“We are giving a voice to these fellows who are fanatic fascists, misogynists, and they hate us like hell, and want to impose Sharia in our country... we are crazy!”
For more than a decade the Muslim population of Catalonia has been growing with extraordinary rapidity. Spanish politicians have ignored or played down what is happening, but the problem has now become too large to ignore. Radical Muslims are calling for the establishment of an Islamic state in Catalonia.
Our Spanish correspondent Hermes has translated a comprehensive documentary about the Islamization of Catalonia. He includes this introduction:
The key person interviewed in the video is Pilar Rahola, an ex-politician and journalist, a courageous woman who has (of course) already received many threats from Muslim circles. She has a website.
This video was made a little bit more than a year ago. Since then the socialist government has been sent via the ballot to the place “they deserve” (I don’t want to be rude on this blog), but the situation has not changed regarding Islam.
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for subtitling and uploading this video:
For those who prefer to read the transcript of the documentary, Hermes has arranged the text in article format:
It could look like any mosque in Tehran, or in Beirut, or in Baghdad, but this is Badalona. All Fridays of the year thousands of Muslims occupy gardens, industrial settlements, squares, sports centres, and even museums in order to pray. There are so many that there are not enough mosques for them. This is not an isolated case. This happens in more than thirty different places in the autonomous region. This is not Afghanistan. This is not Iraq, nor Lebanon. This is Catalonia.
What Catalonia hides: 400,000 Muslims.
In the last thirty years Catalonia has seen an increase of its Muslim population from 30,000 to 400,000. Nowadays the number of Muslims is up to 20% in some Catalan towns. They come from Morocco, Algeria and Pakistan This new Catalan population is distributed in more than 100 Islamic communities, 200 mosques, worship places, and 16 madrassas.
The Catalan authorities gave impetus from the beginning of the ‘90s to a massive influx and regularization of Muslim immigrants. However, after twenty years, this situation created by the regional government is collapsing. Catalonia, overwhelmed, cannot let in more regular immigrants, control the arrival of illegal ones, or avoid the radicalisation of those already present. In the last eight years the police broke up ten terrorist units from Al-Qaeda and captured more than 90 Islamic terrorists. It’s no coincidence, but the result of an uncontrolled immigration policy and neglected public security which have driven the rise of radical groups.
“One could say that Catalonia is one of the places where more groups have been localized and broken up in the 23 police actions conducted from 2003 until now. There have been ten in Catalonia and besides this the last three sentences of the national court of justice, the three most important sentences from my point of view, after that of the 11-M, are of groups dismantled in Catalonia.”
But how did all this happen? what makes Catalonia a preferred place for the Muslim immigration, and what’s most important, who are responsible for the chaos regarding immigration in Catalonia?
“I don’t know why so many came to Catalonia, because to my knowledge there were 350,000 and probably many more we had not on record, and this means that the Muslim community we know is almost twice as big as those of Madrid and Andalusia together, so we are talking about a very significant number of people. Why Catalonia? I don’t know, there must be many conditions, among them perhaps that of the Catalan ‘good will’ approach towards immigration and fundamentally the Islamic phenomenon, which is the strongest in Spain. I think no region in Spain has brought this ‘happy flower multiculturalism’ to such a high level regarding a serious phenomenon like this, which we should handle in a more complex way. There must be social and economic conditions, perhaps also the issue of employment, the underground economy and so on.”
In order to understand this we must go back to the ‘90s, when immigration was something fairly new in Spain. These were the years of the first small boats arriving in Andalusia and the Canary Islands. But from the very beginning Catalonia attracted the newly arrived people from the Maghreb. This region was Spain’s most developed and dynamically developing economy by then. Industry, farming and agriculture experienced a growth never before seen. There were the biggest chances to find a job Following this, the first Islamic communities settled there, and as time passed, the first praying halls and halal butchers were established.
