Spains New Law Grants Citizenship to Sephardic Jews Ignores Muslims

Taroudante- Spain’s parliament gave final approval on Thursday to a law granting the right of citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from the country in 1492.To erase “years of crimes” against Sephardic Jews, who were forced to convert or be banished from the country five centuries ago, the Spanish government passed an act allowing Sephardic Jews to apply, during a three-year period beginning in October, for Spanish nationality without renouncing their current citizenship of origin.To be eligible, applicants are required to demonstrate basic knowledge of the Spanish language and pass a test about Spanish culture and current events. Spain follows the steps of the Portuguese government, which approved a similar citizenship law three months ago, seeking to redress what the government called “a historic mistake.”“This law says much about who we were in the past and who we are today and what we want to be in the future—an open, diverse and tolerant Spain,” Justice Minister Rafael Catalá told lawmakers Thursday before the vote.“We are happy to live this historic moment,” David Hatchwell Altaras, the president of the Jewish community of Madrid and vice president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE), told The Jerusalem Post.He added, “While the law is not perfect, it is a great gesture and it is a step in the right direction for a better and deeper relationship between Spain and its Jews. It shows what the new Spain is all about.”Since the “Law of Return”, was approved by the cabinet in February 2014, Muslim groups and associations called on the Spanish government to grant the same privilege for the descendants of Muslims who were expelled from Spain between 1609 and 1614.According to historians, between 300,000 and 500,000 Spanish Muslims were expelled from their native country at the time. Most of them settled in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Turkey.Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more