Muslims angry over Melilla Day celebrations

17th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 September 2007, MADRID - (AFP) - Spanish Muslims said they were unhappy at Spain's intention to celebrate Melilla Day on Monday to mark the 510th anniversary of Spanish rule in the north African enclave on the Moroccan coast.

17 September 2007

MADRID - (AFP) - Spanish Muslims said they were unhappy at Spain's intention to celebrate Melilla Day on Monday to mark the 510th anniversary of Spanish rule in the north African enclave on the Moroccan coast.

"We consider it an attack on the dignity of Muslims," Abderraman Benyahya, spokesman for the Melilla Islamic Commission (CIM), told the Europa Press news agency

The CIM groups Islamic residents of the tiny enclave, a Phoenician colony in antiquity and which conquistador Pedro de Estopinan claimed for Spain in 1497.

Benyahya insisted there was no need to question residents' loyalty to Spain but said Muslim residents felt that Estopinan had been "anti-Muslim and a keen defender and servant of the Spanish Inquisition."

Spain also owns the Ceuta enclave further along the Moroccan coast, to which Rabat similarly lays claim.

Muslims account for some 40 percent of the respective enclaves' populations.

Discrimination and intolerance towards Muslims will be the subject of an October 9-10 conference in the southern Spanish city of Cordoba under the aegis of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), whose presidency Spain currently holds.

[Copyright AFP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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