The Islamic communities of Catalonia have laid a complaint this Tuesday with public prosecutors against the far-right Vox party for incitement to hatred, as sources from the Union of Islamic Communities of Catalonia (Ucidcat) have confirmed to the ACN agency.
This federation of community groups, together with the Islamic Council Federation (FCIC) and the Islamic Federation (FIC), which represent 90% of the 330 mosques in Catalonia, have condemned in a manifesto the "anti-Islamist" videos that Vox has disseminated under the slogan "Stop Islamization in Catalonia". The three organizations say that it is a campaign "that incites hatred against Islam and Muslims in Catalonia and Spain." They further claim that this "irresponsible" use of the Islamic religion is "an attack on the right to religious freedom". It shows "a lack of respect for the religious feelings of many citizens", they decry in the statement.
La capacidad de las federaciones de trabajar en equipo, la unión y el trabajo unitario que emana de este es un componente muy importante en la lucha contra la islamofobia y en la defensa de los derechos religiosos y culturales+ pic.twitter.com/FgtP5BXxhB— McIslamofobia (@McIslamofobia) February 1, 2021
"The ability of federations to work as a team, united and work together that emanates from this is a very important component in the fight against Islamophobia and in the defence of religious and cultural rights"— McIslamofobia, an anti-Islamophobia platform.
"Assault on democracy, justice and freedom"
"For this reason, we are taking legal action with the prosecutors' office of Catalonia," they declared in a statement issued in late January. Ucidcat, FCIC and FIC claim that "linking Islam and Muslims to terrorism as a right-wing voting strategy is a barbaric act" aimed at "fuelling racism, xenophobia and hatred of Muslims". For that reason, they believe Vox is making an "assault on democracy, justice and freedom."
The three bodies have also called on the other political parties in the Catalan campaign to respect the principles of religious freedom and conscience, and not to use religious sentiments in a partisan way.
Vox rejected in Ripoll
This Tuesday, residents of the town of Ripoll received Vox with a protest, holding up banners, sounding car horns and chanting "Fascists, out of our towns", after both the party's list leader in the Catalan elections, Ignacio Garriga, and the president of the party in Madrid, Rocío Monasterio, referred to the Pyrenean town as the "cradle of jihadism".
Vox took advantage of its visit to the municipality which was the home of the imam accused of the August 2017 attacks on Barcelona and Cambrils, to once again link Ripoll with terrorism, and to group immigration with the "Islam totalitarianism". After speeches from the far-right leaders, the Vox entourage, for the first time this campaign, took a walk through the streets of the municipality. Their goal was the mosque, in order to set up a photo opportunity. They succeeded, although anti-fascist groups accompanied them loudly, and Mossos d'Esquadra police protected them.