Spain: Supreme Court Overturns Burqa Ban

March 4, 2013

Soeren Kern

The ruling denotes a step forward in the continuing efforts to establish Islam as a mainstream religious and political system in Spain.
The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that a municipal ordinance banning the wearing of Islamic burqas in public spaces is unconstitutional.
In its 56-page ruling, made public on February 28, the Madrid-based Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo) said the Catalan city of Lérida exceeded its authority when, in December 2010, it imposed a burqa ban.
The court said the ban on burqas, a traditional Islamic costume that covers women from head to toe, “constitutes a limitation to the fundamental right to the exercise of the freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution.” The court said that the limitation of a fundamental right can only be achieved through laws at the national level, not through local ordinances.

The decision, which the court said addressed a “profoundly political problem,” represents a significant victory for Muslims in Spain. Although it is unclear how many women actually wear the burqa there, the ruling denotes a step forward in the continuing efforts to establish Islam as a mainstream religious and political system in Spain.
In recent years, more than a dozen municipalities in Spain have enacted burqa bans and other legal measures to push back against the ongoing Islamization of Spanish society. The rise of Islam has been especially notable in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia, home to the largest concentration of radical Islamists in Europe, and which has emerged as ground-zero for Salafi-Jihadism on the continent.
Catalonia has 7.5 million inhabitants, including an estimated 450,000 Muslims, who account for 6% of the total Catalan population. In some Catalan towns and cities, however, the Muslim population now exceeds 40% of the population. In the case of Lérida (spelled Lleida in Catalan), 30,000 Muslims now make up more than 20% of the city’s population.
The demographic transformation of Lérida has been accompanied by all manner of Islam-related controversies, including forced marriages, genital mutilation of girls, the takeover of public streets and plazas for Muslim prayers, as well as the deployment of Muslim “morals police” who seek to enforce Islamic Sharia law on city streets.
In July 2011, two Islamic groups based in Lérida asked city officials to regulate the presence of dogs in public spaces so they do not “offend Muslims.” As dogs are “unclean” animals in Islamic theology, Muslims demanded that the animals be banned from all forms of public transportation, including all city buses, as well as from all areas frequented by Muslim immigrants.
Two months later, dozens of dogs were poisoned in Lérida’s working class neighborhoods of Cappont and La Bordeta, districts heavily populated by Muslim immigrants and where many dogs have been killed in recent years.
Residents taking their dogs for walks have also been harassed by Muslim immigrants opposed to seeing the animals in public. In response to the “lack of sufficient police to protect the neighborhood,” 50 local residents have established alternating six-person citizen patrols to escort people walking their dogs.
In an effort to repel the Islamization of Lérida, city officials voted in October 2010 to ban the burqa in all public spaces. Women found violating the ban after December 2010, were subject to fines of up to €600 ($750).
In July 2011, the Supreme Court of Catalonia rejected a lawsuit from the Watani Association for Freedom and Justice, a local Muslim group, which had argued that the ban constitutes religious discrimination. The regional court said the burqa ban was designed to maintain “public order.”
Watani appealed that decision to the Spanish Supreme Court, which met on February 6, 2013 to consider the matter. In siding with the Muslim appellants, the high court ruled on two separate aspects to the burqa ban.
First, the court said the City of Lérida “exceeded its authority” in attempting to regulate the burqa through a municipal ordinance. The court said the burqa ban infringes on the constitutionally protected right to the freedom of religion, and thus it is a constitutional matter that can only be addressed through the Organic Law, the fundamental law of the State.
Second, the court ruled on whether or not the burqa poses a threat to public order and infringes on the equality of women. The court said it was not persuaded by Lérida city officials that “the use of the burqa disturbs the public peace, security and public order.” It added, “The argument that the burqa disturbs our Western culture lacks a convincing demonstration.” Even if there is “cultural friction, a municipality is not the proper entity to address the problem.”
The judges also rejected the argument that the municipal ordinance “is necessary to protect the equality of women.” On the contrary, the court said, a burqa ban could produce the “perverse effect of preventing the integration of [Muslim] women in public spaces” because it would result in the “confinement of [Muslim] women in their homes.”
The court said that “regardless of how great the burqa clashes with our cultural conceptions,” it cannot be determined whether the act of using the burqa “is a voluntary act or not.” The judges said the burqa ban cannot be justified on the mere supposition that “women wearing the burqa in our public spaces do so against their own will, due to an external compulsion that runs counter to the equality of women.”
In reaching its conclusion, the Spanish high court said it examined comparative law as well as jurisprudence stemming from the European Court of Human Rights. It concluded that there is “no legal consensus” on the burqa issue, nor is there a “safe and reliable” jurisprudential pattern. The court noted that only two other European countries have banned the burqa: Belgium and France. In addition, more than a dozen towns and cities in Spain imposed burqa bans.
The court said its ruling would not “prejudge” the possibility that the Spanish government could someday seek to amend the Organic Law and implement a burqa ban at the national level.
The court pointed to a motion approved by the Spanish Senate in June 2010, which urged the Spanish government to “use all options under our legal system and to proceed with rules to prohibit the public use of the burqa and the niqab to ensure equality, freedom and security.” The Senate language also called on Spain to outlaw “any usage, custom or discriminatory practice that limits the freedom of women.”
Until now, however, no efforts have been made to seek a nationwide burqa ban. All eyes in Spain are focused on the economic and social crisis plaguing the country, and considering the extreme polarization of Spanish politics, a burqa ban seems unlikely anytime soon.
Even if a burqa ban were to be approved by the Spanish Parliament, it would still need to be vetted by the Supreme Court to determine its compatibility with the Spanish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Council of Europe, the European institution dealing with human rights issues, recently warned national governments against imposing a complete ban, saying that it would constitute an “ill-advised invasion of individual privacy.”
The Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE) celebrated the Supreme Court decision, saying that it “recognizes the exercise of religious freedom.”
The president of the UCIDE, Riay Tatary, said the burqa ban “scares people” and encourages a “hostile posture” toward Muslim women. “We disagreed with the ordinance because bans always create a backlash,” he said.
The mayor of Lérida, Àngel Ros, a Socialist, said that although he does not agree with the Supreme Court decision, he will abide by it. Ros said he regretted the deletion of a municipal ordinance that “ensured equality between men and women and non-discrimination.”
Ros said: “Obviously, we must abide by a decision by the Supreme Court, but we do not agree with it, because at base the ordinance was meant to ensure equality and prevent the discrimination of women who are forced to wear the burqa against their own will.” He said he would call on the Catalan Parliament and the Spanish Congress to legislate a burqa ban.
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.


