Islam in Andorra
According to the US Religious Freedom Report of 2006 there are about 2000 North Africans currently living in Andorra (out of 72,000) and they are the largest Muslim group in the country. The Muslims are split between two groups.
- Moroccans (515)
- Turks (112)
- Pakistanis (79)
The Muslim community has an Islamic Cultural Center which provides about 50 students with Arabic lessons. The government and the Muslim community have not yet agreed on a system which would enable the schools to give such lessons.
There is no specifically built mosque in Andorra and the government refuses to allocate land for such a project, saying there are not enough low-priced lands. In 2003 the local imam, Mohamed Raguig, petitioned Bishop Joan Martí Alanis asking for either land from the Church in order to build a mosque or for space inside a church to be used as a mosque.
At around 700, the Muslims conquered the area from the Visigoths, through the Segre valley. The Muslims did not really stay in Andorra, rather using it as a shortcut to get to Toulouse, Narbonne, Carcassonne and Nîmes.
According to Antoni Filter i Rossell in his history book the Manual Digest (1748), in 788, 5000 Andorrans, led by Marc Almugàver came to Charlemagne's assistance in the Vall de Carol in fighting the Muslims. After the battle, Charlemagne gave his protection to Andorra and declared them as a sovereign people.
- Andorra, International Religious Freedom Report 2006
- Muslims in Andorra ask for Bishop help to build mosque, ArabNews, April 29, 2003
- Geography and History of the Principality of Andorra
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