The government is considering monitoring mosques and imams to curb Islamic extremism blamed for the March 11 terror bombings in Madrid, the foreign minister said Monday.
“I think it is important to know what is being preached on Fridays in the various religious forums that have been growing in Spain in a totally uncontrolled fashion,” Miguel Angel Moratinos told the Telecinco television network, referring to prayers on the Muslim holy day.
He said that, as Spain’s North African immigrant community has expanded in recent years, mosques have arisen in everything from workshops to offices.
“I think that is where the interior and justice ministers, with my help, want to establish a degree of order,” Moratinos said.
Spain has a Muslim community of about 500,000 people out of a total population of 42 million. Moroccans make up the second largest immigrant group, with about 380,000 members.
Fourteen of the 18 people charged in the Madrid bombing are Moroccans.
The judge leading the investigation into the bombings, which killed 191 people, has said the alleged instigator of the attack, a Tunisian named Serhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, preached holy war among Muslims in Madrid and associates of Fakhet have said he was a frequent visitor to the city’s main mosque.
Moratinos spoke a day after Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso said in a newspaper interview that he is considering drafting a bill to monitor imams, or Moslem clerics, as well as clergy of other faiths…