Spain: Far-right party makes major gains in Andalusia

By Alyssa McMurtry

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) – A Spanish party calling for immigrant deportations and a border wall captured a surprise 11 percent of the vote in Andalusia’s regional elections on Sunday, making it the first far-right party to win seats above a municipal level since the death of dictator Francisco Franco.

Before Sunday, Spain had stood out as an exception to the far-right wave that has been showing strength across Europe.

“The Reconquista [reconquest] is starting in Andalusia and will spread to the rest of Spain,” tweeted the Vox party on Sunday night after the results were called, referring to the historical period in which Christians gained control of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslims.

The Socialist Party had run Andalusia for 36 years uninterrupted, but on Sunday they lost their majority. A right-wing coalition is a likely outcome.

Marine Le Pen of France’s surging far-right party sent her “warmest congratulations” to Vox, tweeting: “They have achieved a significant result for a young and dynamic movement.”

Vox’s nationalist platform fiercely opposes Catalan independence, vows to fight corruption, and calls for more deportations and a massive wall to be built on Spain’s southern borders.

“An immigrant from a Spanish-speaking American country… is not the same as immigration from Islamic countries,” said Vox leader Santiago Abascal earlier this year in the Canary Islands.


Spain: Granada mosque attracting Muslims in Ramadan

By Hasan Esen

GRANADA, Spain (AA) – A mosque in Andalusian city of Granada located in southern Spain overlooking the famous Alhambra Palace is attracting more Muslims during the month of Ramadan.

The mosque named “Mezquita Mayor de Granada ” (Grand Mosque of Granada) is hosting iftar dinners in which people are served with dates and Moroccan Harira soup.

Mosque's Secretary-General Zacarias Lopez Rejon told Anadolu Agency that they broke Sunday's fast with milk and dates, while Harira soup was served after Taraweeh prayer.

“After the evening prayer, we perform Taraweeh prayer. During the whole month, Quran is read from beginning to end twice, ” Rejon said.

Rejon said that the mosque's construction was started by Granada’s Muslim community 30 years ago when his father converted to Islam.

“We had difficulties in construction of the mosque. The process took a long time because of financial and political reasons. Finally the mosque was inaugurated for worship in 2003, ” Rejon said.

Rejon added that they need financial assistance from the whole world to keep maintaining the mosque.

Muhammed Ibrahim Perez, a mosque visitor who is in his 60s, said Muslims in Granada have an important place in terms of local, national and international aspect.

Perez said that Ramadan is the best and awaited month of the year.

Southern city of Granada was a land of the Andalusian Umayyad for eight centuries until the Granada War in 1492, when the Muslims lost their all power in Spain.

After the Spanish victory, Granada was annexed to Castile, a kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages.

This war was a part of “Reconquista “, which means reconquest.

Alaturka Gazetesi

Turkey donates 3,000 Qurans to Spanish Muslims

By Sorwar Alam

ANKARA (AA) – A group connected to Turkey’s top religious body has donated 3,000 copies of the holy Quran to Muslims in southern Spain, the foundation announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Turkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDV) — connected to the Religious Affairs Directorate, or Diyanet — said Spanish translations of the Quran also including the original Arabic text had been distributed to Muslims in Granada and Seville in Andalusia, southern Spain as part of the campaign, “Let my gift be the Quran.”

In the campaign, launched jointly by the TDV and the Religious Affairs Directorate to meet the need of many Muslims worldwide for the Quran, more than one million copies of the holy scripture have been distributed across the world, including to countries in Latin America and Asia Pacific, said the statement.

Mecit Balci, who sits on the group’s board of trustees, and Abdurrahman Cetin, its deputy director general, took part in the Quran distribution ceremony that arose to meet the need of Andalusian Muslims, it added.

The Diyanet Foundation has been organizing and promoting projects to translate the Quran into various languages, and to date has done 17 different translations.