Spanish Government May Subsidize Mosques

The Spanish government is pushing a proposal to provide public financing to the nation’s mosques in part to make them less reliant on militant groups.

The proposal announced by the Spanish Justice Ministry and reported in The New York Times in early August, would add to the nation’s public financing of organized religion. Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, the justice minister, and his deputies have publicly said their intention is to treat all of Spain’s major religions in similar fashion to its treatment of the Roman Catholic Church, which has received state funding for years.

According to the Times report, other government officials say the proposal is also being discussed as a way to keep outside religious extremist groups from supporting the nation’s mosques. Spanish investigators, the newspaper reported, said the terrorists who blew up four trains in Madrid on March 11 attended mosques that had ties to a militant form of Islam.