Catalonia starts to undergo a slow transformation and begins to be the favourite destination for the Moroccans and Algerians who arrive in Spain, not only because of its strong economy, but because this is the first region in which the Muslim community begins to have a certain degree of organization. In this way, a new form of politics begins to take shape in Catalonia. The new migration policies must be worked out. But is of vital importance to hide from the native population the degree to which migration is being favoured.
“Here in Catalonia there has always been, and there still is, a strong necessity to hide from public opinion anything related to Islamism. It is given a coat of lacquer to make the issue glitter, but what really happens in today’s Catalonia is being hidden.”
A reality which the media want to keep secret, and the political class as well, which is also responsible that the situation has reached such a level: The Islamization of Catalonia.
“The right wing remains silent, because it has a ‘certain kind’ of fear. The moderate left wing is also mute; there’s a pact of silence between them. They have no idea what to say. The extreme left always says the same: good will and tolerance. The extreme right pulls out the xenophobic mantras, so there’s no way out of this mess.”
The first errors of this mess were made in 1999, with a government leaded by Partido Popular (right), supported by Convergencia i Unio (Catalonian nationalist). The socialist opposition party in parliament promoted the changes to the immigration laws. At voting day in parliament, and against all prognoses, C. i U. broke its pact with P. Popular and voted together with the socialist party in favour of the change of law. With this new policy, by 2001 more than 65,000 Muslim immigrants already lived in Catalonia. The growth of the Muslim population is unstoppable.
“We saw in 2000 that there was a contingent of immigrants living here illegally, and the government of that time solved this by creating a regularization for all those immigrants who were in this illegal situation. We are talking of the year 2000; by that time the P.P. was the governing party. After this, there were new regularization procedures passed by other governments. So, therefore it is not the issue of only one government, but something which dates back to 2000. The regularization processes created by Mr. Aznar, the then P.M., opened a door which successive governments kept opening wider and wider, and now to close them is very difficult, if not virtually impossible.”
“We in Catalonia, and I personally think not only here, are repeating the same mistakes the French, the English and the Germans committed 20-30 years ago, and which they are now frantically trying to rectify, saying: ‘Oh, we were wrong, because now we have a proooblem…’ Well, we have learned nothing from our neighbours, NOTHING! We are repeating the same mistakes, and meanwhile illegality rises, the phenomenon of fanaticism rises, the democratic institutions weaken, and everything is a complete mess.”
The policies of integration created by the Governing Body of Catalonia began to disappear when it was detected that the Muslim social structure was being built up around the mosques and in accordance with the wishes of the imams, thus giving way to the massive proliferation of Islamic councils, halal butcheries, mosques, prayer halls, and even Quranic schools.
“The first to be blamed, well, we have to practice self-criticism, that is, who are the first to be blamed because of not having integrated ourselves? The Muslims themselves, first and foremost the Moroccans. I myself do not escape the blame. Listen, there are whole districts in which, let’s look at unemployment, 48% of the Moroccans are jobless, but why are they jobless? They worked at construction, and when they had gained so much money, they did not spend it on education, on learning the Spanish, the Catalan, or the Basque languages, or Andalusian. They had forgotten everything, they lived in their own bubble, and now, unemployment. This is the region with the highest unemployment rate. What, what happened? Well, there are many factors. They have neglected education; it did not bother them. But I’m not talking about everybody. The education of their children, we are talking about the highest academic failure rate, that of the Moroccan colony… community, THE HIGHEST! We are talking about an overwhelmingly high percentage. It’s very easy to isolate, to create the ghetto, and to ‘become a victim’.”
