Archive for the ‘Islamisation of Spain’ category

How Barcelona Became a Victim of the Barcelona Process

October 12, 2017

How Barcelona Became a Victim of the Barcelona Process, Gatestone InstituteFjordman, October 12, 2017

The Barcelona Process, promoted by the EU, has helped to facilitate a greater presence of Islam and Muslim immigrants in Western Europe — thereby also increasing the Islamic terror threat there. That result was perfectly foreseeable.

When the number of people who believe in Islamic Jihad doctrines rises, the likelihood of experiencing jihadist attacks increases as well.

It is unlikely, though, that European political leaders will point to this connection. Doing so would be an indirect admission that Europe’s leaders have actively increased the Islamic terror threat against European citizens. This is the brutal truth they do not want exposed.

The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. On March 11, 2004, 192 people were killed, and around two thousand injured, in the Madrid train bombings.

In hindsight, that attack marked a new phase in the modern Islamic Jihad against Europe. After the Madrid bombings, London was hit with deadly bombings on July 7, 2005. In recent years, the frequency of jihadist attacks on European soil has increased dramatically.

It is probably not a coincidence that Spain was an early target of Islamic terror. The Iberian Peninsula, present-day Portugal and Spain, was for centuries under Islamic rule. Militant Muslims have repeatedly made it clear that for them, reconquering Spain is a priority.

The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. (Image source: JT Curses/Wikimedia Commons)

Ironically, some people in Barcelona seem to view tourists who pay for short-term visits as a greater threat than Muslim immigrants who come to stay permanently. One can hear similar reactions among some radical left-wing activists, for instance, in Greece.

Mass tourism can potentially cause problems such as overcrowding and local pollution. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that only a few days before the terror attack in Barcelona, some locals were complaining about an invasion of tourists. One radical left-wing group, Arran, published footage of tourist bikes in the city having their tires punctured in acts of deliberate sabotage. Of course, the problem might be even greater if there were too few tourists.

Meanwhile, a real invasion of Spain and Europe is taking place. For years, huge numbers of illegal immigrants from the Islamic world and Africa have been entering, especially through Greece or Italy. Spain, too, has seen a spike in the number of illegal immigrants. The Spanish-controlled enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa are under increasing pressure as points of departure for migrants.

The Madrid bombings in 2004 were immediately followed by the election in Spain of the Socialist politician José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. His policy of appeasement of Islam and the Islamic world was, sadly, not the first. Western Europe’s appeasement of Islam stretches back at least to the 1970s.

With the 1973 oil embargo, Arab countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) used oil as a weapon and tool for blackmail. European countries started giving concessions to Arabs to ensure their oil supply and, they doubtless hoped, avoid terrorism. These concessions were not just limited to economic affairs. They also included opening Western Europe up to Islamic culture and Muslim immigration. The author Bat Ye’or has written extensively on this subject.

As part of the Euro-Arab Dialogue, a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership between the EU and the Arabic-Islamic world was launched in 1995 with the so-called Barcelona Process. Its purpose was to strengthen the ties between Europe and the Arab world in the fields of trade, economy, environment, energy, health, migration, education, social affairs and cultural cooperation.

This Process has been in force for decades. Despite it, the increasingly stronger ties between the EU and Arab Muslim countries rarely receive critical scrutiny from the European mass media. There is even a Union for the Mediterranean, which most Europeans have never heard of.

As the official website of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the diplomatic service of the European Union (EU), stated in October 2017:

The Union for the Mediterranean promotes economic integration across 15 neighbours to the EU’s south in North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans region. Formerly known as the Barcelona Process, cooperation was re-launched in 2008 as the Union for the Mediterranean…. Projects address areas such as economy, environment, energy, health, migration, education and social affairs. Along with the 28 EU member states, 15 Southern Mediterranean countries are members of the UfM: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Syria (suspended), Tunisia and Turkey. Libya is an observer.”

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania in western Africa, a full member of the Union for the Mediterranean, has the same formal status there as Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy and Poland. Although Mauritania was the last country officially to ban slavery, it is still widely practiced there to this day. Yet the country regularly cooperates with the EU on matters of importance to the future of the EU.

The Barcelona Process, promoted by the EU, has helped to facilitate a greater presence of Islam and Muslim immigrants in Western Europe — thereby also increasing the Islamic terror threat there. That result was perfectly foreseeable. When the number of people who believe in Islamic Jihad doctrines rises, the likelihood of experiencing Jihadist attacks increases as well.

It is unlikely, though, that European political leaders will point to this connection. Doing so would be an indirect admission that Europe’s leaders have actively increased the Islamic terror threat against European citizens. This is the brutal truth they do not want exposed.

Fjordman, a Norwegian historian, is an expert on Europe, Islam and multiculturalism.

The Quiet Islamic Conquest of Spain

September 30, 2017

The Quiet Islamic Conquest of Spain, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, September 30, 2017

Islamic rogue regimes, such as Iran, have also been able to infiltrate Spanish political parties. According to an investigation, Tehran gave money to Podemos, the leftist party which emerged as a new contender in the Spanish political arena.

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“Evicted five centuries ago by crusading Christians, the Arabs are back in Spain, using their oil dollars to buy land that was seized from their ancestors by the sword”. — James M. Markham, The New York Times, 1981.

