Hate Crime against Muslims rises in Spain

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©  Demidoff / Shutterstock
Muslims during Ramadan in Spain.

NEW Statistics show that hate crimes in Spain have risen significantly in 2015. The Islamic Federation issued the information on April 12 following a series of attacks on mosques. 

In total the information reveals that a staggering 534 anti-Islamic hate crimes, including abuse online, were recorded last year. This is an increase of 486 with only 48 happening in 2014. 

The president of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities, Mounir Benjelloun, said:

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“These types of aggressions increase whenever there is an act of violence in a European country carried out by Islamic extremists.”  

France saw a lot of terrorist activity last year and Benjelloun feels these have had a great impact on the European and Spanish psyche. 

2015 was a turbulent year for France. There was the attack in January 2015 against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police and a kosher supermarket in Paris that killed 17 people and the simultaneous assault the concert hall, nearby restaurants, and the football stadium in the French capital in November 2015 that left 130 dead.

On Tuesday April 12, Spanish police confirmed that 14 people had been identified in connection with the protest outside of Madrid’s main mosque – The Omar mosque, which occurred shortly after March’s appalling Brussels airport and metro attacks. 

The placard at the protest read, ‘Today Brussels, tomorrow Madrid?’

Prosecutors are currently investigating whether charges can be bought against the 14. 

The Union of Islamic Communities of Spain issued a statement at the time saying: “Extremist groups” were determined to “manipulate public opinion by trying to group together and channel hate towards Muslims.”

More anti-Islamic hate crimes occurred on April 12 in Madrid when police in Parla arrested a man linked to the far-right, accused of throwing red paint on a local mosque’s door and also painting swastikas on the entrance. 

There are 1.89 million Muslims in Spain and since the Brussels attacks hate crimes have been on the rise. Mosques have been vandalised in protest in other cities as well such as Granada and Salamanca. 

Benjelloun also suggested that in many cases victims are often reluctant to file complaints or give statements to the police, and some police stations label attacks on Muslim property as vandalism instead of as a hate crime.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Is anyone really surprised? The Muslims refuse to integrate into our western culture, and has anyone ever heard of Muslims in general roundly condemning the atrocities by the Jihadist groups? No you haven’t!

    Recent research shows that Muslims have no intention of integrating with us, for they abhor everything that we stand for. They are more intent on forming their own societies within our shores.

  2. Muslims in Spain are very well integrated into mainstream society, most have been here a decade or two and some young adults are second-generation Muslim migrants, they’re an active part of the community here and every time there’s an attack, NUMEROUS imams, Islamic culture centre leaders, and members of the Muslim population in general hit out at terrorism. Many were victims in the Al-Qaeda bombing in Madrid in 2004 and the Spanish newspapers are full of anti-violence comments by Muslims after every major terrorism incident in Europe. I’m a bit bored with people saying Muslims ‘don’t actively condemn terrorism’ – how about reading the news now and again??? They most certainly do!!!! In any case, most feel they shouldn’t have to, even though they do. Every time a British murderer is found hiding out in Spain (which is fairly regular), do we Brits feel we ought to stand up in public and say, “not all Brits are murderers; we’re a peaceful race, really…”???
    Spain has strong historic and cultural connections with Morocco, where most of its Muslim residents come from, and a good relationship with its King. Both races have ALWAYS lived in harmony here. A smaller number are Pakistani, and they never cause any trouble. In fact, they’re some of the most hard-working people here and are always willing to help anyone out.
    These fascists caught are playing straight into DAESH’s hands; ISIS WANTS Islamophobia in Europe, so racists are just dimwits helping to PROMOTE ISIS’s cause.

  3. Atocha, 7/7, 11/9, Paris, Brussels, Bali, Boston, Tunisia, Egypt – – just those few recent ones account for 3,757 murdered, and over 10,000 injured – some gravely. Just what does the Muslim “community” expect decent people to think. This is not hate crime, any more than retaliating by bombing and then invading Nazi occupied Europe was “Hate Crime”. It is self defence against a cruel enemy.

