By Alyssa McMurtry
OVIEDO, Spain (AA) - The parliament of Spain’s African enclave of Ceuta declared Santiago Abascal, leader of the far-right Vox party, persona non grata on Friday for stirring up hate against the local Muslim population.
The move comes after Abascal’s visit in May to the Spanish territory. He arrived as thousands poured into Ceuta from Morocco amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries.
During his visit, he insinuated that Ceuta’s Muslim population was conspiring with Morroco to “invade” Cueta.
“Abascal came to throw gasoline in the fire during a tough moment. He offended the majority of the city, and not just Muslims. It was offensive to anyone who believes in the
plurality of our diverse society,” said MP Fatima Hamed, who brought forward the historic motion.
It passed after 10 politicians from various parties voted in favor, nine conservative Popular Party politicians abstained and Vox cast its four votes against the motion.
“Vox relies on a policy of harassment of Muslims in Cueta,” said Manuel Hernandez of the Socialist Party during the debate. “No one should underestimate the far-right because it entrenches itself in institutions, destroying peaceful coexistence and degrading democracy.”
Meanwhile, on Friday Abascal tweeted: “Neither the invaders nor their accomplices will frighten us.”
During the debate in Cueta, local Vox politicians called Hamed a racist and a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
“Every single day you try to provoke us, especially the Muslims who are here representing the entire population of Cueta,” she struck back.
“The far-right is a machine that generates hate against whoever doesn’t fit into their prejudiced heads. This can only be rejected by anyone who considers themself a democrat,” said Hameed, who is a spokeswoman for the Movement for Dignity and Citizenship (MDyC) Party.