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.
A dozen Muslim entities congregated in Barcelona on a platform called Muslims and Muslim communities of Catalonia for equality. The initiate comes with the aim to combat fundamentalist readings of Islam and promote gender equality in Spanish Muslim communities. It stems from an initiative of the Catalan Islamic Board and eight other Muslim, immigrant, and women’s rights organizations, who came together to address the topic. Against this backdrop, the proposed collaboration between Muslims and the rest of society to promote a Catalonian Islam and democracy fully compatible with the values of cohesion. Members of the platform claimed support of institutions, political parties, and civil society as a whole, as well as the urgent implementation of the measures agreed upon integration of the Parliamentary Committee on March 11th.
The Islamic board asserted that while Catholic bishops have the right to guide and direct their faithful, it is not acceptable for them to impose moral standards on society as a whole. The chairman of the Islamic board, Mansur Escudero, referred to statements concerning bishops in southern Spain who told believers not to vote for those candidates in upcoming elections that advocate abortion or euthanasia. Escudero said that religious leaders have to appreciate that we live in a pluralistic society… and that the State should be neutral. Escudero added, it is not reasonable that one religions denomination impose their rules on society as a whole.
A discussion and debate on women in the three Abrahamic religions is planned to take place on Monda, February 4th, to discuss values common to the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Among the goals included in the seminar, is to dissuade misconceptions of women in Islam as repressed and dominated by misogyny, and to assert that while Muslim women in Spain do face difficulties, the origin of those difficulties are not organically Islamic. The chairman of the Islamic Board, Mansur Escudero stressed that the stereotypes about Muslim women have nothing to do with the basic doctrine of Islam, a religion that is consubstantial with the freedom of conscience and expression.