  4. Kally:- Why don’t you read the article by the former head of Britain’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Trevor Phillips that appeared in the British newspapers recently. It will open your eyes to the truth.
    He stated that “Muslim populations in Europe are creating nations within nations” because they refuse to integrate. Survey results show that one in five Muslims will never enter a non-Muslim house, and 39% say their wife should always obey her husband. Also, 31% of Muslims say that each man has the right to more than one wife, and 23% support the introduction of Sharia Law. It would seem that homosexuality is very high on the agenda, as 52% believe it should not be legal.
    Islam can never be criticized or changed or improved in any way was “strongly agreed” to by 80% while another 10% “agreed”. The right to attack the “oppressor” is obscured in flowery language, and with strong support at 84% strongly agreed and 8% who agree – taking the total approval level of combat to 92%.
    Perhaps this will change your mind because this is prevalent throughout Europe and will only get worse as more pour in.
    Why do you think that rape and child abduction has increased fifty-fold since Tony Blair opened the gates to immigrants? Even in Germany we had the attacks at New Year and it will get worse.
    The Spanish Muslims may not be as bad as they rest, but they would still like to see Europe become Muslim.

  5. @Roy Peters: Which British newspapers? Which ‘origin’ of Muslims? How did they gather their data and what were the ACTUAL questions and responses? Remember the ‘1 in 5 Muslims’ article, which was horrifically manipulated? UK rags don’t go in for factual r

  6. @PM: Muslims were hurt, killed and bereaved in 11-M, 9/11, 7-J, Paris, Brussels, Tunisia and Egypt. The lifeguards who formed a line to act as a human shield to tourists in Tunisia were Muslim. I was in Egypt during the 2005 bombings and our Muslim tour g

  7. Roy Peters, clearly YOU need to axe the generalisations and knee-jerk prejudices and READ a little. (My job does require a fair bit of social and political research, actually, so I do know what I’m talking about). Perhaps you ought to stop reading the kind of tabloids which are aimed at the semi-illiterate and owned by far-right extremists who don’t let the truth get in the way of a hatred-inciting headline.
    I’m far more worried about extremist Christian bigots than I am about everyday Muslims, and with good reason, too.

  8. Kally I am NOT prejudiced against Muslims, but I do see the facts as they are. Your experiences here in Spain do not mean that ALL Muslims are the same.
    The report I quoted was from an ex-government minister who is appearing in a special TV programme on, I believe Thursday. He is telling of his experiences of trying to help the Muslim population in Britain to integrate more with our society, all of which ended in total failure.
    The poll was very wide ranging and exhaustive, and the questions were put to Muslims by FELLOW Muslims so as to get at the truth.
    Say what you will, but the bald truth is now known, which is something most people have suspected for a long time.
    If you doubt this then perhaps you can explain to me why Muslims have practically taken over Bradford and Tower Hamlets among other places in England and turned them into a Muslim enclave in Britain.
    Trevor Phillips has said that this is happening all over Europe, and will increase with the last influx of over a million refugees last year.
    In the near future Germany will find out what a big mistake Merkel made when she opened the door, just like Blair did in Britain.
    Once again I remind you that I do NOT hate Muslims, but I see things as they really are! History will prove which of us is right!!!!!

  9. @Roy Peters: What about the kilometres of coast in the southern Alicante province and that of Málaga, literally now British enclaves, full of Brits who refuse to integrate, don’t even try to learn the language, want their part of Spain to be Little Brita

  10. You are overstepping the bounds of the ‘discussion’ with this Kally. Most Brits who have apartments here have them for their summer holidays and are INFREQUENT visitors. It does not make sense for them to learn Spanish although many I have met do speak a few words. Many are old folks who have a hard time trying to learn a new language. With this comment you are just confusing the issue.
    The Muslims that have moved to Britain are PERMANENT residents and flatly REFUSE to learn the language of their new home. They keep to themselves, they are not ALIENATED as you say!.
    As I said earlier, ONE IN FIVE Muslims living in Britain would never enter a non-Muslim home so what does that tell you!!!!
    Many Muslims have no job and no future because they refuse to integrate with the local population and prefer to live off benefits which they get for free. As you say many are not very intelligent so this too hinders them from getting a job, presuming they want one.
    Once again I will remind you that I am NOT talking about Muslims in Spain, but more of those living in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and Holland and other northern countries.
    Don’t blame the people of the northern countries for the lack of Muslim integration for it is NOT their fault. They PREFER to live apart from us, why else would they take over places like Bradford, Tower Hamlets and many parts of Birmingham and Manchester? You will also find they have tried to take over English schools. Ever heard of the ‘Trojan Horse’.