Let’s not forget the years 2000 - 2002, when the president of the Generalitat, Mr. Pujol, and after him Mr. Maragall, established contacts and made agreements with the Moroccan government, political and industrial agreements so that the Catalan textile industry could expand in Morocco, and they had to make concessions in exchange, concessions which were the starting point of this present Islamic overcrowding in Catalonia. In 2001, the president of the Generalitat, Jordi Pujol, travelled to Morocco for talks with King Mohammed IV, and in this way built up a strong process of collaboration. Only six years later the Generalitat took a further step and opened the office of selection and hiring of immigrants in the city of Casablanca. The analyst Gemma Ubarell explains this: “The aim is to establish a service of coordination between Catalonia, Spain and Morocco, in order to link the workforce of this country, and to detect the employment needs of those involved in Catalonia. The top priorities include the highlighting of occupational training and facilitation of hiring in origin (Morocco).
“And just before the elections to the regional parliament of Catalonia in November 2003, the first coup de théâtre is given by the Catalan socialist party. Its leader, Pasqual Maragall, put in his electoral roll the leader of an NGO dealing with Moroccan immigrants in Barcelona, founder of the Islamic council of Catalonia, and leader of the Forum Catalonia-Morocco, a religious body which represented some thirty mosques. His name: Mohammed Said. With the triumph of the PSC (Catalonian Socialist party), Mohammed Said becomes the first Muslim delegate in the history of the Catalan parliament, and begins to co-chair the judicial and labour committees. His mission is clear: to establish the links between the new Catalan government and the Kingdom of Morocco in order to accelerate the creation of bilateral agreements regarding Moroccan immigration I think that very important laws have been approved in the new statute, which give Catalonia such competences in the fields of immigration as the granting of residence permits, the issue of hosting (of immigrants), and granting an important role to Catalonia in the workforce-hiring in the country of origin. One of the projects I would very much like to put forward would be to give the new citizens the right to vote. Seven months after the PSC came to power in July 2004, the parliament of Catalonia and the Moroccan chamber of representatives signed a bilateral agreement through which a joint commission was created in order to monitor the immigration of workers coming from Morocco.
“What is absolutely clear to me is that competences regarding immigration are essential, essential because this agreement could go further, of course, but also because that which is now a global matter of conflict (immigration), we can solve in our local scope.”
Intereconomia shows you as an exclusive the official agreement signed in 2004 between he parliament of Catalonia and the Moroccan chamber of representatives. To suggest realistic and objective approaches to the problems derived from the phenomenon of immigration and make proposals to boost the Catalan investments in Morocco. In a study signed by the investigator Gemma Ubarell, agreements were clarified: In this way a mixed working group was created specializing in the analysis of questions concerning the immigration of workers coming from Morocco, and the Catalan investments in the neighbour country.
“We are developing a collaboration project with the ANAPEC. We have already met with them in order to develop the plans for hiring abroad and to train those people in Morocco who want to come to Catalonia to work. At this moment the labour market here in Catalonia is in full transformation, and that’s why we’ll have to manage it. The hotel industry, commerce and agriculture are the main sectors demanding a work force.”
The relationship between Mohammed Said and the Moroccan government became clear when it came to light that this delegate to the Catalan Parliament holds also a post of high responsibility in the government of Morocco, belonging to the leadership of the council of the Moroccan community of expats, chaired by Drissel Yasami, appointed by the king with the category of minister.
“What I can say is that Mr. Mohammed Said is a counsellor of king Mohammed IV regarding immigration issues, therefore he must have contacts, he must have some kind of task. We don’t know what his job is, but he must be earning his salary somehow.”
“He’s fundamental, he’s the catalyst, and he’s the one who makes us work in order to collaborate and cooperate, to make our relationship with Morocco better. I think that we have a good example of somebody who can represent the interests of Morocco and those of Catalonia. It’s a good example.”
Catalonia witnessed the beginning of a rising level of tension between some groups of indigenous people and Muslims which, which has already lasted for ten years. It has led to a radicalisation both of the immigrants, and those who stand against them. In the last eight years, the national police and the civil guard in Catalonia broke up ten groups of Islamic terrorists integrated into Al Qaeda, bringing to court more than 90 Islamists who operated in Catalonia.
“Of the 350,000 Muslims which are recorded according to more or less reliable statistics, all sources reveal with trustworthiness 25% of such citizens openly serving the cause of fanatical radicalism.”
