Left: the 11 ISIS terrorist cell members responsible for attacking Barcelona’s Las-Ramblas, the town of Cambrils, and the village Alcanar, Spain, on August 16 and 18, 2017. Credit: Daily Mail.
After the Islamists attacked pedestrians strolling along Barcelona’s Las Ramblas and the nearby town of Cambrils, and blew up a house in the village of Alcanar, killing 14 and wounding more than 100 others, and after ISIS claimed responsibility for and celebrated the deadly attacks, Catalonia’s regional government’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Raül Romeva, insisted his region is known for its tolerance and “coexistence.”
This was not the message that Abdelbaki Es Satty, the Moroccan Salafist Imam, preached until last June at the mosque in Ripoll, which was attended by eight of the nine ISIS sympathizers who terrorized Catalonia last week. The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch reported that the president of the mosque, Ali Yassine, is a member of the Federation for the Comunidad Islamica Annour De Ripoll, which RAND’s 2007 report identified as “a federation with close ties to the Syrian Muslim
Brotherhood.” While the region saw more jihadists arrested last year than any other region in Spain, only one of the attackers had a criminal background and therefore was known to the police. The Imam disappeared, and one of the nine attackers vanished. But how many ISIS sympathizers and potential jihadists are among those who frequented the Ripoll mosque, and thousands who flock to more than 100 similar Salafi mosques in Spain are under the radar of the Spanish and international security agencies?
Islamic terrorism is not new to Spain. In March 2004, an al Qaeda group bombed four commuter trains, killing some 200 people and wounded more than 1,400 in rush-hour Madrid. In April 2005, a cell of forty-one al- Qaeda operatives in Spain that assisted the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., was tried in Madrid. In January 2008, fourteen Pakistani Taliban terrorist were stopped just before they blew themselves up in Barcelona’s subway. Many other Salafi jihadists who planned terror attacks or funded terrorism were arrested in Spain over the years.
None of that, however, alerted the Spanish to take seriously the Islamists calls to “reconquer al-Andalus” — a uniting theme for all jihadist groups, even those that often fight each other. Instead, Spain, in which according to a 2016 survey by the Spanish Centre for Sociological Research, 68% of the population is Catholic, has been practicing willful blindness based on “political correctness” towards the radicalization of its Muslim population. Especially when the jihadists used pro-Palestinian anti-Israel propaganda, which in Spain, like other European nations is widely supported,
Spain has a long history of anti-Semitism. Jews were expelled from Spain on July 30, 1492, but anti-Semitism remained rampant although Jews were allowed to return more than four centuries later. The Jewish presence remained low even after the descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain have in 2014 been offered Spanish citizenship. Only 45,000 Jews live there today. Muslims, who were also driven out or forced to convert in 1492, were allowed to live in Spain in the late 18th century and today the two million Muslims account for 4% of Spain’s population, which is rapidly growing with illegals who flood the beautiful Spanish shores.
Spain and Catalonia in have been loudly supporting the Palestinian agenda. Catalonia became one of Europe’s major Salafist jihad hubs, with Hundreds of Saudi-educated and funded imams preaching the radical Salafi/Wahhabi version of Islam together with the Muslim Brotherhood’s version of “Political Islam” (an oxymoron, since Islam is a political movement posturing as a religion). The Muslim’s growing influence in the region was demonstrated in January 2009, when the provincial government of Catalonia canceled a ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. A Barcelona newspaper quoted a Catalan official saying, “Marking the Jewish Holocaust while a Palestinian Holocaust is taking place is not right,“ alluding
to Israel’s Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008 – January 18, 2009) that was launched to stop the constant rockets and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip on its civilian population. This official, like other European political parrots, repeated the propaganda that is widely spread by Hamas, Iran and the Palestinian Authority, who while calling to take over al Aqsa, also swear to “reconquer al-Andalus” and Rome.
And as elsewhere in the Western world, the larger the Muslim population, the greater the number of Saudi, Gulf States, and Turkey funded Sunni mosques, schools, and Islamic centers, and more recently also Iran and Qatar funded Shiite mosques. All promote Muslim proselytization and push for the rule of sharia by exploiting Western democratic political systems and anti- Israeli and anti-American propaganda. Some, like the mosque in Ripoll, are more action-oriented, preaching for jihad now to advance the global rule of sharia, not for “coexistence” and tolerance.
How many more jihadist terrorist attacks will it take before Spain realizes that its freedoms and democratic political systems, which have been developed over hundreds of years, are in danger before it wakes up to stop the spread of the jihadist agenda?
What will it take for Europe, the U.S., and the rest of the world not already submitting to Islamic rule to realize that sharia judges all infidels alike, that gays are murdered in Gaza, Mosul, and Tehran, and women are stoned because they dared to look at men or study, or refused to be raped? That supporting the Saudi and Iranian-led United Nations agenda to delegitimatize Israel and recognize an independent Palestinian State would strengthen jihadism?
Unlike most other European nations who willingly subjected themselves to dictates by Muslim minorities, Spain still could reverse the tide. Will it do so?
* This article was published by American Thinker, on August 22, 2017.