The Madrid daily ABC wrote that 800 mosques in Spain are out of control. The Spanish daily La Razon charged that Gulf donors, such as Qatar, were a source of Spain’s Islamization. The Saudis also launched a new Spanish television channel, Córdoba TV, as did Iran.

They dream of, and work to, regain the “lost Caliphate” of Spain. Some Islamists do it with bombs and car-ramming attacks. Others, more surreptitiously, do it with money and dawa, Islamic propaganda. The second way may be even more effective than the first.

The ceremony in 2003 was announced with bombastic headlines: “After a wait of more than 500 years, Spanish Muslims, have finally succeeded in building a mosque of their own in the shadow of the Alhambra, once the symbol of Islamic power in Europe”. A troupe from al Jazeera was sent to follow the event: a muezzin climbed to the minaret of the Great Mosque of Granada to call the faithful to prayer for the first time in five centuries.

From Osama bin Laden to the self-proclaimed Caliph, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, all the leaders of the global jihad — including the terror cell that killed 17 people in Barcelona — have mentioned Spain among the lands to be conquered by Islam. There is, however, not only jihad. There is also “the quiet conquest“, as it has been dubbed by the French magazine, Valeurs Actuelles. The quiet conquest is a sinuous attempt to re-Islamize Spain through cultural centers, mega-mosques, proselytizing, conversions and financial investments. This pacific attempt to elicit submission has been underway for some time and has been backed by a flow of money from countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. According to a former commander of British forces in Iraq, General Jonathan Shaw, these two countries in particular have ignited a “time bomb” by funding the global spread of radical Islam.

The New York Times first detailed in 1981 that, “evicted five centuries ago by crusading Christians, the Arabs are back in Spain, using their oil dollars to buy land that was seized from their ancestors by the sword”. Spain back then did not even recognize the State of Israel, and the Spanish monarchy regularly visited Saudi Prince Fahd while he was relaxing in the south of Spain. After that, it was Kuwait’s turn: “During the late 1980’s, when Spain was booming, Kuwait came shopping for corporations and investments”.

Since then, the Arab monarchies have targeted Spain with huge investments. Some emblematic buildings in Madrid and Barcelona, not to mention the Costa del Sol, are now owned by Arab investment groups, from the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid to the W Hotel in Barcelona. In Marbella, just a few meters away from the King Fahd Mosque, there is the Alanda Hotel, which offers halal food and services to meet the demands of the Muslim clients. In 2011, the International Petroleum Investment Company, controlled by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, purchased Cepsa, the second-largest Spanish company in the oil sector.

Last January, Spain’s King Felipe VI visited Saudi Arabia and announced that Spain would boost economic, trade and investment relations with the Islamic kingdom. Before that, in 2012, Saudi Aramco awarded Spanish companies projects worth $700 million. Spain and Qatar are now discussing the formation a $1 billion joint investment fund that would help the Gulf state invest in Latin America. The Arab Emirates’ media called Spain “a hotspot for investment from the Arab world”. After Qatar, it was the Oman’s turn to invest in the Spanish market: Oman just agreed to invest up to $120 million in a uranium mine in Spain, to be used for Omani nuclear energy plants.

Demographically, Muslims are witnessing a shocking population increase in Spain. In 1990, Muslims in the country numbered 100,000. By 2010, the number had increased to 1.5 million. In 2017, the number was nearly two million. It is a growth of 1,900% in 27 years.

Today there are 1,400 mosques in Spain. According to the Observatory of Religious Pluralism in Spain (an initiative of the Ministry of Justice), “this figure represents 21% of all places of worship for all religions present in Spain”.

The most prolific funder of mosques in Spain is Saudi Arabia. In 1985, using only its own money, the Saudi kingdom opened the Islamic Cultural Center in Madrid, Europe’s largest mosque, followed by the Islamic Center of Malaga, which the Saudis financed with 22 million euros (today the Madrid area has 112 mosques and Islamic cultural centers). As Gatestone’s Soeren Kern detailed, the Saudis have built mosques everywhere, from Marbella to Fuengirola.

Islamic rogue regimes, such as Iran, have also been able to infiltrate Spanish political parties. According to an investigation, Tehran gave money to Podemos, the leftist party which emerged as a new contender in the Spanish political arena.

The Madrid daily ABC wrote that 800 mosques in Spain are out of control. The Spanish daily La Razon charged that Gulf donors, such as Qatar, were a source of Spain’s Islamization. The Saudis also launched a new Spanish television channel, Córdoba TV, as did Iran.

The details of this religious proliferation are detailed The Spain of Allah, a book by Ignacio Cembrero. While the number of Catholic churches in Spain has not undergone much variation for many years, Muslim mosques have been growing at a rate of 20% percent annually. Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani has also offered to buy La Monumental Arena in Barcelona to turn it into Europe’s biggest mosque. The United Arab Emirates funded the construction of the Great Mosque of Granada.

Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani has offered to buy La Monumental Arena in Barcelona, with its nearly 20,000 seats, to turn it into Europe’s biggest mosque. (Image source: Sergi Larripa/Wikimedia Commons)

They dream of, and work to, regain the “lost Caliphate” of Spain. Some Islamists do it with bombs and car-ramming attacks. Others, more surreptitiously, do it with money and dawa, Islamic propaganda. The second way may be even more effective than the first.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.