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A centuries-long debate exists in Spain about the country’s Arab and Islamic roots. The debate is framed by social and political moments in Spanish history that must be understood in order to appreciate the cultural, political and social processes that have marked the country. At the end of the twentieth century, labour migration from North Africa, especially Morocco, brought renewed attention to the question. While debates and analyses focus on the alleged unintegrability of some immigrant groups, from a political policy point of view, the legal framework regarding religious freedom as it affects minority religions and the management of religious pluralism continues to improve. At the same time, spaces for participation have multiplied, including participation in elections, political parties and various associations, some of which are working to combat the increase in Islamophobia.

In: Observing Islam in Spain
Contemporary Politics and Social Dynamics
Volume Editor:
Islam in Spain has been transformed from a historical to a social matter in recent decades, attracting the attention of experts from a variety of disciplines. However, contributions to the field have been somewhat disperse. The multidisciplinary nature of the research done -mainly by specialists in Islamic Studies, Anthropology, Sociology and Law- has not been conducive to debates between specialists or to the publication of comprehensive works that recognize the wealth of views and findings.

Observing Islam in Spain contains the keys to understanding current debates about the presence of Muslim citizens in Spain with regard to symbolism and public space, the law, ritual, the question of re-Islamization and the association-building and political participation of young people and women.

Contributors are Marta Alonso Cabré, José María Contreras Mazarío, Khalid Ghali, Aitana Guia, Alberto López Bargados, Salvatore Madonia, Laura Mijares, Jordi Moreras, Ana I. Planet Contreras, Ángeles Ramírez, Óscar Salguero Montaño, Ariadna Solé Arraràs and Virtudes Téllez Delgado.