Country Struggles to Accept New Muslim Immigrants

October 24, 2004

Source: The New York Times

On October 24, 2004 The New York Times reported, "Seville's minaret has been the bell tower of the city's Roman Catholic cathedral for the past 500 years. Today, however, many of those who walk by it daily are again Moroccans, part of the growing number of Muslim immigrants to Spain. While they have not talked about reclaiming the minaret, they are seeking permission to build a large mosque here, as have Islamic immigrants have in six other Spanish cities... Many Spaniards still view North African Arabs and Berbers - Spain's onetime rulers - with suspicion and disdain. Those feelings deepened after Moroccans emerged as the main suspects in the terrorist bombings of Madrid trains in March that killed 192 people. But Spain has close to a million Muslim immigrants, and the new Socialist government is clearly accepting the fact that most of them are here to stay."