The presence of new Catalans that express religious and cultural distinctive sensitivities are a challenge to the Catalan society. A recent symposium about Islam and Catalonia organized by the Islamic Catalan Council, debated the sentiment and the ideology behind the two parts. In Catalonia there are more than 200,000 immigrants coming from a Muslim background. Nevertheless, one must pay attention to the particular features of the Catalan society, namely its sense of autonomy and being a part of the globalized world. As such, the debate praised the need to build a society that is open to receive this cultural and social change.
Taking advantage of the holiday and the beginning of the Ramadan, many Moroccan citizens have gathered in front of the consulate of their country in Barcelona to take care of legal issues. These lines are now routine since the embassy opened a year ago. This consulate serves the entire region of Catalonia, the Spanish Mediterranean islands and part of France, which explains the long lines and complaints of the Moroccan citizens of delays in service.
Mohamed Chaib Akhdim, the deputy of the PSC in the Parliament of Catalonia, pleaded today for a change in immigration policies and indicated that it is not normal that at this point three or four million immigrants do not have right to the vote. Muslims have much to contribute to discourse on how we live our lives and function as a society, he added, noting that Spain is home to more than a million immigrants of Muslim origin.
The Catalan Islamic Council claims that the overlap between politics and so-called Islamic terrorism in Catalonia and the association of Islam and violence by authorities foments the radicalization of the youth sectors of the Islamic community. The Catalan Islamic Council’s president, Abdennur Prado, believes that the declarations of a police syndicate group stating the proliferation of jihad’s groups in Catalonia were very irresponsible. He adds that the fight against radicals has to be more discrete and the law enforcement has to be harsher.