New website of the UCIDE (Union of Islamic Communities of Spain)

The UCIDE (Union of Islamic Communities of Spain) has a new website covering news, articles, researches, activities in both Spanish and Arabic language. Videos, such of the last Islamic Congress of Catalonia are available on the site.


The communities included in the Union are:

  • Castilla La mancha
  • Catalonia
  • Ceuta
  • Extremadura
  • Murcia
  • Pais Vasco
  • Rioja
  • Valencia



Demographic, Immigration and Integration studies; Revista Islam (Islamic Magazine), news and books.



The website is completed with videos and photo galleries of the most important Islamic events in Spain.



In an official communicate from the Institution they declare to represent 18 federations that at the same time are a part of the Islamic Spanish Commission by so including 60% of the Islamic religious communities.



The principles are centered in independence of external interferences; coherence and compromise with the Spanish Law and Constitution; representation of all Muslims even the ones not belonging to the UCIDE.


U.S. dominates list of world’s ’500 Most Influential Muslims’

There are more Muslims from America than any other country on this year’s “The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims,” compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, a respected think tank in Jordan, including two in the top 50.

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, a California-born convert who founded Zaytuna College, an Islamic college in Berkeley, Calif., and is a leading Islamic authority in America, ranked No. 42, two places ahead of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, an Islamic studies professor at George Washington University known for his work in Islamic philosophy.

America’s roughly 2.6 million Muslims are a tiny fraction of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, but they took 41 spots on the 500 list. Countries with the next highest number of names were Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom, with 25 Muslims each, followed by Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, with 24.

“Compared to the global Muslim population, the representation of U.S. Muslims in this list is disproportionate, but yet representative in the way they shape global discourse,” said Duke University Islamic studies professor Ebrahim Moosa.

French Council of the Muslim Faith torn by factional split

News agencies – July 13, 2012


France’s main Muslim organization is in crisis after the oldest Paris mosque announced that it was leaving on 11 July 2012. Founded by Nicolas Sarkozy when he was interior minister in 2003, the French Muslim Council (CFCM) is torn by factional disputes as it discusses reforming its structure. The rector of the influential Grande Mosquée de Paris (GMP), Dalil Boubakeur, announced that it was quitting the CFCM, accusing the federation’s president, Mohamed Moussaoui, of “autocratic governance” and claiming that his organization was being squeezed out of its rightful role.


The news came as a surprise not only to Moussaoui but also to the national executive of the Paris mosque. Boubakeur was the first president of the CFCM and is still an honorary president. At present representation on the CFCM is allotted according to the size of an organization’s mosques and Boubakeur, who is considered close to the Algerian government, accused CFCM leaders of “trying to play down the size and influence” if his mosque.


Factional infighting has dogged the CFCM, leading current Interior Minister Manuel Valls to complain of “divisions, egoisms and competition” in its ranks and to call on it to “dedicate itself exclusively to places of worship”. At the beginning of 2011 the GMP and the Union of Islamic Organisations in France (UOIF), which is considered close to the Muslim Brotherhood, boycotted the election to national and regional committees.

The GMP nevertheless took the seats that were allotted to it.

The UOIF and the Mosque of Paris meet to discuss representation of Islam in France

News Agencies – May 31, 2012


While formally estranged, on May 29, 2012, representatives from the l’Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF) and the Grande Mosquée de Paris met over a friendly lunch to discuss the situation of Islam in France, particularly focused on the representation of the tradition through the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM). The two groups have historically had their differences but appear to have put aside their differences to discuss this point. The UOIF boycotted the most recent CFCM elections on grounds that the group is too fractioned and not representational.

II Interreligious Ibero-American Meeting – BARCELONA, 25 to 27 of June 2012

03 June12
Barcelona will be the stage, next month of June, of the II Interreligious Ibero-American Meeting, a summit that will focus on the interreligious dialogue.
The Organization President is the Muslim, Mohamed Halhoul, also Secretary and Speaker of the Islamic Council of Catalonia.
In representation of the Islamic communities of Portugal and Spain, the following Institutions will be participating:
• Centro Cultural Islámico de Madrid (Islamic Cultural Institution of Spain –
• Consell Islàmic Cultural de Catalunya (Cultural and Religious officially recognized representation of the Islamic communities of Catalonia -
• Unión de Comunidades Islámicas de Cataluña (UCIDCAT – Regional version of the UCIDE –
• Unión de Comunidades Islámicas de España (UCIDE – Legal and political Representation of all Islamic communities of Spain –
• Comunidade Islâmica de Lisboa (Portuguese Muslim Organization with siege in Lisbon –

University Course in Women, Islam and the Media


The University of East Anglia has developed a degree module to teach students about women, Islam and the media – topics, which are often found in close conjunction, but, as the Guardian notes, “not always in the happiest of circumstances”. The module with cover a variety of “inflammatory” topics, including veil wearing, arranged marriage and “honour” crimes. A particular focus is on the representation of Muslim women in the media and how this reflects biases in both the east and west. By offering the course, the convenor is hoping to challenge stereotypes often associated with Islam.