  11. @Roy Peters, do you live on Mars?! Over a million Brits live PERMANENTLY in Spain, year-round, and only around half are pensioners. Who do you think breeds kids for British schools here, or runs British pubs? Part-time octogenarians with holiday homes?! T

  12. Kally I really do not want to argue with you any more. You have your views and I have mine. In time you will learn the truth of Muslims in Europe.

  13. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all just get along with each other in mutual friendship and harmony? Both the Bible and Koran advise us to love our fellow human beings as brothers and sisters, even as much as we should love ourselves. Maybe if we could actually do that the world might be a better place?

    Sadly though, too many people do not agree. I don’t just mean pseudo-religious terrorists or fanatics. I’m referring to anyone who displays intolerance towards others or who shows a lack of consideration or understanding of people whose way of life is different from their own. Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually celebrate our different ways and customs instead – embracing and loving the sheer richness and variety of humanity in all its wonderful, glorious, rainbow diversity?

    But no, some people prefer uniformity to diversity. Well, cheap travel and ever increasing mobility means people of many different cultures and nationalities live as neighbours everywhere now. There’s no going back to the monolithic days of old when most places had just one particular nationality or religion or way of life.

    So given that, which is the better attitude when other people become your neighbours? Welcoming them or rejecting them?

  14. Hi Brian, I agree wholeheartedly with what you have said, but isn’t it a pity that some people across the world just cannot do this.
    It would indeed be a great thing for mankind if we could all live in peace together, but you know as well as I do that life is not like that.
    I personally do not have a problem with Muslims so long as they are willing to be our friends, but sadly for many that is not true.
    There will always be differences between races on this Earth and that often leads to conflict. The main reason is that many, like the terrorists, want to control the world and the majority of people reject this.
    Would you like to live under Sharia Law and see your wife going around in a burka? No I thought not.
    It was the same during the Second World War where certain nations refused to bow down to the demands of men like Hitler, and for that reason they fought back.
    Islamic State are somewhat like Hitler in that they want to control vast areas of the world and as you would expect, people are fighting back because they do not want this.
    I fear that mankind will never change in this respect, for there will always be those who want to exercise control over others.

  15. Roy, there’s something a bit strange about you writing “Would you like to live under Sharia Law and see your wife going around in a burka?” Let me assure you my wife will never be found going around in a burka. Neither will our lawyers and judges sweep away our entire legal system and replace it with Sharia Law. Please forgive me, but the idea that such things could actually happen seems very peculiar.

    Yet the entire thrust of your posts indicates that is indeed what you fear – that Muslims will somehow be able to knock on our doors and force us to adopt their way of life against our will. Honestly, there’s more chance of us being converted by Jehovah’s Witnesses Roy!
    (My apologies to any JWs reading this. Please don’t take offence. I’m just using you to illustrate a point.)

    The thing is, ordinary Muslims don’t actually try to convert anybody. They only want to be allowed to worship in peace in their mosques just like Christians in their churches or Jews in their synagogues. Sure, there are a few evil “radicals” around grooming some young people who are already attending their mosques or recruiting them online like the one arrested in Mallorca, but please don’t confuse such evil people with ordinary everyday Muslims who are no threat to the rest of us at all. Let’s not repeat the mistakes the Nazis made with the Jews.

