Islamophobic campaigns during Spanish elections: how far can they go?

24th of May, local and regional elections in Spain. During the last weeks we have been bombed with information from each party, their agendas, several interviews, videos, articles, tweets, trending topics, and a long etcetera of actions with the sole purpose of convincing us to give them our vote.

Now before I start going into the examples of the best slogans of their campaigns I will put you a bit in context on the Spanish situation. As most of you now, we have been in a deep recession for many years, we have high rates of unemployment, we have experimented budget cuts in the health system, in education and in social welfare programs in general. This has been the focus of our politicians for as long as I can remember, the thing is that their perspective was different. The left was blaming the right and the right was blaming the left, but also another big enemy known as your fellow, the immigrant. You probably know him, it is that guy that goes out at night, steals your motorbike, puts a burka on your girlfriend, smokes shisha and blows your city hall. He is also known for getting all the money from your government, and by all I mean EVERYTHING. Scholarships (even though he is not even studying), unemployment subsidy (but he is actually working), tax refunds for taxes he hasn’t even paid… and do you remember that time a kid sold you a cookie claiming it was to pay for a school trip? SORRY! It was for my friend, the immigrant.

1. Partido Popular

In the government since 2011, officially defined as center-right.spanje

This Sunday, you decide. No Mosque: Vote PP. Because the other party would presumably approve the construction of a masjid. Can you imagine that? A masjid! How can you, a Spanish citizen who wants freedom and safety approve the construction of such a thing. I’m not even going to go into why a masjid is a danger to your community but just please, think before you vote. You don’t want your children to see how other religions exist and actually gather to pray.


Cleaning Badalona (a city next to Barcelona)

From the same party, this man is actually the mayor of Badalona and I will tell you why he deserves to stay in this position. He is going to clean Badalona from all this dust known as multiculturality, people from Pakistan, Morocco, Algeria, have shamelessly moved there and think that they can live in Badalona just like any other ‘local’. They even have children, start businesses and pay taxes. Like, are we crazy? I can’t even.

2. Plataforma per Catalunya

This is like my favorite of all times. The day their leader followed me on Twitter I was fangirling so hard because just look at their spot:

It’s like they go further and think about the future of our country and I’m so happy they opened the eyes of everyone. Of course, some people will think this is islamophobia but it’s just reality, right?

There are so many other examples I could put, and not only in Spain, all of Europe faces the same problem. I think it’s a sad reality for two reasons.

First of all, the Spanish law on political parties, approved 13 years ago, seems to declare illegal any political party that promotes or justifies the exclusion or persecution of people based on their ideology, religion, beliefs, nationality, race, sex or sexual orientation. What you have seen above has been going on for decades and we are still waiting for a solution while these racist parties gain power using false data, false interpretations of islam and basically taking advantage of the desperation of the population in times of crisis, when what you need basically is someone to blame.

Second, when are we going to learn that immigration is so much more than unemployment and Islam? Immigration is someone coming from another country and that includes the bus driver, your teacher at university who came from so-fancy United States or the CEO of a huge company located in Barcelona from which we benefit.

Your daugher, who studied to be a nurse and is now working in the UK, is immigration. It is still immigration at every level and there’s something positive in each of those. I, born and raised in Barcelona, am not immigration. I’m Spanish, I’m Moroccan, I’m Muslim. So when this politician wants to ‘clean’ the city, where am I supposed to go? When a revert is told to go practise his religion in his own country, where is he supposed to go?
I just hope someday there will be a political party that condemns this acts instead of looking somewhere else, because as for now, we are either ignored or attacked, but not really defended.

Written by Miriam Hatibi

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A 21 year-old bookworm studying International Business Economics. Chatterbox, professional daydreamer, quote collector, shopaholic and stubbornly up in arms.