The Spanish Justice Minister, Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, expressed this week the willingness of the government to provide federal funding to Muslim communities in Spain, as well as to “assure the presence of religion in the educational system” and in the public media.
Lopez did not specify the exact amount that would be earmarked for Muslims, although he pointed out that it would be based on the number of Muslim adherents. He said the decision would be “reasonable and proportionate” and that support would be given to Muslim communities that “fulfill a social purpose.”
According to reports, the economic aid may be given in the form of grants to the Islamic Commission—the highest-ranking Muslim body in the Spain.
Lopez said the purpose of the funding is to help Muslims move away from meeting for worship in garages and to transition into the mainstream of society. He estimated the program would bring the 200 clandestine prayer mosques out of hiding and register them with the Justice department.
Lopez added, “It is important that the Government of the federation of Muslim entities work together in education and in fostering the values of tolerance and coexistence with one another.”