In November 2003 an Islamic terrorist committed a suicide attack at the doors of the Italian UN troops’ headquarters In Nassiriyya, Iraq. The terrorist was Belgasem Beri, an Algerian citizen registered and living in Vilanova i La Geltrú, Barcelona. “This terrorist attack, which killed 27 or 28 people in Nassiriyya in 2003, Iraq, 19 of them being Italian soldiers, well, this person, who immolated himself, this person came from Santa Coloma de Gramanet.” The civil guard broke up an Islamic terrorist group in the towns of Sant Andreu de la Barca and Mollet del Vallés, where explosives were found. Operation Tigris was launched, and the national police in Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Badalona and Sabadell detained a group formed by eight Islamic terrorists integrated into Al Qaeda for recruiting and training young Muslims in Catalonia, who had the intention to become martyrs of Islam, in order to be sent to fight in Iraq as Mujahideen, and for hiding in Santa Coloma de Gramanet two terrorists involved in the 11-M attacks.
“Certainly, this is one of the pending trials we have at the national court, as the famous ‘Alcalá’, which was the fortress, a flat located in Santa Coloma, where help was being given, and was used as, as escape way from Spain by at least 3 suspected perpetrators of the 11-M massacre.”
Operation “Sello 2”: the national police detained five Islamists in the industrial belt of Barcelona for radicalising and recruiting young Muslims in order to send them to fight in Iraq. In Barcelona, Badalona, Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Igualada and Mataró, the national police broke up a net of twelve Islamic terrorists engaged in sending Mujahideen to Iraq and Afghanistan. “We have denounced on several occasions that Catalonia is somewhat like the Islamist spiritual reserve in the West. Every month Islamists depart from here to the east to be trained in the use of weapons and in terrorist tactics, that is, these are terrorist sleeper cells which live here and have an apparently normal way of life. One is a butcher, the other an imam, another is a delivery man, but the next day they could have weapons in hand in any other part of the world. The civil guard detained in a huge operation fourteen presumed Pakistani terrorists from the Al Qaeda net in the El Rabal neighbourhood in Barcelona. During the house search, explosives were found that were to be used in an attack against the subway of the city. The members of this group gathered in the mosque of San Raphael in Barcelona. In 2008 the operation ‘Cantata’ was very famous. A group of terrorists trying to attack the Barcelona subway was broken up. The sentence was appealed, but we are sure it will be upheld by the supreme court. The central unit of foreign intelligence broke up an Islamist net in Sardanyola del Vallés, in Catalonia, and also in Santa Coloma, Badalona, and Barcelona, and eight Islamists of Moroccan nationality were also charged with hiding in Santa Coloma de Gramanet two terrorists involved in the 11-M terror attack in Madrid, who were later helped to escape to Belgium. In Catalonia a dereliction of duty in the political sphere is being noticed regarding the fulfilment of duties towards a population which puts migrational chaos as primary problem in the Catalan society. The accusations of some Catalan immigrant associations reveal their worries that the three-party coalition imposes its views in the Islamic council through the socialist delegate Mohammed Said, which in turn is under control of Mohammed VI.
“Mohammed Said appeared on TV, and was seen kissing Mohammed VI’s hand. I have nothing against King Mohammed VI, but it seems to me that this is much more than enough by far. A delegate, you could watch him at the Moroccan TV channel. Being at a reception, and, well, as far as I know Mohammed VI doesn’t like, well, I suppose he doesn’t like his hand be kissed, and seeing a delegate of the Catalan parliament, well, I said it at the interview with newspaper Avui, kissing Mohammed VI’s hand, It seems to me to be by far the very last straw, but here in politics everything is allowed.”
In this mess, a new key factor in the radicalisation of Catalan Muslims joins the game. The Saudi government tries to gain control of the net of Muslim associations in Catalonia. Their plan: to spread Wahhabism in the entire Muslim community, which is Al Qaeda’s Islamic pattern.
