A local party asks Spain to recognize the Arabic of Ceuta as an official language

A local party from Ceuta submitted a request to the Spanish government to recognize the Arabic of Ceuta as an official language of the city.

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The Muslims of Ceuta are once again calling the Spanish government to recognize their mother tongue : «Arabic of Ceuta». «The initiative is initiated and defended by the local party Caballas Coalition, led by Mohamed Ali. Currently, this request is supported by the Coalició Compromís, a Valencianist political party», said Karim Prim, a local community actor in the city.

«Through this project, Caballas pleads for an integration of the 'Arabic of Ceuta', composed of Jebli dialect and Castellan, in schools and public administrations».

Karim Prim

Similar interventions were attributed to the head of Caballas. Speaking to media, Mohamed Ali indeed said that «the mother tongue of more than half of the inhabitants of the city is absent from the administrations and public institutions». The party which represents the strong Muslim community in the Parliament of Ceuta believes that the «Arabic of Ceuta must benefit from the protection of public powers», wrote Caballas in a manifesto.

Convincing other parties in Madrid

«For now, Compromis has just presented a proposal to the House of Representatives in Madrid, supporting Caballas' request. However, we do not know if it will be successful or not», indicated Karim Prim. 

The autonomist formation had already made the same demands in 2018. The request, however, was met with the opposition of the Popular Party and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, which rejected having the «Arabic of Ceuta» as a regional official language recognized by the Spanish state.

«The promoters of this project are for the moment seeking the support of other political parties in the House of Representatives in Madrid, in particular from the left and the autonomists».

Karim Prim

For the record, Spain signed November 5, 1992 the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, and ratified it on April 9, 2001. The document came into force on August 1, 2001. The native languages of Muslim communities in Ceuta and Melilla are not included in this register and consequently do not benefit from any constitutional protection such as Catalan, Aragonese, Galician, Basque, Asturian or Valencian.

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