  16. Hi Brian. I did not mean that literally, but when you see the way that Muslims are taking over entire cities, like Marseille in France and Bradford in Britain among many others it leaves room for thought.
    In many cities across Europe, and in particular the U.K., they have introduced Sharia Law which the government seems powerless to stop. Even our police are afraid to enter these areas.
    With the extra 1.82 million that arrived last year and the anticipated minimum of a million that will arrive this year, it leaves room for thought.
    I am well aware that they will never succeed in taking over Europe, but their influence is spreading.
    I refer you also to the former head of Britain’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Trevor Phillips who has said that the “Muslim populations in Europe are creating nations within nations”. You may well like to read the reply I sent to Kally below, for that comes from an ex-government minister who has admitted that he got it totally wrong.
    For myself, I am glad I am no longer a young man, for there will be deeply troubled times for Europe in the years ahead.

  17. @Larry Henson, thank you for that most thought-provoking and intelligently-debated contribution to the discussion. Personal insults are the last resort of those with no reasoning power.
    Why? Why do you say that?

  18. Hi Kally. Sorry I haven’t been around for a while to give you some support. I’ve been away in the UK without much WiFi access and just got back a week ago so I’ve not been on the EWN website for ages until this week.  I read all your contributions when I got back though and as always I’ve been very impressed.

    It’s a great pity when people like Larry just put up silly one-liner put-downs instead of making a proper contribution to the discussion. Sadly, too many people in this world just like to boost their own egos at the expense of others by doing things like that. It’s actually a mild form of bullying and there should be no place for it on a website like this. It’s even worse though when it turns into full-on shouty insults of the type that we see all too often. Sometimes though you just need to give as good as you get with people like that, don’t you?

    I guess the moderators are faced with a difficult task walking the fine line between censorship and freedom of speech – especially on a news website where the principle  is so important. It would be nice though if more people would enter properly into a spirit of intelligent discussion and make some decent contributions instead of just posting any old thing to see their names in print like a few seem to do.

    Keep up the good work Kally! You’re doing fine.

  19. Thanks for that, Brian. I was actually wondering where you were (and getting a bit worried!!!!) As my lovely GM says, how does anyone have the right to treat someone as inferior or cast them out just because of their religion? Whilst I wouldn’t personally want to spend a lot of time in the company of someone whose every word was religion-centred, or who expected me to convert or used their doctrines to criticise who I am, I firmly believe demonising someone for a culture you don’t share is wrong. And picking on minorities is wrong, unless they harm others (which most Muslims don’t. With 1.87 in Spain alone and more in France and UK, if ‘all’ Muslims were potential terrorists, the world would be wiped out by now). They’re ‘spreading’ because they’re breeding, which they’ve a right to do, and the only way we can redress the balance is to keep having kids – but not all westerners want to whereas the family culture and continuing the bloodline is more important to those of eastern origin. And does it matter? I remember similar comments about Indians back in the 1980s. What’s happened is that second-generation Indians grew up with pre-Viking Brits as well as each other, and are comfortable mixing with anyone, whilst keeping the cultural and traditional ties they want and discarding the rest (like Brits in Spain. I keep up with celeb gossip, news, pop music, and read novels and watch films from both countries, love Spanish food but can’t resist creme eggs or those fab veggie ready meals in Sainsbury’s when I visit the UK).

  20. Kally:- Why is it that whenever someone puts their views on a subject on these pages, right or wrong, they get ATTACKED by you?????
    Why can’t you just let people put their views down on these pages without getting all wound up and going for their throats??????
    This is the very last communication I will ever have with you!

  21. Roy Peters, you’re a fine one to talk about personal attacks – it’s what you do best! Muslims, foreigners, gays, anyone who isn’t exactly like you (gawd help us) gets a tirade of bigotry, intolerance, rejection, and narcissism. And pompous remarks about ‘needing help with their issues’ or ‘ranting’ when they point out the errors of your black-and-white thinking. Just because someone doesn’t fit the standard ‘sheeple’ culture doesn’t mean they should be bullied or degraded. Muslims are READING your comments, did you realise this????
    You live in Spain, are British and a Christian, and the Spaniards are happy with that. BUT, it makes you a foreigner who practises a different religion. Rather like a Muslim. If a Spaniard insulted you online, the way you insult everyone who’s not a WASP, how would you feel? If just ONE Muslim reads my comments and realises he or she is NOT universally hated, it’s a start.
    You are apparently unable to write any opinion without insulting someone – usually personally. If you can’t take being countered, if you can’t handle intelligent discussion involving views less narrow than your own, try being less militant about those who are different from you.
    Your comments about Muslims, refugees, immigrants and non-heterosexuals are hate speech, and tolerance levels to that in Spain – under national law – are (fortunately) much lower than they are in the UK.
    Is this really your last communication with me? Oh, thank goodness.