“We have here in Catalonia very important international associations, funded by Morocco, or even funded by Saudi Arabia, which are radicalising Muslims here in Catalonia. In fact, of the 200 or more mosques which are found in Catalonia, 100 of them already have been infiltrated by the Salafists, that is, the most extreme Islamic branch, and according to this, those who lead the mosques, that is, the imams, are being attracted in order to create those nets of pro- Al Qaeda groups, and this means we should not be surprised at seeing what happens here now in Catalonia, when the very Catalan government is funding and supporting those associations.”
In 2007 the Muslim population in Catalonia surpassed the 250,000 mark. They organize themselves in 83 different Islamic councils, and 300 mosques / prayer halls. Of these, at least 30 are controlled by imams following radical Salafism. Neither the authorities, nor the population, nor moderate Muslims know how to tackle this growing radicalisation.
“These radical movements are openly totalitarian, and opposed to democracy and its values, opposed to, of course, the West, and use the West’s methods and democracy to contaminate minds, to fuel hate speech, and to slowly create a time bomb which someday will eventually explode.”
The attempts to expel illegals fail, the police are desolated, they cannot proceed because immigrants have no papers to prove where they came from. These documents are at the town halls, where immigrants used them to register themselves, but the police do not have access to them, and because of this, expulsions are virtually impossible to carry out. The phenomenon that some town halls do not grant access to register data or census information to the police does nothing but make things more difficult in certain cases.
“This a political, and not a professional problem, and more talking is probably needed to unify views between the political parties, and once common views have been reached, let regulations be implemented and made known to the police so that we can act together and provide a solution, whatever is given, to this problem. The members of the police force cannot deport the illegal immigrants because 99% of them have no papers which could tell where they came from, where their home is. Why does this happen? Because they come knowing everything. Just after arriving in Spain, the first thing they do, even before looking for a living place, is to go to a town hall and register themselves with the documents they bring with them, which are usually the real ones. After registering themselves, they throw away their original documents which tell who they really are. In this way, with those new documents they get, which are those issued by city hall, all doors are open to them.”
Obstacles erected to police action by Catalan town halls are such that even Catalan NGOs published an informative guide for illegal immigrants to help them with the registration procedure. As this document from the Moroccan NGO Beit-al-Tahufah shows: “When someone arrives in Spain, the first thing to do is to register. This procedure is vital in order to justify the date or arrival to the country. Particulars given at registration are not forwarded to any other office, therefore they lead by no means to expulsion.”
“A mayor such as that of Vic, which was not the only one, because the one in Manlleu was also prone to it, and after they denied everything, they said — look, procedure must be followed regarding this, I must inform the police about illegal activities — well, they did nothing. They were outraged, they said — we’ll be cookies — DAMN OF COURSE, of course! of course one must be a cookie regarding illegal activities! it seems that we are scared of verbs like ‘forbid’ or ‘denounce’, whereas the verb ‘forbid’ and the verb ‘denounce’ belong to democracy. Modern civilization was created with the verb ‘forbid’, it is forbidden to kill, to steal... Listen, this is civilization, but ‘to allow’ doesn’t always mean civilisation. Something as simple as ‘I know about a crime, and I call the police informing them about it.’ What is the crime here? This fellow wants to register, and I proceed so, and of course I give him all papers, I give him food, if needed, I help him with housing, I help his children if he has any. I do everything, BUT if I warn that there is an illegal procedure... no, man, no, here suddenly everybody went crazy, everybody told such people off as fascist, xenophobe, racist, underwent a horrible oppression, and was almost kicked right out of the Catalan society.”
The moderate Islamic communities openly warn about the spreading of extremist Wahhabism in Catalan mosques.