Muslims Angered by Spain’s Granting Sephardic Jews Path to Citizenship

December 23, 2012

if America falls apart …it is good to know I have other options then Israel. Of course it doesn’t sound like Spain’s economy is doing much better… and they appear to be just as liberal with Muslims that kill Jews as Israel is.

( National Library of Spain. Photo:

Muslims are demanding that Spain grant instant citizenship to all the descendants of Muslims expelled from Spain in the Middle Ages after the Spanish government had announced plans to grant automatic citizenship to all Jewish descendants of those expelled from Spain in the 1492 Inquisition.
Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón and Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo announced the decision regarding descendants of expelled Spanish Jews last month in Madrid.
According to the Gatestone Institute, Sephardic Jews could already get Spanish citizenship after living in Spain for two years. Now, Sephardic Jews who reside elsewhere can immediately get a Spanish passport if they confirm their ancestry through a special accreditation. However, only those who identify as Jewish today can benefit from this policy, not the descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity to escape persecution. Those Jews must undergo a formal conversation to Judaism first.
Moroccan journalist Ahmed Bensalh Es-salhi wrote in the newspaper Correo Diplomático that the “decision to grant Spanish citizenship to the grandchildren of the Hebrews in Spain in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, while ignoring the Moriscos, the grandsons of the Muslims, is without doubt, flagrant segregation and unquestionable discrimination…This decision is absolutely disgraceful and dishonorable.” He has also threatened Spain.
“Is Spain aware of what might be assumed when it makes peace with some and not with others? Is Spain aware of what this decision could cost? Has Spain considered that it could jeopardize the massive investments that Muslims have made on its territory?” Es-salhi wrote.
Jamal Bin Ammar al-Ahmar, a university professor at the Ferhat Abbas University in Sétif in northeastern Algeria, has also called on Spanish King Juan Carlos I to condemn those who expelled Muslims from Al-Andalus in the 15th century, to apologize “on behalf of his ancestors,” and to assume “responsibility for the consequences.”

