Amnesty International denounces Catalonia's 'war on mosques'

24 April, 17:20

(ANSAmed) - MADRID, APRIL 24 - Human rights organization Amnesty International has spoken out against the discrimination of Muslims in Europe and in Catalonia, where the followers of Islam are forced to worship in the street, exposed to the elements due to a lack of mosques. According to a report presented by Amnesty simultaneously in Brussels and in Barcelona and quoted in today's media, in the Catalan region there were 40 legal disputes between 1990 and 2008 between Muslim associations and citizens' associations or municipal councils. All requests to open mosques have run up against ''technical obstacles, rejection by the public and even opposition by political parties openly stating that the construction of temples dedicated to the Islamic religion is incompatible with respect for Catalan culture and traditions''.

In the eyes of Amnesty International, all of this is ''contrary to the freedom of religion, which includes the right to community worship in adequate places''. The human rights organization also spoke out against the ban on the burqa introduced by a number of Catalan municipalities for reasons of safety and equality, given that there have been ''no reports of any woman entirely covered posing a threat to public safety or who has refused to identify herself''. Inside the report named ''Elections and Prejudice: Discrimination against Muslims in Europe'' the NGO states that the efforts put forward by governments to put a halt to negative stereotypes suffered by Muslims are extremely limited in number and insufficient, especially in countries such as Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. (ANSAmed).