“We are creating, well... psychopaths, but when I said in an interview with the newspaper Avui, I don’t know whether I said it in 2003 or 2004, that there were imams which were dangerous, false imams, because they are not recognized, well, nobody paid attention to me, only one who was an adviser, Mrs. Montserrat Tura, appointed me to her bureau, and I asked her if this was an official appointment or was something informal, because of somebody calling me because of an interview about imams. Well, she said that there were no dangerous imams in Catalonia... Now I would ask her for an explanation for all arrests in Catalonia which happened after we talked, all Islamists which have been arrested in Catalonia. The only one who called me was her, simply to tell me that, ‘hey, listen, you have gone too far’, or at least that’s what I think, that’s what I understood at the meeting. They have never taken it seriously.”
The mess at the Catalan register was revealed when the town hall of Barcelona registered illegal immigrants who did not show where they lived, as this document of the register of Barcelona’s town indicates: “without address” In order to avoid conflicts regarding Islamic jihad from Muslim women, the Ministry of the Interior gives in again, and in 2007 an internal document is issued and sent to all offices of the national police in Catalonia in order to make it possible for Muslim women to wear hijab in photos when issuing residence permits for them. It is made clear that photos of the applicant wearing a headscarf, or any other article of clothing which denotes any kind of religion or faith will be accepted.
“What the state police office did was to issue an internal regulation to allow these people to appear veiled, thus violating what the law itself establishes. So what happened here was that the administrative personnel of the national police who worked in this offices, well, they had to endure utterly Kafkaesque situations. I can tell you that not long ago, in a certain police office, one of Mataró, and I can freely reveal this, one of these persons, a woman with a veiled face went to make a request for an identity card, and the attending police asked her to unveil her face, because he has to make sure that the photo brought by her to issue the card shows the real face behind the veil of the woman who brought the photo, and she refused to do so, she was not allowed to take off the veil, not in front of any man.”
The deployment of the police all over Catalonia was totally unproductive, the politicisation of all security forces prevented the Generalitat of Catalonia from reaching partnership agreements with the interior ministry, and this is clearly seen in the coordination of the police force units in Catalonia. A unification of criteria for all authorities which take part in these activities, and after this unification of criteria, well, let everybody row, to work in the same direction. Because if not, cracks appear, which can be used by persons and organizations outside the law. When a lack of coordination between administrations appears, this creates a perfect scenario for persons acting outside of law, or those organizations which operate under these conditions. The attempt of the political class to conceal a latent reality begins to vanish when newspapers begin to make known what really happens.
In May 2007 the newspaper La Vanguardia has a headline:
THE BIGGEST CONCENTRATION OF JIHADISTS IS FOUND IN CATALONIA
In 2008, the number of illegal Muslim immigrants surpasses the number of 300,000; there are more than 300 registered praying centres. Given the lack of a consistent Islamic council, the radical imams grow steadily in and have control over at least 25% of daily prayers. The authorities keep on with their immigration policies. The Catalan socialist president Jose Montilla visits Morocco. The authorities of this country showed their interest to know first-hand how immigration agreements signed by Catalonia work. Just a year after the number of Muslims in this region jumped to 380,000, and the Islamisation of Catalonia began to be a topic of conversation. In the town of Rosas, in Gerona, the construction of a mosque sparked protests from the neighbourhood. Intereconomia had access to its inner praying hall. A police operation as a result made six arrests in Barcelona for charges of being part of Al Qaeda’s financial system. One of them turned out to be a Pakistan-born Spanish citizen, a top member of the Catalan socialist party and its general secretary in Ciutat Vella district-Barcelona: Abdul Rassak. An active militant socialist, who joined the PSC just after an intense campaign promoting immigration. His name is still to be found on the web page of the PSC. In the town of Llerida, as in all other Catalan towns, the same problem is present, and it increases week by week. Every Friday more than a thousand Muslims gather at the garden of the Campos Eliseos in this town. The imam which leads the prayers, Abdel Wahab Hous, is considered to be a Salafist leader who holds views close to those of Al Qaeda. During an interview on local TV he refused to be interviewed by a woman on the grounds that she had makeup on. He was also denounced by his wife for having married another woman, and for having committed domestic violence. He once said that: “We have to make use of Catalan nationalists, because they rely on us to gain votes, but what they do not know is that when they allow us to vote, we all will do so for Islamist parties, because we don’t think in terms of right and left. We will gain mayors, and after having achieved enough power, Islam will be implemented.” The radical Muslims begin to impose their own law. At the end of 2009, in the town of Baix, the police arrested ten Moroccans under a charge of forming an Islamic tribunal, kidnapping and sentencing to death a young Moroccan woman for having committed adultery. She succeeded in escaping and went to the police.
