Next Friday (28 May) Lleida’s (Catalonia) town Council will discuss a motion submitted by the Catalonian nationalist party “Convergència i Unió” (CIU) on the banning of full-covering Islamic veils such as the burqa and the niqab in public.
Lleida’s Mayor Àngel Ros (Socialist Party) was the first to propose such a ban, because, according to him, the burqa and the niqab violate women rights. Now, he is prepared to support the motion submitted by CIU.
The socialist Minister of Labour and Immigration, Celestino Corbacho, has already said that he supports such a ban in the civil service. He also said that full-covering garments go against equality between men and women.
Barcelona’s Town Council also voted on a motion presented by the Popular Party to ban the burqa in public. The motion was not approved. Instead, the Council has asked its law department for a report on whether the ban is legal or not.
Fatima Mohamed, municipal councilor at Gines city Council (a small town in Seville) and member of the conservative Popular Party, resigned. She declared that she was being discriminated by her own party because she wore the hijab. She also stated that the Popular Party had used her in order to “sell integration”, but that her opinion in favor of the wearing of the hijab had caused her to be rejected by key members of the Popular Party in Andalusia.
The Party for the Renaissance and Union of Spain (PRUNE) is the first Islam-orientated political party in Spain. The Party was founded in Granada and party organizers are trying to present candidacies in three cities (Granada, Barcelona and Oviedo) for the next local elections in 2011. The article is an interview with Mustafá Bakkach El Aamrani, the president of PRUNE. In the interview, he explains the main points of their political program. He defines PRUNE as a party with an “Islamic orientation” much like the way “the Popular Party (PP) has a Christian orientation”. “This is different from an Islamic party”, Mustafá Bakkach adds. The PRUNE was legalized in July 2009. The party identifies itself as a conservative party which aspires to represent all the minorities of Spain.
Spain’s conservative opposition is seeking to make immigration a major issue ahead of next month’s elections, says it wants to restrict use of the Islamic veil. In an announcement on it’s immigration policy, the conservative Popular Party’s justice spokesperson Ignacio Astarloa said: It’s going to deal with defending equality between men and women and ensure that the veil isn’t used for discrimination in schools or anywhere else. Astarloa also said that he wanted to enforce bans on genital mutilation and polygamy. Whether or not these are merely ideas or potential strictly enforced policies, Ali el Moaffati, a Moroccan man who has lived in Spain for 32 years said: The most important thing to us is that they leave us in peace.
In the campaigns for Spain’s March 9th elections, there are two opposing positions concerning the hot topic of immigration. On the left, is the predominant viewpoint that immigrants must be accepted and that comprehensive global solutions are needed; on the right, is the attitude to at best cold-shoulder, and at worst to harass them. The first stance, with variations, is supported by the governing Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and by the United Left coalition, as well as non-governmental organizations. The second is held by the main opposition force, the centre-right Popular Party (PP).
Murcia was the stage of manifestations against and in favour of Zapatero. The events were so serious that the event in which the Prime Minister was supposed to participate had to be cancelled. The militants of PP accused him of being the anti-Christ at the same time that members of the PSOE were thanking him for having reposed their faith.