After Spain grants Sephardic Jews path to citizenship, Muslims want the same

( Muslims are demanding that Spain grant instant citizenship to all the descendants of Muslims expelled from Spain in the Middle Ages after the Spanish government had announced plans to grant automatic citizenship to all Jewish descendants of those expelled from Spain in the 1492 Inquisition. 

Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón and Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo announced the decision regarding descendants of expelled Spanish Jews last month in Madrid.

According to the Gatestone Institute, Sephardic Jews could already get Spanish citizenship after living in Spain for two years. Now, Sephardic Jews who reside elsewhere can immediately get a Spanish passport if they confirm their ancestry through a special accreditation. Only those who identify as Jewish today, however, can benefit from this policy, not the descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity to escape persecution. Those Jews must undergo aformal conversation to Judaism first.

Moroccan journalist Ahmed Bensalh Es-salhi wrote in the newspaper Correo Diplomático that the “decision to grant Spanish citizenship to the grandchildren of the Hebrews in Spain in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, while ignoring the Moriscos, the grandsons of the Muslims, is without doubt, flagrant segregation and unquestionable discrimination…This decision is absolutely disgraceful and dishonorable.” 

“Is Spain aware of what might be assumed when it makes peace with some and not with others? Is Spain aware of what this decision could cost? Has Spain considered that it could jeopardize the massive investments that Muslims have made on its territory?” Es-salhi wrote. 

Jamal Bin Ammar al-Ahmar, a university professor at the Ferhat Abbas University in Sétif in northeastern Algeria, has also called on Spanish King Juan Carlos I to condemn those who expelled Muslims from Al-Andalus in the 15th century, to apologize “on behalf of his ancestors,” and to assume “responsibility for the consequences.” 

Posted on December 21, 2012 .