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.

The Supreme Court rejects the burqa ban of Lleida’s municipality

10 May 2013

 

The Supreme Court has rejected the motion presented by  the city of Lleida to ban the burqa in public buildings. The council delegation had declared last March 22,  their intention to go to the Supreme Court, as in their point of view, the banning of the burqa aims to preserve the equality between men and women and to defend the dignity of women, of law obedience, of beliefs, and of religious freedom.

The Supreme Court on the other hand stated that “the burqa ban is a limitation on the exercise of religious freedom.”

Spain: Supreme Court invalidates the ban on the burqa

The Supreme Court has declared invalid the ban on women wearing the burqa or veil in public spaces, which had been decreed by the  Lleida City Council in October 2010.
The Supreme Court held that the measure “violates Article 16 of the Constitution”, which guarantees the right to religious freedom, and believes that “the burqa ban is a limitation on the exercise of religious freedom. ”
It is the first time that the Supreme Court is ruling on the prohibition of the burqa.

In declarations, the mayor of Lleida, Angel Ros, said that they would follow the decision of the Supreme although they did not share it. “The symbolism of the Islamic veil is an inequality between men and women,” he said.

Catalonia: First Region in terms of Mosques

Catalonia is the region with more mosques in Spain, according to the Observatory of Religious Pluralism in Spain, under the Ministry of Justice. The Principality has 242 mosques in comparison with other communities like Andalucia (180) or Madrid (106). Overall, there are 1,200 mosques officially registered in Spain.

Of the 242 Muslim places of worship in Catalonia: 146 are in the province of Barcelona, 40 in the province of Girona, 28 in Lleida and 28 in Tarragona. Barcelona is the city with the more Mosques (24), but other smaller municipalities of the province also have more than one: Santa Coloma de Gramenet (8), Terrassa (7), Sabadell (5), Badalona (4) and Martorell (4).

 

*The news here present were already mentioned in July of 2012 but they surfaced again in the lst week of December; here there are images of the Mosques concentration in the region:

http://sociedad.e-noticies.es/boom-de-mezquitas-en-catalunya-66108.html

 

*In the link bellow there is a list of the existent Mosques in the region:

http://www.observatorioreligion.es/buscador/search_comunidades.srv?ccaa=Catalu%F1a&comu=&prov=&city=&conf=Musulmanes

 

Lleida’s mayor said that Muslims in his city “are not doing enough” to integrate.

06 August 2012

Lleida’s mayor, Angel Ros, has said that Muslims in his city “are not doing enough” to integrate.
Ros has advised the community to “normalize their ways and to have the will to do an integration process.”
“The fact is that today in this country even a mosque generates rejection” and to this attitude, the Muslim community should respond by making a greater standardization effort.

Judge rules in favor of the Lleida City Hall in the closing of the In Hazm Mosque

08 June 2012

The contentious administrative Court of Lleida declared as final the decision taken by the City Hall of Lleida in the summer of 2010 to temporarily close the Mosque In Hazm, for exceeding the permitted capacity and endanger the safety of the faithful followers.

The police agents had estimated that the number of people attending the Mosque was always over the maximum capacity, therefore placing the believers in danger. The temporary decision of the Leida authorities to close the Mosque based on the police investigation was now ruled as definite by the Court. The Muslim Representatives presented no appeal to the closing of their local of praying.

The Bishop of Solsona calls to convert Muslims

18 May 2012

The Bishop of Solsona wants to convert Muslims living in the territory of his diocese to Christianity. Novell Xavier, the youngest bishop in Spain, writes in his Novell weekly on Sunday:
“In our work of evangelization we must not rule out the proclamation of our faith to the Muslims who reside in our towns and cities,” he adds then “If Christ is the only savior, he is also for those who profess Islam and therefore we have to engage in their conversion to Christianity,” the text adds. His proposal is considered inadequate by many Christians and also of course by Muslim representatives, although the rejection from many of them must be inferred from their silence. Jaiteh Morrow, imam of the mosque Claver, declines the invitation to comment on the bishop’s call to conversion. The president of the Islamic Association of Solsona, Khalid Baghal also refused to comment. However, the president of the Maghreb Atlas of Lleida, Omar Charah, talked of provocation: “It is out of place. Are we going back to the Crusades? “

One year without mosque in Lleida

July 18, 2011

Lleida’s North Street mosque continues to be closed one year after the local government, finding the place of worship did not fulfil the safety requirements, decided to shut it down on July 2010. The relationship between the imam of the Salafi Islamic community and the city council has deteriorated because of the lack of a solution or an alternative place. Currently, the Muslim community continues without a place of worship using one public park for their religious practices.

 

More information about Lleida’s mosque controversy on Euro-Islam website:

Lleida’s mayor urged to seek another location for the Salafist mosque

Lleida mosque construction

Lleida City Council will not provide land to build a mosque

The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia endorses Lleida’s veto to the burqa

Lleida was the first Spanish town to propose a ban of the burqa, and now the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia has supported the veto. The Superior Court argues that the integral veil can “disturb the peace” of other citizens because it allows people to “hide their face” and this does not match the values of “Western culture” and “Spanish society” of equality between women and men. The Muslim association Watani, the one who presented the appeal to the Superior Court for infringement of fundamental rights in the first place, has already announced it will also appeal the ruling of the Superior Court. This ruling gives some reassurance and becomes a reference to other local councils to regulate these matters. So far, 13 municipalities have done so.