Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 11 October 2016| 09 Muharram 1438
The Muslim community, which represents about half of the population of Ceuta and Melilla, argue that, of the nine holidays in Spain, six are related to Catholicism.
Representatives of the group said such holidays include Three Wise Kings, Good Friday, the Assumption, All Saints Day, the Immaculate Conception and Christmas.
Opposition leader in Melilla, Mustafa Aberchán, told the area’s assembly the holidays ignores the wishes of thousands of Spaniards.
He said: “Why everyone enjoys a Good Friday and nobody can enjoy Aid El Fitr? That is discrimination.”
President of Melilla, Juan Jose Imbroda, accused him of trying to divide the population before the pair argued loudly over the divide issue.
Aberchán argued having Aid El Fitr as a public holiday would be “another step in the recognition of cultural diversity” in Melilla.
He said: “We want Muslims, which represent nearly half the population, to have the same right not to have nine holidays [as Christians do], but two, those we consider most important.”
The Islamic Commission of Melilla also wants Aid El Fitr as a holiday.
President, Dris Mohamed, recalling the “theoretical right” of Muslims to enjoy their holidays in Spain, as established by the agreement signed in 1992 between the Islamic Commission of Spain and the central government.
He said: “It is a day for being with family and friends. If you have to go to work, the celebration becomes more difficult.”
The government in Melilla argued Aid El Kebir is already approved and refused to accept the argument alleging discrimination.
Daniel Conesa, government spokesman, said: “There are Christians who have to work on Christmas.”
The president of the Union of Islamic Communities of Ceuta, Laarbi Maateis, claimed recently the holiday should be accepted.
Both PSOE and Caballas and the Movement for Dignity and Citizenship were in favour of seeking a formula to meet this request without eliminating other religious holidays.
But the assembly, with a majority of PP, didn’t even consider it.
Source – Express