Spanish Satirical Magazine Joins the Mohammed Fray

September 26, 2012
But…does anyone know what Mohammed looks like?

(islam versus europe)Spain’s satirical magazine, El Jueves, has decided to join the Mohammed fray to show support for Charlie Hebdo. This week the magazine’s front page shows several potential Mohammed look-alikes attending a police line-up.

José Luis Martín, member of the editorial board and employee of the magazine, responded as follows when asked about fear of reprisals: “It’s not a dish that tastes good, but we cannot remain silent. We humourists cannot self-censor every time there is a danger of a violent response”.

Source: El Mundo

Illegal immigrants in Spain to lose right to government-subsidized public healthcare

September 3, 2012
(Eye) No freebies for illegals.

(Guardian) About 150,000 immigrants living in Spain will lose their right to public health services on Saturday as the recession-hit country tries to save money. But doctors warn that excluding immigrants from the health system will have a wider impact on ordinary Spaniards’ health.
The move by Mariano Rajoy’s conservative People’s party government has provoked anger among doctors and some regional governments that deliver public health to Spaniards.
Amnesty International and other NGOs have accused the government of breaking international agreements by excluding a significant section of the population – immigrants without proper residence permits – from public healthcare.

go figure

Turning Jewish Cemeteries Into Soccer Fields

June 12, 2012

( In Spain, the great Olympic village and stadiums in Barcelona are built over ancient Jewish cemeteries. In Eastern Europe, most Jewish cemeteries were made into soccer fields by the progressive, peace-loving, classless society of the Communists. In Vilna, the ancient Jewish cemetery was leveled for a park and soccer field. Through the intervention of Rabbi Pinchas Teitz of Elizabeth, New Jersey, the bodies of the Gaon of Vilna and other great scholars were reinterred, but since Vilna was in its totality a vast Jewish graveyard the remembrance of what Vilna was to the Jewish people was systematically eradicated by the Communists.

In Bratislava, which used to be called Pressburg, the great Rabbi Moses Sofer (the Chasam Sofer) established a renowned yeshiva, which produced scholars and Jewish communal leaders who revolutionized Jewish life in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th century. Today, the Jewish cemetery in Pressburg is gone. They built a superhighway over it.
Interestingly, the legend of Rabbi Moses Sofer was so great that his grave, as well as the grave of his son and a few other graves, was not dug up and remain buried in a catacomb underneath that highway. There is a stairway that one can descend under the highway, as cars drive overhead, to see the grave of Rabbi Moses Sofer and a monument.(MORE)

Professor Netanyahu’s lessons

May 11, 2012

Caroline Glick..
11 May ’12..
In all of our many conversations that took place over the better part of the past decade, I never asked Prof. Benzion Netanyahu what led him to become an historian. Certainly it was a function of his concern for his nation and his recognition that our very existence hung in the balance. Certainly, too, it was a function of his insatiable intellectual curiosity.
I don’t know whether his decision was the function of a specific event or simply a natural progression of his life’s path. But through the lessons that he taught me both directly, and through the books he wrote, I can understand why once he embarked on his journey into Jewish history, the path he eventually took became inevitable.
Netanyahu died last week, at the age of 102.
A good place to begin a study of his long life and its impact on his actions is with his first major work, his biography of Don Issac Abravanel, the leader of the Jews of Spain at the time of Spain’s final expulsion of the community in 1492. Abravanel was an extraordinary scholar of philosophy and Jewish teachings as well as a financial genius. The former brought him renown among his people. The latter attracted the monarchs of Portugal and Spain and the leaders of Italian city states.
One of the shocking aspects of the tragic end of the Jewish community is Spain is that Abravanel, and his fellow communal leaders failed to anticipate the expulsion order. For all of his proximity to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Abravanel had no idea that they were planning to expel the Jews and so was unable to either cancel the expulsion decree or to make preparations for the community to move to another land.

