The Catalan Caliphate

SPAIN – In view of the clashes in Catalonia, we have collected some background for you, shedding light on the Catalan government, and their role in making their region a stronghold of Salafist Islam.

An illegal street prayer in the Catalan city of Mollet in 2013

1. The Catalan Caliphate

By Thomas Eppinger

The attackers of Barcelona and Cambrils murdered at least 16 people – a 51-year old German succumbed to her injuries last week. Nothing is known about her identity. German victims seldom have names. 24 victims are still treated in hospitals, 5 of them are in critical condition.

It is hardly a coincidence that the gravest attack in Spain, since Madrid 2004, was carried out in the Catalan capital. Catalonia is a stronghold of political Islam, and for one single reason:

Because the Catalan separatists have extremely pushed the immigration of Muslims from Marocco and Pakistan over the last 30 years.

The central person of the Catalan independence movement is Jordi Pujol, from 1980 to 2003 president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, in other words the governor of Catalonia, and until 2003 the chair of the Party Convergència i Unió (CiU). There are a number of court cases ongoing against him and his 7 children for money laundering and corruption in the billions. The Catalan Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC), an alliance of Pujol’s CiU and the christian-democratic Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC) was, from 1979 to 2003, in power without interruption.

During this whole time, the CDC pocketed 3% of the contracts they awarded from the companies that got the contract. Alone the Pujol clan moved at least 31 million Euro in cash over the past years to black accounts in Andorra.

Pujol made his fortune with corruption, but his greatest worry was the low birth rate in Catalonia. The shrinkage of „real“ Catalans was impossible to compensate for with immigrants from Murcia and Andalusia. When the economy started to flourish in the 1990s, the separatists worried that the new jobs would be taken by hundreds of thousands of Hispano-Americans. They thought that, as the Spanish-speaking Hispanics did not speak Catalan, they therefore would further the assimilation of the Catalan culture into the Spanish culture.

So a few particularly bright heads got the idea to bring predominantly Muslims from Morocco and Pakistan into the Country – if they need to learn a new language anyway, the government could make them learn Catalan.

The separatists hoped to get cohorts of cheap labor forces that way, which they could win for the separatist movement. Would a worker, who could only speak Catalan and Arabic, and depend on social benefits, be able to leave Catalonia?

Once arrived, Catalanism would surely turn the Muslims into Catalan nationalists. It’s alright as long as they just sing the Els Segadors, the Catalan national anthem, and wave the Estelada, the Catalan flag. And of course cheer for the FC Barcelona.

Then, Integration would just naturally occur by itself.

The consequences of this strategy are widely visible. The Muslim population grew to more than 500,000 – more than parties like the Partid Popular (PP), Podemos or Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) have voters. 2012, the second most common name in the province of Girona was Mohammed. In the region of Segarra (Lérida), 55% of the children born in 2014 had foreign mothers. The community of Salt (Girona), in which 12,000 of the 30,000 inhabitants are Muslims, became a „New Mecca of the radical Salafists“. The mayor of Salt said a few years ago in a radio interview, that the Muslim population were increasingly radicalizing:

„Just a few years ago, the women from Maghreb were rather Western-oriented, now you see increasingly less of that. The high number of Muslim inhabitants of Salt attracted Imams, who enforce the adherence to Islamic rules and dress codes. Back in the days, Muslim women usually wore jeans, now they cover their hair. These Imams do not encourage the living together.“

Source: www.mena-watch.com

Besides Salt, other towns too became centres of Salafist Islam in Spain. The movement has its seat in Tarragona, but has important branches in Badalona, Calafell, Cunit, El Vendrel, Gerona, Lleida, Mataró, Reus, Roda de Bara, Rubí, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Boi, Torredembarra, Valls, Vic and Vilanova. Barcelona alone has got 5 Salafist mosques. Just like elsewhere, the Salafists in Catalonia preach that the Sharia law is above Spanish law, they push the development of Muslim parallel societies, and have established sharia courts, that watch over the adherence to Islamic rules.

With the help of the separatists, Catalonia became one of the most important mediterranean centres of radical Islamists. On October 2., 2007, the US embassador to spain, Eduardo Aguirre, sent a 5-page telegraph to Washington. In this classified document, which was published in El País, Madrid, it says, among others:

„Strong immigration – legal as well as illegal – from Northern Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria) and South-East Asia (Pakistan and Bangladesch) made Catalonia a magnet for terrorist recruitment… The Spanish police estimate there are in Barcelona and the near vicinity more than 60,000 Pakistani, who are in the majority male, unmarried or unaccompanied, and without a legal [residence] title. Even more such immigrants are from northern Africa. They live at the fringes of the Spanish society, they do not speak the language, often they are unemployed, and have just few places where they can practice their religion in dignity. Each one of these circumstances alone would make a fertile ground for recruitment as a terrorist, all of these together, the threat is obvious.

There is little doubt that the Autonomous Region Catalonia has become an operational basis for terrorist activities. The Spanish government tells us that they fear the threat from these small-cell immigrant societies, which are gullible to radicalization, but they have little means to infiltrate them by intelligence.“

The attacks of Barcelona and Cambrils were neither acts of nature, nor regrettable isolated cases. They did not come over the people without warning, and they weren’t inavoidable. The terror cell of Imam Es Satty was a consequence of faulty Immigration politics.

This  article was translated from Die Achse des Guten, and originally appeared on August 31 on Menawatch.com, a Vienna-based Middle East/Near East monitoring think tank.

2. The Islamic Republic of Catalonia

by Soeren Kern, October 12, 2012

“We will all vote for the Islamic parties because we do not believe in left and right. This will make us win local councils, and as we begin to accumulate power in the Catalan autonomous region, Islam will begin to be implemented.” — Abdelwahab Houzi, Salafist preacher, Lleida.

A successful push for independence in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia would lead to the establishment of a country with the third-largest percentage of Muslims in Western Europe, just behind France and Belgium, and far ahead of Britain and Germany.

An independent Catalonia, with its capital in Barcelona, would also be home to the largest concentration of radical Islamists in Europe; it would emerge as ground-zero for Salafi-Jihadism on the continent and become one of the top incubators for Islamist terrorism in the West.
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Please read the full article at the Gatestone Institute: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3393/catalonia-islamic-republic

3. Catalonia to Muslims: Support Independence, Get Mega-Mosque

Qatar to Fund Third-Largest Mosque in the World
by Soeren Kern, August 7, 2014

Muslim leaders in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia say they have been promised a mega-mosque in Barcelona if they support independence from Spain in a referendum set for November 9.

Officials from the Catalonia’s ruling Convergence and Union Party (CiU) are seeking the ballots of all of the roughly 100,000 Muslims in the region who are eligible to vote. “If you support us in the referendum, there will be a mosque,” CiU officials are said to have promised Muslim leaders, according to Spanish media.

The mega-mosque in question is said to involve a 2.2 billion euro ($3 billion) project to convert a historic bullfighting stadium in Barcelona into the third-largest mosque in the world, after those in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

The historic bullfighting stadium “La Monumental” in Barcelona may become the largest mosque outside of Saudi Arabia, under a tentative plan worked out between Catalan nationalists and the Emir or Qatar. (Image source: Sergi Larripa/Wikimedia Commons)

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Please read the full article at the Gatestone Institute: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4581/barcelona-mega-mosque