in category Europe

Is Spain tolerant of Islam and its Muslim minorities?

1 Answer
1 Answer
0 Helpful
0 Unhelpful

The historian Matthew Carr in his book "Blood and Faith - The Purging of Muslim Spain" answers this well in his introduction:

"Despite this official promotion of tolerance, vestiges of the Moorslaying past still linger. In March 2001, Spanish Minister of Immigration Enrique Fernández-Miranda argued that immigrants would be more easily incorporated into Spanish society if they converted to Catholicism. In 2003 Spanish and Latin American soldiers who participated in the invasion of Iraq were controversially issued with Saint James the Moorslayer crosses. In 1982, the Spanish government passed a law granting Spanish nationality to descendants of Jews expelled in 1492. No such dispensation has been granted to the descendants of the Moriscos.

In March 2005, King Juan Carlos was due to visit the Moroccan city of Tetuán, where descendants of expelled Moriscos called for a formal apology for what had taken place. One local historian claimed to have collected seven thousand surnames of Spanish origin in the town and declared, “We want moral reparations for the wounds we suffered. Mentally, we feel linked to the same customs and history. Spanish traditions are ours, too.” The king unexpectedly canceled his visit, for reasons that were not explained, and this call has never been answered.

All this suggests that Spain is still not entirely comfortable with its Muslim past—or present. Anti-Muslim sentiment is not as widespread in Spain as it has become in some European countries, but it can still be seen in the campaigns against mosque construction, such as the intense local opposition to the building of the Grand Granada Mosque in the Albaicín. Faced with falling congregations and the loss of its predominant place in Spanish society, the Catholic Church has expressed increasing anxiety at the Muslim presence. Commenting on the cancellation of compulsory religious classes by the socialist government and rumors that other religions, including Islam, would be placed on an equal footing with Catholicism, Spain’s leading archbishop, Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, declared, “Some people wish to place us in the year 711. . . . It seems as if we are meant to wipe ourselves out of history.”

User Settings

What we provide!

Vote Content

Great answers start with great insights. Content becomes intriguing when it is voted up or down - ensuring the best answers are always at the top.

Multiple Perspectives

Questions are answered by people with a deep interest in the subject. People from around the world review questions, post answers and add comments.

An authoritative community

Be part of and influence the most important global discussion that is defining our generation and generations to come

Join Now !

Update chat message


Delete chat message

Are you sure you want to delete this message?