Muslims Join Spanish Elite Force

The Spanish government has decided to recruit for the first time Muslim citizens into the Guardia Civil, the elite police force with both military and civilian functions.

Muslims Join Spanish Elite Force

Up to 50 well-qualified Spanish Muslims will join the force, considered one of the most important and historical security apparatuses in Spain, dating back to 1844 when it was founded by Queen Isabel II.  

The government's decision made headline in the local press on Sunday, November 26, with many newspapers saying it would give a face lift to a police unit that was associated with late dictator Francisco Franco, who ruled the country from 1939 to 1975.

Some editorialists and communists said the move would thrust new innovative ideas into the Guardia Civil.

"Engaging people of other religions proves the Guardia Civil tolerance and will give a modern and different image to the police department," wrote columnist Alberto Matia.

"The move is, indeed, indicative of Spain's openness and multi-culturalism, boosted by immigration," he added.

A study by the Metroscopia social studies institute showed on Thursday, November 23, that the majority of Spanish Muslims are well integrated into society and share Spanish values of freedom and tolerance.

Spainhas a Muslim minority of nearly one million out of a total population of 40 millions.

The southern European country has recognized Islam through the law of religious freedom, issued in July 1967.

Cemetery Expansion

Muslims in the southern city of Murcia, meanwhile, were given the go-ahead to expand their cemetery.

The space has almost doubled to accommodate more 50 graveyards.

Though the number is relatively small compared to the sizable Muslim minority in Murcia, most of the deceased indicate in their wills a desire to be laid to rest in their countries of origin.

In the volatile Basque province, Muslims are pressing for an Islamic cemetery to spare families of the deceased red-tape and avoid transferring the bodies to remote areas or airlifting them to their native countries.

Spanish Muslims have been pressing for state permissions to build mosques in the cities with large Muslims population as Granada, Almera, Alicante, Madrid and Barcelona.

Many of them have to pray at dungeons, basements or even on the streets.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16