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Thursday, March 16, 2006 

Spain's Muslim population may now be bigger than France's

The Age of Melbourne (Hat tip: Pedestrian Infidel) has a scary article about how illegal immigration under socialist premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has shot up at a frightening rate in Spain, and while it doesn't actually say Muslims in it, there are quite a few there now, and the number of illegals in Spain may now stand at as many 10 percent of the population, or worse, at 15 percent:
LOW-key ceremonies are being held today across Madrid to mark the second anniversary of the 2004 train bombings in which 191 people were killed. But two years after the worst terrorist attack on European soil, immigration is revolutionising Spanish society far more than the terrorist bombings ever could.

In 2000, there were 900,000 foreigners living in Spain. That figure has now risen to 3.7 million (8.5 per cent of the population), an increase of more than 400 per cent. By one estimate, Spain has received more immigrants in the past five years than France received in the previous four decades. Last year, Spain received 560,000 immigrants, one-third of Europe's total.

This massive demographic shift is starting to take its toll. A survey published in January found that 60 per cent of Spaniards believe that there are too many immigrants in Spain. In 1996, the figure was just 8 per cent.

The poll also found that almost twice as many Spaniards see immigration as a more important problem facing Spain than terrorism and there is a widespread perception that the riots that rocked France late last year may offer a vision of the country's future.

Low-scale riots in June in an outer Madrid suburb, prompted by the murder of a local youth by a South American gang, were described by one leading centrist newspaper at the time as the "neighbourhood rebellion against the immigrants". High-profile turf wars between the so-called bandas latinas (Latin gangs) on the streets of Madrid have also helped to make immigration the dominant topic of conversation in bars and restaurants across the city.
While Spain may have a lot of immigrants coming in from South America, they also have quite a few Muslims coming in from Morroco, now under the shield of the government itself.

In a related story, the UK Telegraph reports on how censorship has befallen a festival in Valencia (Hat tip: Drinking from Home):
An annual festival of satire in Valencia has fallen foul of censorship after more than four centuries following the furore over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed... But self-censorship has seen Muslim and Arab figures modified to avoid offence.

[...]

At least one well known local Fallas artist admitted to removing elements from his display of comic sculptures... The artist asked not to be named, partly for fear of reprisals, partly because he did not feel proud of such "self-censorship". But this year was "different", he said. Radical Muslim leaders appeared to be looking for excuses to cause trouble.
Indeed they are. And it does not bode well for Spain.

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