This is not a joke.
Muslims in Spain are killing dogs because according to Islamic teaching dogs are “unclean” animals.
Soeren Kern reports for Hudson New York, October 6, 2011, that Spanish authorities are investigating the recent deaths by poisoning of more than a dozen dogs in Lérida, a city in the northeastern region of Catalonia that has become ground zero in an intensifying debate over the role of Islam in Spain.
All of the dogs were poisoned in September (local media reports here, here, here, here and here) in Lérida’s working class neighbourhoods of Cappont and La Bordeta, districts that are heavily populated by Muslim immigrants and where many dogs have been killed in recent years.
Over the past several months, residents taking their dogs for walks have been harassed by Muslim immigrants opposed to seeing the animals in public. Muslims have also launched a number of anti-dog campaigns on Islamic websites and blogs based in Spain.
In July, two Islamic groups based in Lérida asked city officials to regulate the presence of dogs in public spaces so they do not “offend Muslims.” Muslims are demanding that dogs be banned from all forms of public transportation including all city buses as well as from all areas frequented by Muslim immigrants. They say the presence of dogs violates their religious freedom and their right to live according to Islamic principles.
Dogs are not the only Islam-related controversy in Lérida, where 29,000 Muslims now make up around 20% of the city’s total population.
In December 2010, Lérida became the first municipality in Spain to ban the burqa head covering in all public spaces. Women found violating the ban will be fined up to €600 ($750).
Much of Spain was ruled by Muslim conquerors from 711 and 1492; Salafists believe that the territories the Muslims lost during the Spanish Reconquista still belong to them, and that they have a right to return and establish their rule there – a belief based on the Islamic precept that territories once occupied by Muslims must forever remain under Muslim domination.
Salafism is a branch of revivalist Islam that calls for restoring past Muslim glory by forcibly establishing a universal Islamic empire (Caliphate) across the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe such as Spain, which Salafists view as a Muslim state that must be re-conquered for Islam.
The Salafist Houzi has called on Muslims who are eligible to vote in Spain to support Catalan separatist parties as a means to firmly establish Islamism in Catalonia. The Catalan independence movement supports the independence of Catalonia from Spain.
Catalonian pro-independence parties have traditionally favored immigration from non-Spanish-speaking countries, especially from Arabic-speaking Muslim countries, in the belief that these people would speak Catalan rather than Spanish.
The end result of this decades-old policy is that Catalonia is now home to a huge concentration of hard-line Islamist groups including Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami and the Salafists. Salafi preachers in Catalonia do not believe in democracy and teach that Islamic Sharia law is above Spanish civil law.
Meanwhile, the Catalan regional government says that during the first six months of 2011, it prevented 14 forced marriages and the genital mutilation of 24 Muslim girls.
Not surprisingly, some Catalans are having second thoughts about Muslim immigration. The Catalan nationalist party Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC), which has some 70,000 active members, is opposed to any further Muslim immigration.