Spain’s Muslim minority has said that the perception that Islam is only a religion for migrants should be done away with.
Umar del Pozo, the head of the Spanish Islamic Society Association, told Anadolu Agency that at least one person converts to Islam every Friday in the Great Mosque of Granada and that nearly 3,000 Muslim Spaniards live in Granada.
Del Pozo stated that he was the son of a Spanish family who converted to Islam.
Muhammed Jauiriddin, a Spaniard, who converted to Islam said: “Allah had knocked on his door 40 years ago.”
“Nowadays there is misinformation about Islam. You always encounter anti-Islamic campaigns in newspapers, televisions, all kinds of media. This is very tragicomic because there is so much ignorance,” Jauiriddin said.
Another Spanish citizen, Rosario, who was born and raised in Granada — the last Islamic bastion in Spain during the Andalusian Islamic period (711-1492) — converted to Islam 39 years ago. She changed her name to Saliha.
She said that it was very difficult to break down some prejudices about Islam and that the approach of the press was an important factor in this.
Saliha said that after the Francoist dictatorship ended in 1975, there was great anxiety among the young population.
“I found Islam in this search. Believing in one God, Allah, all of these have brought me closer to Islam. My friends were very surprised by this and there were those who did not understand me,” she said.
Some 2.1 million Muslims live in Spain. Of these 880,000 are Spanish citizens and the vast majority are migrants who acquired citizenship.