“We are giving a voice to these fellows who are fanatic fascists, misogynists, and they hate us like hell, and want to impose Sharia in our country... we are crazy!”
The situation is unsustainable. The town halls are overwhelmed, just like social services, the schools and the police. The imams gain ground, and the regional government continues to support new arrivals of Moroccans. Seeing this avalanche, provisional praying halls must be opened, like this one in Santa Coloma de Gramanet, to which Intereconomia TV was granted access. The police force, an institution with exclusive scope of action regarding illegal immigration on the entire country, is almost inoperative in Catalonia. The lack of personnel nowadays makes 13 police offices close on all weekends. The operative police groups dealing with immigration are overwhelmed by the bureaucratic work regarding administrative records dealing with the given cases.
“Immigration control is an issue for the national police; it’s their duty. When we notice an illegally registered foreigner, we take him to the police so that the given procedure can be carried out according to the law. We can only do this. The sections which deal with immigrants and issuing of documents simply don’t work, and especially at the weekends. Its not how they work, but that they don’t work at all. The regulations of the national police regarding the law on aliens give them exclusive competences regarding immigration issues, but what happens? When those operating units of the regional police are working, they are on patrol in the streets and they notice a foreigner which is illegally registered, they communicate it to the national police of that given region or the nearest, who immediately turn up at the office of the regional police and takes responsibility for that foreigner. But of course at the weekends there’s almost no functioning national police, so it happens that in many cases these foreigners must be released, either on Saturday or on Sunday, because there were no police to take responsibility for these foreigners having illegal status.”
Early in the year 2010, an incident shook Catalan society. A young Moroccan woman working as a social worker and mediator between the town hall of Cunit and the Muslim community denounced the local imam, Mohammed Ben Braim, for coercion and threats. The imam threatened and intimidated her because she refused to wear the Islamic veil and maintained good relations with non-Muslim Spaniards. After being denounced, the imam asked for help from the socialist mayor of the town. She immediately made arrangements to prevent the detention of the Muslim leader. After that, she said she did it to avoid a social revolt. The mayor of Cunit stated to the newspaper El Pais:
“The police inspector wanted to arrest him but I prevented this in order to avoid a social conflict.”
The criminal court recently condemned him to one year in prison. The mayor, against advice, appointed him as a mediator between the town hall and the Islamic community of Cunill.
“The fellow of Vilanova charged with terrorism and being a member of a terrorist group is the interlocutor of the Muslim community in Vilanova. The fellow sentenced for continuous violence against a Muslim woman who refused to veil herself in Cunit, is the interlocutor in the Town hall of Cunit. The fellow who defends anti-Western radicalism in Lleida, Mr. Houzy, is the interlocutor between the Muslim community and the town hall of Lleida. That is, it is not only that we do not expel them, but they have their own voice!”
In order to stop the influence of the radical imams in Catalonia, the Partido Popular and Convergencia i Unio tabled a motion to forbid the burqa in Catalonia. It was unsuccessful due to the votes of the socialist party, the republican left, and the Catalan nationalists. Nobody want to stop the growing Muslim influence in Catalonia.
“When the P.P. was in power, I sincerely missed the left, because we felt dismissed, and there was such an anti-Moroccanism, an anti-Arabisn, an anti-mosquism, during Aznar’s final term, that it was simply and plainly a “holocaust”, but now with the term of the socialist party the anti-Moroccanism has spread truly everywhere (among citizens). I want nobody to come and say, ‘Oh, come on, we are all trying to help you...’ But in what are you trying to help us?”
