The Muslims of the Nous Catalans Foundation/CDC asked to build a large mosque in Barcelona

The Union of Islamic Cultural Centers of Catalonia (UCCIC)-currently coordinates
some 70 mosques and oratories of Catalonia, and the NousCatalans Foundation/CDC have agreed, “to facilitate the granting of licenses to build a large mosque in Barcelona
to fight and isolate the fundamentalist movement that spread in small
oratories.” The agreements also provides for” improving the current situation of some
oratories to avoid situations of conflict. “Both entities have agreed to “the organization and representation of Muslims in Catalonia through democratic elections to enable the Muslim community to have valid and representative interlocutors, to promote the training of imams in Catalonia, a training that responds to the values of Cataluña, promoting dialogue and coexistence as tools for participation in Catalan society and building a
common future in Catalonia and to enable burial spaces according to Muslim ritual.”
They also agreed to “promote dialogue, visits and meetings with Catalan institutions, the
Halal certification procedure, the quality assurance process applied to food,
products and services according to Halal Standards and other pre-documents and work
for the creation in the near future of the Catalan Council of Muslim Faith grouped
by a democratically elected board and voted and representative of all
Muslims in Catalonia ”

Re-imagining European Identity Politics and the Social Integration of Muslims

In this timely work, Alexander Castilla deconstructs the myth of the so-called clash of Islam and democracy, and examines the forces involving the social integration and religious accommodation of Muslims in Catalonia, Spain during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States and the March 11, 2004 terrorist attacks in Spain. In adapting to the pressures of globalization and to their own religiously plural, yet increasingly secular society, the Catalans sought to strike a delicate balance between the accommodation and integration of Muslims, while building on Catalonia’s nation building project which focused on the historical continuity of Catalan language and culture.

Re-imagining European Identity Politics and the Social Integration of Muslims defines how the claims of immigrant Muslims influence the ongoing construction of a Catalan national identity. It also explores the primary demands for religious accommodation which Muslims sought in the beginning of the 21st century and why it is necessary to separate political and religious powers. Looking at the role of Muslim religious leaders in the context of secular society is of particular significance because the contemporary issues surrounding the separation of politics and religion is far from being resolved not only in Catalonia, but also in greater Spain and in other European countries with significant Muslim communities such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland and France.

Re-imagining European Identity Politics and the Social Integration of Muslims represents the first comprehensive study in English about the social integration of Muslims living in Catalonia and combines an historical, socio-political and philosophical analysis about Islam and democracy and contributes to the literature on peace and security studies, as well as to studies of migration, citizenship and nationalism.

Published by VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, the book is now available on Amazon.com.

The reorganization of Muslim associations in Catalonia

The article is an overview of the system of representation for Muslim communities in Catalonia. The most important Muslim federation in Catalonia is the CICC (The Islamic and Cultural Council of Catalonia). The CICC was created in 2001 and currently is the principal Muslim liason with the Catalan government. There are other Islamic associations too, some of which are critical of the work being done by the CICC.

Recently the CICC has created a controversial travel agency which organizes annual pilgrimages to Mecca. Critics of the CICC see this agency as a private business and not a religious organization.

Currently there are two other Muslim federations; one is still in the project stages having broken off from the CICC and the other, the UCIC, is a part of UCIDE. The fragmentation of Muslim communities, combined with other factors, such as the influence of the Moroccan government makes it difficult to have only one federation as the privileged liason with the Catalan government.