Study on Forced Marriages: Alarming Results


On Wednesday, the German Ministry for Family Affairs presented the findings of its first study on forced marriage in Germany – which brought about alarming results. The study was commissioned by the Ministry and conducted by the women’s rights organisation Terres des Femmes and the Hamburg-based Lawaetz Foundation. It is based on information provided by more than 800 consultation clinics across the country for people who are either threatened or affected by forced marriages. According to the information provided by these clinics, they registered roughly 3400 cases of forced marriages in 2008 – and these numbers only reflect those that tried to seek help; the actual number of forced marriages is expected to be much higher. The vast majority of these cases (95%) affected women; approximately 30% of them were 17 years or younger, ca. 40% of them were between 18 and 21 years old. Furthermore, most of those affected (roughly 60%) have an immigration background and 83.4% come from Muslim families. Family Minister Kristina Schröder reminded that forced marriages were a statutory offense in Germany; yet, she also acknowledged that ‘the reality is more complicated than a flick through the law book may lead one to believe’ (DW).

Due to the over-representation of migrant families in the findings, Schröder handed the study over to Maria Böhmer, the government’s commissioner for integration. Böhmer is now developing strategies to tackle forced marriages; she wants to make schools more aware of the problem and, once again, stresses the need to develop migrants’ language skills, as language is key for a self-confident, freely-chosen life, independent of parents. Schröder announced the introduction of a national telephone hotline for victims of violence or forced marriage. The opposition criticized these measures as merely symbolic; most of them will not be implemented in practice until the end of 2012 and, therefore, not offer immediate help to those affected.

Hollywood Ignores East-West Exchange

At the Oscars last month the gap between what interests Hollywood and what the rest of the world seems to be doing was sharp and clear. Of the five nominees for the best foreign-language film, all but one, among them the winner, “In a Better World,” from Denmark, dealt in some way with relationships between the West and Islam.

So did many others of the 65 films offered for consideration by film academies around the globe, including the French, German, Dutch and Bulgarian submissions. In contrast, each of the nine American films that were nominated for best picture and eventually lost to “The King’s Speech” from Britain were inward looking, with purely domestic concerns — a characterization that can be applied to movies as different in style and substance as “The Social Network,” “Black Swan,” “The Fighter” and “True Grit.”

But why isn’t the United States also part of that same emerging global cinematic conversation? Why isn’t Hollywood also making movies that grapple with the issues that are provoking filmmakers elsewhere? And when Arab and Muslim characters do appear on screen, why are they presented in such simplistic and stereotyped ways?

In American cinema, “We see everything through American eyes, without context or a representation of community” on the Islamic side, said Matthew Bernstein, an editor of the book “Visions of the East: Orientalism in Film” and chairman of the film and media studies department at Emory University in Atlanta.

Representatives of the Islamic Community Create the First Basque Islamic Council

December 9th, 2010

Representatives of the Islamic communities of Álava, Vizcaya y Guipúzcoa – mostly Moroccans and Algerians, but also of Senegalese origin – gathered in Vitoria, summoned by Spanish converts to Islam, to establish The Basque Muslim Council, and advisory organization created with the aim of becoming the main interlocutor for the Muslim population in the Basque region. Vitoria alone is home to more than 5.000 people that profess the Islamic faith. To date, Muslims organize around their mosques and cultural associations, so that institutional relations are limited to the municipalities, or provincial administration. The Muslim Council intends to be a body of communication and coordination between the different Muslim communities settled in the País Vasco, and of representation respect to the Basque government.

Merkel: Public service needs more immigrants

1 November 2010

Only two weeks after saying attempts to forge a multicultural society had failed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for more immigrants in the country’s civil service and deplored discrimination in employment.

“We currently have a real under-representation of people of immigrant origin in the public service and we have to change that,” Merkel said in her weekly podcast. She added, “When someone has a name that doesn’t sound very German, for certain jobs it often happens that they have difficulties in being employed.”

Merkel was speaking ahead of an “integration summit” she chaired on Wednesday with 115 representatives of public services and other organisations concerned with integrating immigrants to draw up an action plan.

This comes just after Merkel had told a meeting of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party that “Multikulti”, the concept that “we are now living side by side and are happy about it,” does not work. “This approach has failed, totally,” she said on 14 October.