SHARE
COPY LINK

ISLAM

Muslims in Spain rally against terrorism after attacks

Two hundred Muslims rallied in the streets of Granada, southern Spain, on Wednesday in protest against a surge in anti-Islamic hate crimes following last week's deadly attacks in the country.

Muslims in Spain rally against terrorism after attacks
Photos: AFP

 

The protest was called after the city's main mosque was attacked with flares on Saturday by a handful of members from a far-right group, Hogar Social, who also unfurled a Spanish flag outside building, according to images on Spanish TV.

Muslim groups have reported a jump in anti-Islamic hate incidents since the twin vehicle attacks in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils that killed 15 people last Thursday. Those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group.

“It is very important for us to affirm our values as Muslims which are the same as those of all other human beings on this planet,” said Nizar Liemlahi, the director the Dar Loughat Muslim cultural association, one of the co-organisers of the rally.

Only 0.1 percent of the world's Muslims commit attacks and these people “do not represent our values or our principles,” added Liemlahi, a psychologist who moved to Spain from Morocco in 2010.

The protesters brandished banners with slogans such as “I am Muslim and I want to live in peace” and “We also are victims” as they gathered outside Granada city hall.

Mounir Benjell, head of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities (FEERI), said the increase in anti-Islamic incidents since the attacks was “unbearable”.

“Unfortunately, after what happened, there is an avalanche of cases. In my 25 years in Spain I have not seen anything like it,”    

Vandals have defaced mosques with racist graffiti and some people have posted videos on social media sites calling for the expulsion of all Muslims, he said.

About 1,000 Muslims marched in Barcelona on Monday against terrorism.

READ MORE: Muslims fear anti-Islam backlash in tolerant Barcelona

ENVIRONMENT

Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?

Around 10,000 people demonstrated against the expansion of the El Prat airport in Barcelona on Sunday.

Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?
People march during a demonstration against the expansion of the Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP

Several ecological and agricultural organisations, have demanded that the expansion be stopped due to the fact nearby wetlands and farms would have to be destroyed.

The demonstration took place on Calle Tarragona in the Catalan capital between Plaça d’Espanya and Plaça dels Països Catalans.

The protests still took place, even though last week, Spain suspended the €1.7 billion airport expansion project, citing differences with the Catalan government, after president Pere Aragonès said he wanted to avoid destroying La Ricarda lagoon, a natural reserve next to the airport. 

Environmentalists decided not to call off the march, in case plans for the airport expansion still went ahead.

READ ALSO: Six things you need to know about Barcelona airport’s €1.7 billion planned expansion

Political representatives from ERC, En Comú Podem and the CUP also attended, as well as the leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón; the Deputy Mayor for Ecology of the Barcelona City Council, Janet Sanz, and the Mayor of El Prat de Llobregat, Lluís Mijoler.

People from neighbourhoods across the city marched towards Calle Tarragona and could be seen holding placards that read Nature yes, airport no and shouting slogans such as “More courgettes and fewer planes” and “Fighting for the climate, health, and life”. 

One of the largest groups of people were those from El Prat de Llobregat, the municipality which is home to the airport, who were led by tractors. 

People march during a demonstration against the expansion of Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

In addition to protesting against the expansion of the El Prat airport, people were also demonstrating against the Winter Olympic Games in the Pyrenees and extensions to airports in Mallorca and Madrid. 

A representative of Zeroport, Sara Mingorría said “We are here to defend not only La Ricarda, but the entire Delta”. 

The philosopher Marina Garcés also argued that the expansion of the airport would mean “more borders, more mass tourism, more control and more precarious jobs.” 

The leader of the commons in the Catalan parliament, Jéssica Albiach, who also attended the protest, asked the PSOE for “coherence”: “You cannot be passing a law against climate change and, at the same time, defend the interests of Aena [the airport operations company]”, she said. 

She also urged the leader of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, to “definitely say no. 

If the airport expansion in Barcelona goes ahead, environmentalists say that CO2 emissions would rise by a minimum of 33 percent. These levels would surpass the limits set by the Catalan government’s climate targets.

SHOW COMMENTS