Death of Mansur Escudero, an historical Spanish Muslim figure

On October 3, Mansur Escudero died at the age of 62 years in his house of Almodovar del Río (Cordoba). Mansur, who converted to Islam at the end of the 70s, was an important advocate of the legal recognition of Islam in Spain. He was cofounder and president of the FEERI (the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities) and Junta Islámica de España. Mansur was a prominent Islamic leader and contributed to the Agreement of Cooperation between the Spanish State and the Islamic Commission in 1992. He also founded “Verde Islam” journal and the website “Webislam”, currently one of the most important online resources about Islam in Spanish language.

Obama invites the Spanish Junta Islámica to a Muslim entrepreneurs summit

The Junta Islámica and the Instituto Halal has received an invitation from the Obama Administration for a Muslim management summit. This meeting is related to the Cairo Speech given by Obama last year, where he announced his proposal to empower such types of encounters. The meeting will be held by 115 Muslim managers of several different countries and businesses.

The Junta Islámica (http://www.juntaislamica.org), created in the year 1989, is an association located in Andalucía (Cordoba), and composed mainly of Spanish converts to Islam. Its President, Mansur Escudero, was also the President of F.E.E.R.I. (Federación Española de Entidades Religiosas Islámicas) until 2002 (when he was replaced by Abdelkarim Carrasco) and Secretary General of C.I.E. (Comisión Islámica de España) until 2006.

Junta Islámica created the Instituto Halal (http://www.institutohalal.com/) with the purpose of developing those issues related to Islamic food supply in Spain (and abroad). Today this institute is the only one in Spain to have developed a Halal Food Certificate (Halal Guarantee Brand of the Junta Islámica). Junta Islámica also created the Islam-related news website Webislam (http://www.webislam.com/).

European Muslims call for peace in Pakistan

Led by the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, high Muslim authorities in Europe – shaykh Naim Ternava, Grand Mufti of Kosovo, Selim Muqaj, Grand Mufti of Albania, Sulejman Rexhepi, Grand Mufti of Macedonia, Dr. Mansur Escudero, President of the Junta Islamica of Spain, shaykha Halima Krausen, Germany, Mr. Hasan Le Gai Eaton, UK, shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, UK and Jusuf Islam, UK, with shaykh Dr. Mustafa Ceric, have sent the ulema (Islamic scholars) in Pakistan a letter for peace, dialogue and understanding.

This call has been announced in Urdu, Arabic and English languages across the world, as a sign of European Muslims’ concern of everyday violence on Pakistani streets and mosques.

Islamic Board believes that Catholic bishops ought not to impose rules

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.

Seminar on women in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism to take place in Córdoba

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.

It would reinforce interfaith dialogue and the Civilization Alliance

The President of the Spanish Islamic Council, Mansur Escudero, praised the position of General Secretary of the Arabic League Amr Moussa that the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba should accept the Muslim praying in its facilities. Such action, according to Escudero, would promote interfaith dialogue and should be understood as a positive action of proximity and not as a confrontation.

Spain’s Migrants Encounter Social Acceptance and Institutional Resistance

{This article explores Spain’s Islamic legacy and how this history impacts the experiences of the latest wave of Muslim immigrants. According to the author, the Catholicization of the country (beginning in the 13th Century) involved a concerted effort by the Church to expel or convert threatening elements from its midst, including Jews and Muslims. Though Spanish culture and society in some ways provide familiar and accomodating spaces for Muslim immigrants now, habits of institutional resistance to Muslims are still maintained by the Catholic Church.} Original Title: Spain’s migrants ‘seek jobs not conquest’ By Leslie Crawford in Madrid On the cobblestones outside the great 8th century mosque in C_rdoba, once the largest mosque in the western world, Mansur Escudero, a Spanish convert to Islam, unfolds his prayer mat and kneels down to pray. Muslims are not allowed to pray inside. The Roman Catholic Church, custodian of the building since the 13th century, says it would “confuse” Christians to see Muslims worshipping there. Mr Escudero has lobbied the Vatican to transform the C_rdoba mosque into an ecumenical place of worship, – “a symbol of religious tolerance and co-existence,” he says – but his campaign has not met with success…

Detroit Convention

Mansur Escudero, president of the Islamic Council has participated last month in the Annual Convention of the Nation of Islam in Detroit having been this the first time that a Spanish Muslim was participating in such event. The Islamic leader gave a public speech that was specially heard by the Latin Muslim community.; he also asked the government of the USA to change the drift of its imperialistic politics and to adopt a project of peace and prosperity. Another issue mentioned was the effort of Spanish Muslims to fight and to condemn terrorism expressed in the fatwa of March 2004 and affirm that one can not talk about Islamic terrorism as both words are not compatible.

Four Mosques thanks to the founds of Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Sharia

According to Mansur Escudero, president of the Islamic Council, Islam does not benefit from a strong and hierarchical structure like the Catholic Church which once again forces them to accept external help. In Andalusia, two of the Mosques (Fuengirola e Marbella) were financed by money coming from Saudi Arabia and a new one at Malaga is also being financed by the Wahhabism thought. The Mosque of Granada managed by the Islamic Community of Spain was supported by the King of Morocco and by the emirate of Sharya.

Muslims Wish To Introduce Polygamy

The president of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Organizations, Mansur Escudero, gave his endorsement yesterday to the policy to allow gay marriage. However, he protested to the executive who also regulates polygamy as a marriage option, which is allowed in countries where the Islam is the majority religion. Escudero says that the question already was broached in 1992, when the agreement of cooperation between Islam and the Spanish government was negotiated. One of the warnings contained in the report approved yesterday by the CGPJ is therefore coming true, that it is now possible that other minority groups also want to see legalized in Spain their particular forms of coexistence.