Faulting state statistics about thegrowing number of mosques, Muslims in the Spanish autonomous
"The government statistics are inaccuratebecause officials simply call vaults and underground prayer roomsmosques," Ali Al-Mukhtari told IslamOnline.net Tuesday, March 27.
He was referring to recent statistics released bythe General Authority for Religious Affairs in
The statistics put at 169 the number of"mosques" in the province, saying that then mosques were establishedannually.
"They could not be called mosques," saidAl-Mukhtari. "They are no more than 169 vaults and small prayer rooms ingarages and basements."
Ahmed Zayen, a Spanish citizen of Moroccan origin,also questioned the state version.
"The government wants to leave the impressionthat mosques are on the rise and there is no need for Muslims to have a grandmosque," he said.
There are 800,00 Muslims in
Islam is the second religion in the southernEuropean country after Christianity.
In 2000, the Barcelona Municipal Council promisedMuslim minority leaders a piece of land to build their mosque.
No sooner had Muslims started raising funds for themuch-hoped place of worship mosque than the council reneged on its promise,arguing that the issue was not a priority.
Al-Mukhtari said the council came under intensepressures from the Christian majority in
"Residents held several rallies in protest thecouncil's initial stance, which put on hold the project," he added.
Mohammad el-Shayeb, an MP at
"We want a grand mosque to meet the needs ofthe sizable Muslim minority in
"But we must find first an area that does notirk locals and seek necessary finances to fund the construction of the mosquethat should be in line with Barcelona's unique architecture," he added.
Ahmed Bin Alal, the coordinator of the IslamicCouncil in
"Muslims should reach out to non-Muslims toallay their fears and remove misconceptions about Islam," he said.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16