In his biography, Netanyahu described the exiled Jews of Spain as they sought and were denied refuge in port after port.
In his words (translated from the Hebrew edition): “On 24 August 1492 nine caravel ships arrived in the Port of Napoli bearing expelled Jews from Spain. The journey from Spain was one of continuous suffering. The ship owners were unsympathetic, cruel and greedy. The ships were overloaded and lacked sufficient food. The sanitary conditions invited disease, and the plague quickly spread among the passengers. All these conditions left the expelled in a state of abject penury after weeks of suffering. The historian Genovani, who saw some of these exiles when their ship passed through his town’s port, wrote, ‘It was possible to mistake them for ghosts; they were so hollow; their looks were so frigid, their eyes so sunken in their sockets. They looked just like the dead, aside from the fact that with great difficulty, they were still able to move.'”
Netanyahu proceeded to do the only thing he could, when faced with this description. He made the comparison between the plight of the expelled Jews from Spain, and the Jews of Europe during and after the Holocaust. And from this direct line of suffering, one can begin to understand not only the continuity of the form of Jewish suffering – but the continuity the persecution of the Jews over the course of the long exile that began in 70 CE with the destruction of the Second Temple.
NETANYAHU’S RESEARCH into the life of Abravanel led him to his most important historical discovery. While working in one of the libraries in Spain, he came across the writings of Jewish leaders in Spain from the years leading up to the Inquisition and expulsion in 1492. He discovered that in the early and mid-15th century, the Jewish community hated and feared the former Jews who were forcibly converted en masse to Christianity during the first state offensive against the Jews in 1391.
Until Netanyahu came across these writings, he shared the popular view that the so-called Conversos were heroes who led a double life. On the outside, they were Christian, but they remained Jews in secret.
What he discovered was that this heroic posture lasted at most one generation. The children of the Conversos were enthusiastic Catholics. Many rose to power in the Catholic Church.
Whereas the Jews who remained in Spain after 1391 were by and large a pitiful, impoverished remnant of what had once been a magnificent community, the Conversos quickly became the leaders of Spain, and in so doing, angered their fellow Catholic Spaniards who envied their success.
Netanyahu’s findings led to his revolutionary conclusion that the Spanish Inquisition did not target the Jews as a religion, but the Jews as a race. Most of those who died by Torquemada’s sword were loyal Catholics whose only crime was their possession of Jewish blood. The real Jews were not killed. They were expelled. His conclusion from his finding was that there was nothing unique or new about the Nazis’ racial and genocidal hatred of the Jews.
Netanyahu’s intellectual journey shaped and sharpened his perception of the Jewish condition. It fortified his conviction that Zionism is the only means of securing the lives of Jews as individuals and the existence of the Jewish nation.
Netanyahu’s Zionism was not a hyphenated one. It was not Labor Zionism, like the Zionism of David Ben-Gurion and his socialist followers. It was not religious Zionism, like that of the Lovers of Zion movement which formed the core of the initial modern Jewish settlement drive in the Land of Israel.
He learned from the early Zionist leader Yehuda Pinsker’s seminal pamphlet, Auto-Emancipation, that Zionism rejects utopianism. Netanyahu’s own lesson from the Spanish Inquisition is that for Jews, assimilation is as much of a utopian path as socialism. As Pinsker, and later Theodor Herzl made clear, the only way for Jews to be redeemed is by doing it themselves.
In his study of Pinkser from 1944, Netanyahu wrote, “Pinsker thought that normal relations between national groupings are not based on mutual affection but on mutual respect.”
According to Pinsker, what distinguished exile Jews from all other nations was the Jews’ failure to understand this basic truth. For the Zionist movement to succeed in liberating the Jews, its leaders needed to demand and command the respect – not the sympathy – of other nations.
AS NETANYAHU showed in his 1937 article on Herzl’s Zionist doctrine, Herzl, the man who built the diplomatic and legal edifice upon which the State of Israel was created, believed that Zionism rested on two essential foundations: international recognition of the Jews’ right to sovereignty over the Land of Israel; and Jewish military capacity to defend those sovereign rights.
Until his death in 1904, Herzl worked feverishly to build international recognition of the Jewish people’s right to the Land of Israel in its maximalist borders – from the Nile Delta to the Euphrates River. As Herzl understood, it is much harder to secure international recognition of sovereign rights than it is to give them up, and once they are renounced, they are all but impossible to regain.
