territory. In terms of age, radicalism has greater impact on those under 30 years with  individuals in their twenties  being the most vulnerable.

However, it is not a widespread phenomenon throughout Spain. 90 per cent of Salafi radicalization cases have been recorded in particular in Madrid, Valencia , Catalonia and Ceuta, places where there is a large Muslim community.

During the research, the authors found a singularity of the ‘ Spanish ‘ phenomenon compared to other countries, as for example in the UK : most cases of recruitment and radicalization does not occur in places of worship, like mosques or Islamic cultural centers, but in private homes.

Once the individual begins the process of radicalization, which is “not irreversible” says the report of the Instituto Elcano, it takes between four and five years before he or she starts acting.

In what concerns the number of women participating in Jihadist activities in Spain, the report offers no indication.

 

El confidencial digital: http://www.elconfidencialdigital.com/seguridad/Chequeo-radicalismo-islamico-Espana_0_2167583228.html

 

Full report in Spanish: http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/rielcano/contenido?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/elcano_es/zonas_es/dt16-2013-reinares-gciacalvo-radicalizacion-terrorismo-yihadista-espana

“Industrial” Islam

October 19, 2013

 

In Catalonia, mosques continue to be pushed further away from the city centers and placed into industrial spaces.
From the 200 existing mosques in Catalonia, between 15 and 20 of them are located at industrial spaces, according to sociologist expert Jordi Moreras. Moreover, an investigation by the Mossos d’ Esquadra (local police) warned about the radical expansion of Salafism in these small mosques. Of the five places of worship which cultivate salafism, four of them are located in industrial spaces: Tarragona, Reus, Roda de Bara, and Torredembarra.

 

El Pais: http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2013/10/19/catalunya/1382203257_281728.html

The Government of Catalonia denies that the ban of burqa violates Fundamental Rights

28 August 2013

 

The Catalonian government spokesman, Francesc Homs, denied Tuesday that the order of their Department of Interior affairs to create a record of burkas and niqabs violates fundamental rights. “The duty of the police is to know what happens “, said Homs. The procedure is based on the assumption that these garments may constitute an indicator of the emergence of Salafism.

Catalonia admits that the regulation of the burqa causes alarm in Muslim groups

22 August 2013

The General Director of Religious Affairs of the Generalitat, Enric Vendrell, admitted that the regulation of the burqa in public spaces has generated “alarm” in the Muslim community living in Catalonia. Vendrell promises dialogue and mediation to approach this question and recognizes that the use of the burqa is residual in Catalonia. He also highlighted that in Catalonia there are “no problems of coexistence between citizens on religious grounds”.

The law (first issued by the city of Lleida) implements ban of the burqa in public space and a fee of 600 euros for the ones infringing the prohibition. After several appeals, the Spanish Supreme Court stated on the basis of the religious Freedom Law that the ban was not valid. However, now, the Catalonian Parlament has asked the Generalitat (Autonomous Government) to consider a new law prohibiting the cover of the face in public spaces due to security reasons.

Local Police agents break into a Mosque in Mataro

05 August 2013

 

The local Police (Mossos d’Esquadra) of Mataro broke on Sunday into the mosque of Rocafonda coinciding with the celebration of Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Destiny, which occurs between the twenty-sixth and twenty -and-seventh day of Ramadan.

The police was following a group of young people that was previously manifesting in the city center about an alleged attack to one of their members by the local security forces. After the manifestation the group headed to the mosque causing the Mossos, d’Esquadra to follow them and consequently forcing the entrance into the religious space.
The day after these events, and after a meeting between the city Mayor representatives, delegates of the Autonomous Police of Catalonia, the local police, and some Muslim organizations, a brief statement, condemning the event.

Radio Mollet interviews the President of the Union of Islamic Communities of Catalonia (UCIDCAT)

25 July 2013

On Wednesday, the 24th of July 2013, the President of the Union of Islamic Communities of Catalonia (UCIDCAT), El Ghaidouni[1] gave an interview on the Radio Mollet news. El Ghaidouni discussed the situation of the Al Huda Mollet del Vallés community that has been doing the prayers of the month of Ramadan in the town square as a response to the closing of its headquarters by the City Hall. The UCIDCAT President stated also that, on one hand the city must find a solution to this problem and on the other, the members of the community should assume that any proposed solution must respect the urban plan of the city. El Ghaidouni said that UCIDCAT rejected the the location of places of worship in industrial areas, because religious practice does not produce waste or chemicals.
The UCIDCAT President concluded the interview by saying “we are expecting a serious commitment from the City to resolve this conflict, and any solution should come in the next day or week.”

 


[1] https://twitter.com/El_Ghaidouni