SPAIN: Radical and conservative Spanish politicians and leaders have been accused of spreading hate against Muslims and migrants following a suspected Islamic terrorist attack on two churches in Algeciras, the southern city of Spain, that killed one man and injured four others.
On Wednesday, a man with a machete entered San Isidro church in Andalucia, wounding a priest, then went to Nuestra Senora de La Palma church, killing the sacristan and injuring others, causing fear and anxiety.
The murderer was later revealed to be a 25-year-old Moroccan, who was arrested and kept in custody. The judge investigating the crime said on the preliminary report that the killing had its roots in “terrorist ends” and was connected to “Salafist jihadism.”
Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Spain’s interior minister, said that the suspect had earlier convictions for “irregular migration and an irregular stay in Spain” but has “never been on the radar for any national service about radicalization.”
In the wake of Spain’s municipal, regional, and general elections, the Conservative People’s Party (PP) leaders have spread hate. Their actions have been criticised by the coalition government, which is mostly made up of socialists, migrants, and NGOs that fight for racial equality.
The Islamophobic comment of Alberto Nunez Feijoo, PP’s leader, had brought much attention to the prevalent stigmatisation of Muslims.
Feijoo says: “There are people who kill in the name of God or in the name of religion. However, it’s been many centuries since we’ve seen a Catholic or a Christian kill in the name of their religion or beliefs. But other peoples have citizens who do that.”
Spain’s Education Minister, Pilar Alegria, contradicted this comment, mentioning that “sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear responsible than to talk like this.”
Feijoo added that Islamic fundamentalism was an international problem that required a response from many countries.
Six non-governmental organizations, including the Spanish Committee for Refugee Aid and the SOS Racism Federation, were outraged by the politicians’ anti-Muslim remarks, calling them “dangerous, xenophobic, racist, and hateful messages about origins and beliefs.”
Francis Cesar Garcia Magan, the Spanish Episcopal Conference’s general secretary, pleaded that the people should not make abrupt conclusions right after the incident occurred. Juan Jose Marina, the Nuestra Senora de La Palma priest, said that the church kept good relationships with the Muslims in the area.
Also Read: Southern Spain Machete Attacks at Churches Kills One, Leaves Several Injured