What Herzl found was that it was much easier to secure international recognition of the rights of the Jewish people than it is to convince the Jews to muster the courage to demand, seize and defend those rights.
Netanyahu wrote his study of Herzl at the same time as the Zionist leadership in pre-state Israel was debating Britain’s Peel Commission’s partition plan. Although it provided for the establishment of a tiny, indefensible Jewish statelet, the plan involved Jewish renunciation of their sovereign rights to the overwhelming majority of the land they had lawfully received sovereign title to under the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. That sovereign title included all of present day Israel as well as Judea and Samaria, and arguably present-day Jordan as well.
Netanyahu argued that the tragedy of Zionism is that the leaders who took over after Herzl’s death – first and foremost Ahad Ha’am and Chaim Weizmann – lacked the courage to demand the rights of their nation, preferring to be loved than respected.
Lamenting this failure of will and what it was liable to mean for the future of the Jews as the drums of the next war grew ever stronger, Netanyahu wrote that the one thing that Herzl worked towards but failed to achieve was to change “the character of the nation.”
“This change,” he wrote, “which Herzl believed was critical, was not manifested in the spirit of its leaders, or more precisely, in the spirit of those, who conducted negotiations in the name of the Jewish people, and afterwards managed its affairs. When it was necessary to demonstrate the courage of a sovereign, which Herzl spoke of, when it was necessary to dare and demand from the world the Jewish State and sovereignty over that state, the nation’s representatives issued no such demand.”
In the end, despite Netanyahu’s reiteration of Herzl’s warning, the Zionist leadership accepted the Peel Commission’s partition plan, just as 10 years later they accepted the UN Partition Plan.
Fortunately for their ill-served nation, their willingness to renounce the Jews’ sovereign rights under the League of Nations Mandate was never binding, because the Arabs rejected the plans and so rendered them null and void. The Jewish nation’s sovereign rights to the Land of Israel remain in force today.
In 2005, Netanyahu republished his profiles of Pinsker and Herzl, as well as profiles on Max Nordau, Israel Zangwill and Ze’ev Jabotinsky, which were written between 1937 and 1981, as one collection. He called this book of essays The Founding Fathers of Zionism.
In his introduction to the collection, Netanyahu wrote, “The articles included in this book were written decades ago. They are published here as first written because I saw no reason to correct them….”
And he was right.
Zangwill once wrote, “The past is for inspiration, not imitation, for continuation, not repetition.”
The challenges the world Netanyahu departed last week present to the Jews bear striking similarities to those that faced the Jews throughout our history, and certainly since the dawn of modern Zionism. Unlike the options Abravanel had to weigh, since the dawn of modern Zionism, our leaders have had the option of demanding and commanding the respect of the nations of the world and so securing the lives of the Jews and nationhood of the Jewish people in our land.
Today the heirs of the failed utopian movements of the last century have joined forces with the jihadist heirs of the Mufti of Jerusalem to deny the Jewish people our sovereign rights to our land. If they succeed they will finally and irrevocably destroy Herzl’s greatest achievement.
The most ardent hope that comes through clearly in Netanyahu’s life work is that the Jews find a leader of Herzl’s stature, capable of demanding and commanding the world’s recognition and respect for our rights, and the ability to finish Herzl’s work by convincing the Jewish people that it is our right and our duty to assert and secure our destiny in our land.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

Summary: Christian Europe hated Jews for their Blood. Hitler may of not been a real Christian, but the Christians in Catholic Spain were. It is important to not look to Christians for a helping hand. Often we Jews lack the courage to demand the rights of a nation and we prefer to be loved rather than respected.  Let’s hope his son Bibi really understands this.

Reversing the Reconquista

February 8, 2012

(Gates of Vienna) Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:The CBN report below examines the ongoing re-Islamization of the Iberian Peninsula, as evidenced by the accelerating immigration of Muslims into Spain — and the exodus of well-educated middle-class Spaniards from the country. Based on recent surveys, most of the new arrivals have no intention of assimilating, but owe their primary loyalty to the Ummah. Absurd Lies about Cordoba Spain – Islamic Inquisition