Spain has deported a Moroccan Muslim activist, who is accused of being one of the “main advocates” in Spain of the Salafist movement of ultra-conservative Islamism, Spanish police said Saturday.
The 40-year-old was deported to Morocco on Saturday morning after he was held for several weeks at a deportation centre in Barcelona, a police source told AFP.
Officers arrested Mohamed Said Badaoui last month in the northeastern province of Tarragona, where he was the president of the Association for the Defence of the Rights of the Muslim Community.
A Spanish court in late October approved his deportation due to “his participation in activities contrary to national security” and “public order”.
Spanish police consider Badaoui to be “one of the main advocates in Spain of the most orthodox Salafism, which he preaches so influentially that an increase in radicalism occurred in Tarragona” since he moved there, according to its ruling.
They also accused him of “taking advantage” of the “vulnerability” of minors who arrive in Spain without their parents, “mainly of Moroccan origin”, to indoctrinate them in the “most radical Salafism,” which promotes a strictly conservative lifestyle.
Badaoui has rejected these accusations. Well-known in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia where he has lived for nearly three decades, he presents himself as an activist and anti-racism campaigner.
He has been supported by Catalonia’s main separatist parties which govern the region as well as by the regional branch of far-left party Podemos, the junior partner in Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s coalition government.