World Bulletin / News Desk
A week after Spain ruled that Sephardic Jews who are descendents of the Moriscos and were evicted out of southern Spain between 1492 and 1609 can claim citizenship, a Muslim group has demanded that Spain gives Muslims the same rights.
Muslims ruled Andalus in southern Spain from the 8th century till the 15th century, when the Spanish inquisition gave Muslim and Jewish residents three choices: to leave, convert to Catholicism or be killed. While many were slaughtered, those Muslims and Jews who were able to escape fled to North Africa and parts of the Ottoman Empire.
While Spain's Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said Spain owed the Sephardic Jewish community a debt for spreading the Spanish language and culture around the world, many suspect that Spain's decision is a direct result of their dire economic situation and is a desperate attempt to pull in rich Jewish investors.
The law potentially allows an estimated 3.5 million residents of countries where many Sephardic Jews eventually settled, such as Israel, France, the United States, Turkey, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, to apply for Spanish nationality.
However, Muslims who were also expelled from Andalus have questioned why the same right has not been given to them. “The Spanish State should grant the same rights to all those who were expelled, otherwise their decision is selective, if not racist,” Bayi Loubaris, president of the Association for Historical Legacy of Al-Andalus, told Spanish news agency EFE.
Loubaris also explained that the decision presents a confession of the “guilt of the Spanish State in expelling its own citizens,” before calling for Muslims to be given the same rights.
Spain's 1.6 million Muslims make up around 3.4% of the overall population, but only 464,978 are Spanish citizens.Last Mod: 20 Şubat 2014, 15:19