Last month a truck jihad attack by Islamic terrorists killed fifteen people in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. In the wake of the attack, local media outlets hunted for picturesque Muslims to interview about the reaction of the Muslim community to what had happened.
The young woman below is one such interviewee. Notice how well-versed she is in the multiculti lingo — diversity, difference, exclusion, stigmatization, etc. She’s a fitting spokescreature for Modern Multicultural Catalonia.
Pampasnasturtium, who translated the interview for Gates of Vienna, includes this note about the aftermath of the slaughter in Barcelona:
If you ever wondered what happened in Paris, London, etc. to those huge piles of phony garbage (teddy bears, candles, etc.), well, Barcelona is cleaning them, classifying them, digitalizing them all, and storing them safely in the Museum of History of the city — so the archaeologists of the future may have a slightly less puzzling picture of how we committed civilizational suicide.
The translated article from the Catalonian daily El Punt Avui:
Cheima El Jebary Amisnaou — Multicultural Muslim Youth Association
“We have no young imams who know the streets”
“If we don’t want any more Younes or Driss to escape us we have to give them the tools to make them feel they’re someone and an education in those values they believe in”
“When they tell me ‘Go back to your country’, I don’t know where to go to. We’re neither from here nor from there”
“We the young prove that we’re capable of saying we’re Catalan Muslims of Moroccan background without disappointing”
[Caption: Cheima El Jebary, one of the young Muslimas who have their appointment books full these days to talk about their community]
Muslim guys and girls took the bull by the horns and came out repudiating the attacks of 17h and 18th of August. One of the organizers is Cheima El Jebary Amisnaou. She studies Social Work, takes part in different associations, and she’s an activist concerning gender issues. “Being the only hijab-wearing Muslim in class is not a success, I’ve left family and friends on the way,” she complains very critically.
by Sònia Pau — Barcelona
Cheima El Jebary (Barcelona, 1995) is the branches coordinator for the Multicultural Muslim Youth Association and studies Social Work at Barcelona University. She had just arrived back from holiday in Morocco on Thursday the 17th, when fifteen persons died in terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.
|Q:||How do you feel?|
|A:||I feel much sadness and anger. Still motivated to continue making my voice heard with young Muslims and Muslimas of Catalunya because of what has happened. I try to be positive, and I feel very proud of the Catalan people and of the Muslim youth who on Monday after the attacks showed that we’re prepared to face the future.|
|Q:||Back then after 13-N in Paris [Bataclan massacre] you complained about Muslims having to justify themselves. Is it now your turn?|
|A:||Thousands of us Muslims came out to Catalunya Square [most central and main square of Barcelona] to claim again the separation between what Islam is and what it is not. To condemn and reject that violence and hate may form part of our society.|
|Q:||Is religion a problem?|
|A:||Not for me. There’s freedom of conscience. The philosopher Martha Nussbaum says each person can believe what they please, provided they have values of loving others, doing what’s right, wanting peace… Understanding religion as a problem because you don’t believe in it amounts to wanting to make those who aren’t like you invisible.|
|Q:||And what do you think when you see politicians talking of diversity?|
|A:||I’d like to find ways to make it easy for young people like us to enter [political] parties, for example, and for diversity to be found there. Society is diverse, but public institutions aren’t. Being young, they tell you: “Attend college.” And furthermore: “How do you attend college while wearing hijab?” There’s an internalized idea that since we show ourselves as diverse women, we can’t be inside a space set up as monocultural.|
|Q:||Given that you mention the subject: do you face issues because of the veil?|
|A:||No. Maybe because I focus on it positively. I study Social Work to give a voice to girls who have faced those issues. There’s institutional and academic hypocrisy: high schools that ban the veil while teaching the Christian religion.|
|Q:||On Twitter they say that Miriam Hatibi, the girl who gave a speech at the demonstration [this demonstration ], can’t be believed as long as she wears the hijab.|
|A:||A man says it can’t give credibility to a woman. That’s male chauvinism. He refuses to accept that a woman may have power over who can see her and who can’t. Thinking the veil might weaken you is Islamophobia. The hijab empowers me, because I own a feature that makes me stand out.|
|Q:||There still exists a strong “them/us” to differentiate Muslims from non-Muslims. And the question is integration…
|A:||It’s a made-up talking point. What’s meant by integration? If I undertake an Erasmus [exchange program for European college students] and I speak English, will I be integrated? If your name is Cheima you can’t possibly have been born in Sant Pol de Mar? When they tell me, ‘Go back to your country’, I don’t know where to go to. We’re neither from here nor from there… Within the Muslim community they fear we might become Westernized… We the young prove that we’re capable of saying we’re Catalan Muslims of Moroccan background without disappointing.|
|Q:||What happened to the Ripoll guys? [Four of the perpetrators came from that town in Girona province, relatively small, with some 10,000 inhabitants.]|
|A:||If only I could know… Unexplainable. There’s an exclusion, stigmatization, poverty, invisibility. If at 17 you believe you’re nothing and someone deceives you, saying you’ll be remembered… It’s complicated: at home you’re a Muslim and Moroccan, out in the streets you’re a Muslim, Moroccan and Catalan. If we don’t want any more Younes or Driss to escape us we have to give them the tools to make them feel they’re someone and an education in those values they believe in. We have no young imams who know the streets.|
|Q:||You’re very critical towards [the] school [system].|
|A:||They educate you to pass but not to be. Everyone has to be able to receive values according to their religion.|
|Q:||Something must improve.|
|A:||There are youngsters on both sides who recognize equality. Difference must not be an obstacle. At the demonstration women came to me and hugged me. We broke that barrier of “them/us”.