Spain’s ruling right-wing Partido Popular (PP, often translated as “People’s Party”), in a city in Cataluña, campaigned on denying citizens the right to build a mosque.
In a Facebook post on 20 May, the PP in Martorell wrote (translation mine):
This Sunday you decide if you want it to be allowed to build a mosque in Martorell.
We say no!
Mosque yes: CiU [Convergència i Unió, another Catalan Party]
Mosque no: PP
Hisham Muhammad, secretary general of the Asociación de Jóvenes Musulmanes de España (“Association of Young Muslims in Spain”) and a Spanish public figure known for his work on Córdoba Internacional TV, wrote a Facebook post commenting on the campaign strategy (my translation):
Imagine what would happen if, in a Muslim country, a political party based its electoral campaign on banning the opening of churches.
Imagine if they said:
CHURCH YES: X
CHURCH NO: Y
How can they [the PP] be so shameless?
And how is this type of xenophobic dialectic permitted in a state that claims to be “lawful”?
Imagináos la que se montaría si en un país musulmán un partido político basara su campaña electoral sobre la prohibición de la apertura de iglesias.
Imagináos si dijese:
IGLESIA SÍ: X
IGLESIA NO: Y
¿Cómo pueden ser tan sinvergüenzas?
¿Y cómo puede permitir este tipo de dialéctica xenófoba un estado que dice ser “de derecho”?)
Spain has a very long history of religious co-existence. For centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived in peace in the former kingdoms that are today part of modern Spain.
With the rise of Christian extremism in the 14th and 15th centuries, Muslims and Jews came to be increasingly oppressed. In 1492, the Christian monarchy violently expelled Muslims and Jews, burning their belongings and libraries.