  22. The headline could just as easily be “Hate Crime Against Muslims Rises In Euro Weekly News” judging by some of the comments. There is evidence of an alarming rise in anti-Muslim prejudice expressed by some readers and even by some paid writers in this newspaper especially on its website.

    Lee Graham (who also calls himself  Leapy Lee) is the most frequently outspoken offender in this respect. He has many followers among EWN readers and on his Facebook page who seem to agree completely with his opinions and they say so vociferously all the time.

    There should be no place in a civilised society for hate crime of any kind and the obvious rise in anti-Muslim hate crime going on everywhere right now is undoubtedly fuelled by writers like Lee Graham and also in what some describe as the “Gutter Press” section of the media. They fan the flames of naked hatred and intolerance with their prejudiced opinions.

    I appeal to the editors and staff of the Euro Weekly News to take account of this and not allow such a great newspaper to become associated with this awful trend. It must be stressed that ordinary Muslims are no different from ordinary Jews or ordinary Christians and should be treated as such. Don’t forget all 3 of these major religions worship the same God! They just use different ways of doing it. They’re not harming anybody. Only criminals and terrorists do that. I appeal to everyone – please have the wisdom to understand the difference and treat Muslims better.

  23. My sentiments exactly, Brian. (Graham Pulleyblank is his original name, isn’t it…) The British red-tops and right-wing rags already do enough to incite hatred and discrimination (neither Muslims nor any other religion or culture in either UK or Spain is offended by poppies, Christmas or people wearing cross symbols, nor do they want to ban Peppa Pig. These were invented to fuel racism and, sadly, they worked). Do we really need yet another publication doing the same, especially as we know the EWN supports refugees, immigrants, and ethnic minorities in general and that their own friends and family members and probably staff fall into some of the categories repeatedly attacked by Mr Pulleyblank and his followers both on this site and on his own, and by a small number of readers on various fora here?
    I’m fast losing any pride I had in being British. My native land is unrecognisable from the one I left – it’s now become far-right, fascist, narrow-minded and intolerant. When a woman in a hiyab walks down the street in Bradford minding her own business and is yelled at, insulted and told to ‘something off back home’ by passers-by (as seen on TV documentary when I was last in UK), I feel ashamed of the very land which bred me. And it seems even its expats in Spain, who live in glass houses, are perpetuating the hatred now.

  24. Hi Kally, yes his birth certificate names him Graham Pulleyblank. He changed it to Lee Graham and as we all know refers to himself as Leapy Lee.

    This news item reflects the effect Leapy’s opinion column and others like it have on hate crime against Muslims. I have to be very careful here for reasons that will become obvious, but I know a lot about Leapy that would make many of his fans run a mile if they knew the full story of his life instead of his own sanitised versions.

    It is common knowledge that Leapy is a convicted criminal sentenced to prison for his part in a 2 on 1 assault on an assistant bar manager. What is less well known is the innocent victim was taken to hospital with multiple injuries including being slashed with a flick-knife. It appears Leapy received a longer prison sentence than his accomplice. Apparently the fight broke out after refusal to pay for sparkling water provided for a child. There’s more, but that’s enough to give some idea of the horrific nature of the crime. The time Leapy spent in prison was less than he was sentenced to by the judge of course.

    To be fair it happened a long time ago, but if it wasn’t hate crime I don’t know what is and does a leopard change its spots? Worth remembering when we see that ancient photo of him grinning out at us saying “Leapy Lee says it, others think it” followed by the trite “Keep the faith. Love Leapy.” Yeah. Love Leapy, love hate crime.

    I’ll leave it up to the moderators to decide if this is ok to publish.

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