Sources in Spain’s Ministry of Interior express growing concern over the rise of Islamic law, known as sharia to Muslims, and the increase of Muslim separatism. In Spanish mosques, groups are emerging which promote Islamic judges and policing that have a growing influence over Muslims living in Spain. While this has long been known in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and France, it has now been detected in rural areas of Catalonia and in towns such as Tarragona, Gironés and Segarra.
The mosques in question are almost uniformly in the control of Salafist jihadis. Such jihadis have espoused separatism and violent struggle with the West at least since the 1980s.
Muslim clerics in Catalonia, for example, call upon the faithful to not befriend native Catalonians nor belong to Catalonian civic organizations. The imams demand that Muslims buy only “halal” food (e.g. meat slaughtered according to Muslim ritual), and that they avoid banks since these ostensibly violate Muslim abhorrence of usury. Muslim parents are warned to not allow their daughters to use the gymnasiums in the schools nor on any account should they use swimming pools. Muslims are told to remove their daughters from school upon the first appearance of menstruation.
Security officials in Spain fear that sermons from the mosques may not suffice to bring Spain’s Muslims to order. Appearing in Spain are groups of men who enforce Islamic law “sharia and Islamic order “hisba” – as to dress and behavior, especially on the part of women. According to sources in Spain, Muslim dissidents and victims of the enforcement of sharia fear reprisals should they report to the police. Muslim women who refuse to veil themselves are insulted, harassed, and sometimes physically assaulted by strong-arm enforcers of sharia. At times, the parents of fractious girls and women have been assaulted by the Muslim enforcers who have kept them in detention and even subjected them to battery. In Saudi Arabia, the Islamic enforcers are known as “muttawa”. In 2001, muttawa on the scene of a fire at a school in the Oil Kingdom refused to allow girls to leave the blaze because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress. Fifteen girls died as a result.
According to one report, a Muslim teenage boy was given a severe beating by Muslim enforcers for having merely played soccer with non-Muslims. From the mosques there continue to emerge demands that Muslims not socialize with infidels. Muslim men who choose to socialize with non-Muslims in Catalonia have been forcibly removed from bars where they played cards or drank coffee. Some have been forced to wear beards and to forgo the wearing of blue jeans: a symbol of Western decadence.
In Tarragona, northeastern Spain, a Muslim woman accused of adultery was condemned to death in early 2009 by a panel of nine Salafist Muslim men. The nine men were arrested by police in the town of Reus and charged with assault and attempted murder. They had taken the woman to a mosque where she was beaten.
In another such case, a pregnant woman was beaten by two men in October 2009 in Ciudad Real for having neglected to wear a veil. She managed to escape but was to suffer a miscarriage as a result.