The Vox of Spain

Vox is a relatively new political party in Spain often described as “far right” because anything is “far right” if they stray from the multiculturalism line of thought.  Although working on the fringes of Spain’s politics, they captured attention in 2018 when they won control of Andalusia’s parliament.  Their support came from across the Spanish political spectrum.  Today, the agenda of Vox is considered “right wing:”

  • defending traditional Spanish values against mass immigration;
  • opposition to multiculturalism;
  • opposition to globalization;
  • dedication to a constitutional democracy;
  • free market capitalism;
  • the rule of law;
  • being pro-American and pro-Israel;
  • preventing territorial disintegration in Catalonia and the Basque region, and;
  • increasing military spending to meet NATO requirements.

Since their inception, they have been critical of the left-leaning Spanish government when it comes to Islam.  Vox president Santiago Abascal was highly critical of the government’s decision to approve a law that promotes Islam in public schools.  In response, he wrote some inconvenient truths about Islam:

And we all know about the lack of freedom, if not direct persecution, suffered by women and Christians in Islamic countries, while here they enjoy the generosity characteristic of freedom, democracy and reciprocity, of course, all of which they systematically deny…Today we have to face two fundamentalisms that, as we are seeing, are allies: Islamism and radical secularism. Every day they seem less opposed to each other and more complementary.

Members of Spain’s Muslim community threw the usual charges- “anti-democratic,” reactionary,” and, of course, “Islamophobic.”  Not one to back down, Abascal responded: “It is worth remembering in this regard that, while our Christian civilization was built precisely on the separation of the civil and religious, you cannot say the same about yours.”

Enter Javier Ortega Smith, the second ranking member of Vox.  During a rally in Valencia in September, 2018, Smith said the following:

Spain is facing threats from internal and external enemies. The internal enemies are perfectly identifiable: the [Catalan] separatists, the friends of [Basque] terrorists, those who want to tear our nation apart… The external enemies want to tell us how to run our country…. Angela Merkel and her fellow travelers, George Soros, the immigration mafias, believe that they can tell us who can and cannot enter our country…Together we will be stronger against the common enemy that has a very clear name. I will not stop saying it. Our common enemy, the enemy of Europe, the enemy of freedom, the enemy of progress, the enemy of democracy, the enemy of the family, the enemy of life, the enemy of the future is called the Islamist invasion. {Emphasis mine}

Thrashing Basque terrorists and Catalan separatists, Angela Merkel and George Soros is one thing, but the mention of an “Islamist invention” seemed to be a bridge too far for Muslim leaders in Spain. Declaring Smith’s words “untrue” and “undermining social peace and coexistence,” Ibrahim Miguel Perez, the founder of Muslims Against Islamophobia, went to authorities with a clip of the speech and now Spanish prosecutors have taken up the case to determine whether mention of an “Islamist invasion” rises to the level of hate speech.

Perez is a Spanish convert to Islam after marrying a woman from Morocco.  He is a member of the far-left Podemos Party and well-known in Spanish politics.  The charges were made in advance of the April 28th Spanish elections and appeared as an attempt to reign in political rhetoric.  In those elections, Pedro Sanchez’s ruling Socialist Party managed to win a majority of seats (122 of 350).  Vox gained 24 seats, the conservative Popular Party dropped to 66 seats, and the center-right Citizens Party increased their share of seats.

Regarding Smith, prosecutors must determine whether he violated Article 510.1 of the Criminal Code.  That law establishes prison sentences of 1-4 years for “publicly fomenting, promoting or inciting, directly or indirectly, hate, hostility, discrimination or violence against a group […] for racist, anti-Semitic or other motives associated with ideology, religion or beliefs.”  For his part, Ortega Smith said he would welcome the charges in order to publicly explain the dangers of what he again called the “Islamist invasion.”

Ibrahim Perez has publicly stated that he is now on a mission to imprison those who “profess a discourse of hatred towards Islam.”  He has bragged incessantly about the fact he has the social media accounts of many shut down when they speak critically of Islam.  Yet, this very same person uses his own social media accounts to denigrate and insult the Catholic majority in Spain, often referring to them as “pedophiles.”  These are two of his better-known Twitter rants devoid of syntax:

Yes, the confession, an instrument to cover the pedophiles, what a shit about religion…Yes Spaniards … yours, that stale Spain and Catholics that covers the pedophiles.

This is the same Ibrahim who relishes imprisoning and deplatforming anyone who speaks negatively of Islam.

For years, the leftist Spanish government has degraded Christianity in Spain calling it “macho” and “retrograde.”  After Islamic terrorist attacks that left 14 Spanish dead in Barcelona, Podemos said that Spain had to accept some responsibility for the attacks.  Smith’s reference was to “Islamist,” a radical and extreme form of Islam.  The Association of Christian Lawyers in Spain has denounced anti-Christian and, specifically, anti-Catholic rhetoric yet they are branded an “ultra-Catholic organization.”  Yet, these same people will not brand Perez’ group “ultra-Islamic.”

In other words, in Spain it is just fine and dandy to criticize anything but Islam. A man in Spain who whistles at a passing woman is accused of “micro-machismo” and can be prosecuted.  Yet this is the same Spain that defends the use of the veil and one dare not criticize the treatment of women in Muslim countries.  The Spanish Left is trying to uproot their Christian heritage, yet say nothing about countries that have Islam as their official religion.  If a Muslim criticizes Christianity, it is “freedom of expression.”  If a Christian criticizes Islam, it is a hate crime punishable by 1-4 years in prison.

It makes one wonder whether it is Spain or Iran.