“The fact that we deny rights to certain citizens because they do not practice their religion...”
The central government also began to surrender. The defence minister, Carme Chacon, allowed some barracks to be used by Muslims in order to celebrate Ramadan. Barracks such as that of San Fernando in Figueras were occupied for more than a month by 300 Muslims who used the military compounds as temporary mosques. Some months ago the same minister was responsible for forbidding other religious ceremonies in barracks such as the Corpus Christi in Toledo. Chacon handed over barracks to Muslim minorities, but forbade Catholic masses. Another sign sustained the political dependence of Catalonia on Morocco. In 2010, a proposal made in the Catalan parliament by the Group for Peace and Freedom in the Sahara, in which a government resolution in favour of human rights for the Sahara was being promoted, was unsuccessful, because the PSC Socialist Party and Convergenciavi Unio did not sign it. The PSC delegate for Catalonia, Mohammed Said, said this in months before:
“I think that the example of Catalonia regarding the Sahara region is a clear example, an example of broad powers, in the case of Catalonia, inside Spain, and in the case of Sahara, inside Morocco. I am a member of a parliamentary group, and sometimes we are surprised by the reactions of people who sit as delegates at the same table with us. They are our colleagues; all of us want to travel to the Sahara, to sit down and drink a tea in a Haima, but when time for commitment arrives, there are economic and political interests, and fortunately, evidently not all political parties are the same, but now the PSC, the party which rules in Catalonia, and also the one that rules in Spain, they are clear, and I add to this that we have Mr. Said in the Catalan parliament, and I would like to know what his role is here, and what his role is with his friend Mohammed VI. The refusal to handle this problem has produced the political interest of being willing to disguise this situation by creating the industrial settlement mosques in an attempt to conceal a reality created by the political class which led the Catalan government. Intereconomia TV proved that on November 5, 2010 the government’s local office in Barcelona was obliged to set free in Catalonia, due to a legal obligation stated in the law on aliens, 49 irregular immigrants who were in the refugee reception centre in Barcelona. After this, the regional government, according to given agreements, arranged that the NGOs transfer these people to different places in Catalonia in order release them. In this case, they were brought to the city of Alcover, in Tarragona, to set them free. Intereconomia was granted access to the bus and interviewed some of them.
“Today, 49 people from Bangladesh which were transferred from Melilla to the refugee reception centre in Barcelona will be set free right in the middle of the province of Tarragona.”
“Mr. Mamundas, tell me your story. You come from the refugee reception centre in Melilla, and after that you were transferred to Barcelona. For how long (were you there)?”
“Here... 59 days.”
“59 days in Barcelona, and after that you were set free...”
“And where would you like to live in the future after being left here in Tarragona?”
“I like Barcelona.”
“Barcelona, the capital?”
“Yes, Barcelona capital. I want live Barcelona capital.”
“Well, this is another example, 49 people from Bangladesh being transferred from the refugee reception centre in Barcelona right here to Tarragona, and some of them have already declared that they want to live in Barcelona.”
Prayers in public places are now an integral part of Catalonia due to the massive arrival of Muslim immigrants. Town halls are obliged to grant bigger and bigger places to satisfy the needs of a reality which politicians cannot hide anymore, such as the concession of the installations belonging to the naval museum of Barcelona as a provisional mosque. The immigrants legalized at the regularization process of 2001 will be able to gain Spanish citizenship in two months.
Article 22 of the civil code: for the granting of nationality by residence, it is required that this must have lasted ten years. Five years will be enough for those who have obtained refugee status, and two years in the case of nationals of Hispano-American countries, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, or Sephardim.
“The day we decide to put an end to the phenomenon of radical Islamism, we will be too late. We are already late. But very few raise their voices...”