The Islamic State captures teenage girls in Spanish Muslim communities through propaganda disseminated through social networks. Ceuta is the area most affected by this trend. In one of the known cases a girl from the region (just under 14 years old) tried to travel to Iraq through Turkey, but was intercepted in Melilla. She wanted to join the jihad and marry some extremist fighter. In total there have already been at least five cases of successful ‘fishing’ of minors in Ceuta.
According to experts, the contents spread extremist movement militants are designed to ‘catch’ specifically to adolescents with traditional values, many are fascinated by very simple causes, others consider it a culmination of their practice of Islam. At their age, they perceive it as an adventure and want to participate in it.
In turn, to the extremists, the virgin girls are a key point in their strategy. Although its function is merely reproducing, the idea is to contribute to the expansion of radicalism through the repopulation of the ‘infidels’ nations.
We are still assisting to the free dissemination of offenses to the religious feelings, and as so we, the Spanish Muslim religious community, and especially our youth, have been surprised by the incorrect treatment made by the satirical weekly publication both on the cover and inside of its latest issue, not getting their intended humorous purpose.
The Union of Islamic Communities of Spain, Islamic Commission of Spain, will face the appropriate legal action to take, and will convey a message of respect for all believers of all faiths, rejection of public offenses against the religious sentiments of all our neighbors, and for a civilized and closed coexistence.
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.
From the 19th to the 21st of February, the first Spanish Muslim Fair will be celebrated in Lavapies, a neighborhood in Madrid. This event is promoted by the Muslim federation (FEME), the CISCOVA (Federation of Muslim Associations in Valencia) and the Halal Institute (an organization within the Muslim association Junta Islámica).The aim of the event is to increase the visibility of Muslims and Islamic culture in Spain. There are a lot of activities scheduled, including conferences, musical performances and food sampling. The fair will include 32 booths representing different Islamic entities and other associations and institutions that work in this field.
Spain announced last Tuesday that it was ready to help the United States in reaching out to Muslim countries that President Barack Obama announced in his speech to the Turkish parliament. “The United States knows that Spain has the ability, influence, understanding and experience (in the Muslim countries) and, therefore, we’re going to work in that regard,” Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.
The strengthening of Spanish-Muslim ties was one of the major issues discussed by President Obama and Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero. “I think that the Obama administration’s focus on international relations – supporting multilateralism, dialogue and respect for others and intelligent diplomacy – fully coincides with the Alliance of Civilizations,” said Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.
Bibiano Aido, Spain’s Equality Minister, has recently angered Muslim by criticizing the hijab/headscarf, alledging that the garment undermines the rights of women. Not all cultural practices must be respected she Aido, as she expressed her opposition to practices which violate human rights and promote inequality. In response to Aido, Spanish Muslim women said that women wear the scarf because they choose to, saying that the minister does not know what she is talking about.
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.
A Spanish Muslim group has asked Pope Benedict XVI for permission to worship alongside Christians in the Great Mosque of Cordoba, turned into a cathedral in the 13th century. They sent a letter on Christmas to the Pope’s Spanish representative, asking that the building be opened for prayer by all religions as a model of tolerance and inter-faith dialogue. They hoped to follow up on the Pope’s recent gestures of goodwill towards Muslims on his trip to Turkey. “We invite you to create a new example, to send a message of hope to the world,” says the letter, which was published yesterday on the Spanish Muslim website Webislam. “Do not fear. Together we can show the violent, the intolerant, the anti-semites, the Islam-phobes and also those who believe that only Islam has a right to remain in the world, that prayer is the strongest weapon imaginable.” In 2004, the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue rejected a similar request, leaving the decision to Spanish church authorities, who oppose Muslim prayer at the cathedral.