Spain: Salafism grows in Catalonia
In the last four years their number has doubled. In 2004, they had 15, concentrated for the most part in Tarragona, nowadays they control between 27 and 30 mosques and their area of influence has extended itself to Lleida and Girona, according to the authorities. In Barcelona, their presence is still not very important.
(…) There are more than 50 salafist mosques in Catalonia”, Said Hamduni says. He is the coordinator of the Reus mosque and one of the most active leaders of this “trend” in Catalonia. “I’m Salafist”, he admits with pride and insists that “Salafism is the true Islam”. “We follow literally Mahoma’s teachings. If something is not written in the Quram or in the Hadiths, we don’t consider it as valid”, Hamduni explains.
(…) Why a so rigorist doctrine is so succesful with the Muslims in Western countries? “Because salafism is fascinating for them”, an expert says, adding: “It offers simple and literal answers -just looking at what the Quram says- to very complex questions. As it’s based on the texts, it’s very easy to follow. And the fact that there are so clear moral rules, that the people even change their dressing way, produces an spectacular growth in the identity of the converted”.
(…) security forces are alerting of processes in which those religious groups in are trying to shield Muslim communities of the cities where they live. In some places, Imams have asked believers to reduce, as much as possible, their relationship with non-Muslims. Hamduni denies it: “We don’t want to be apart from society. We only want to leave according to our religion”.