Spain bans protest against plans to build mosque

AFP , Wednesday 24 Aug 2011

Anti-mosque building demonstration banned by Spanish officials in Catalonia

The Catalonia region of northeast Spain has banned a rally called to protest plans to build a mosque in a small town, fearing violence.

The demonstration in Salt had been called for Saturday by an openly anti-immigrant party called Platform for Catalonia.

The regional government's interior department said Tuesday it feared clashes between demonstrators and young Muslims.

It said police have warned that young Muslims in Salt are reaching out to Muslims in nearby towns to convene a counter-rally for the same day in Salt.

It has a population of about 30,000, 40 per cent of whom are of foreign origin.

The rally against the mosque was to be held at the spot where Muslim organizations have applied for a permit to build it.

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