LAW 26/1992, OF 10 NOVEMBER, APPROVING THE AGREEMENT OF COOPERATION BETWEEN THE STATE AND THE ISLAMIC COMMISSION OF SPAIN
(BOE N1 272, of 12 November 1992)
On 28 April 1992, the Minister of Justice, authorized for this purpose by the Cabinet of Ministers, signed the Agreement of Cooperation between the State and the Islamic Commission of Spain which shall govern the relations of cooperation between the State and the Muslim confession Communities established in Spain included in said Commission and registered at the Registry of Religious Entities.
The relations expressed shall be regulated by Law passed by the Cortes Generales, under the provisions of Article 7.1 of Organic Law 7/1980 of 5 June, concerning Religious Freedom.
Article. The relations of cooperation between the State and the Islamic Commission of Spain shall be governed under the provisions of the Agreement of Cooperation incorporated into this Law as an annex.
First Final Provision. The Government shall be authorized, at the proposal of the Minister of Justice and, where appropriate, in conjunction with those Ministers qualified on this subject, to dictate the necessary provisions for the development and implementation of this Law.
Second Final Provision. This Law shall enter into effect the day after its publication in the "Boletín Official del Estado@.
Agreement of Cooperation Between the Spanish State and the Islamic Commission of Spain
The Spanish Constitution of 1978, in shaping a democratic and pluralistic State, has brought about a profound change in the State's traditional attitude towards religion, consecrating as fundamental the right to equality and religious freedom, the exercise of which guarantees the widest scope permitted under the requirements derived from the maintenance of public order protected by Law and out of due respect to the fundamental rights of others.
These rights, originally conceived as individual rights of the people, also include, by inference, those Religions or Communities to which those citizens belong for the satisfaction of their religious needs, requiring no previous authorization or registration in any public registry.
Out of the deepest respect for these principles, and because of constitutional imperative, the State is obliged, in the measure required by the religious beliefs of Spanish society, to maintain relations of cooperation with the different religions. This shall be done differently with each of the Religions inscribes in the Registry of Religious Entities.
The Organic Act of Religious Freedom establishes the possibility that the State specify its cooperation with these Religions, through the adoption of Agreements or Pacts of Cooperation once these religions, duly inscribed in the Registry of Religious Entities, have obtained an evident and manifest position in Spanish society due to the number of faithful and the extent of their creeds. This is the case of Muslim religion, which has a centuries-old tradition in our country and primary relevance in the make-up of Spanish identity, consisting of various communities of that faith registered in the Registry of Religious Entities and members of one of the two Federations, likewise registered, known respectively as the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities and the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain which have, in turn, constituted a religious entity enrolled in said Registry under the name Islamic Commission of Spain, which is their representative tothe State for negotiating, adopting and subsequently implementing the Agreements adopted.
In answer to the wishes expressed by the two Federations, as an expression of the will of Spanish Muslims, and after the opportune negotiations, the present cooperation Agreement was concluded, concerning matters of great importance for the citizens of Muslim religion: Statutes concerning the Islamic religious leaders and imams, defining the specific rights derived from the exercise of their ministry, their personal situation in such important areas as Social Security and fulfilment of their military duties; legal protection for their mosques; attribution of civil purposes to marriage ceremonies celebrated according to Muslim rites, religious attendance in public centres or establishments; Muslim religious teaching in schools; tax benefits applicable to certain goods and activities of the Communities belonging to the Federations that constitute the Islamic Commission of Spain; commemoration of muslim religious holidays and, finally, cooperation between the State and such Commission for the conservation and furthering or islamic historic and artistic heritage.
In the negotiation of the present Agreement an attempt has been made to always maintain the most scrupulous respect towards the religious interlocutors' willingness to negotiate, as the best expression of the specific doctrines of Islamic faith and the particular requirements of conscience derived from these doctrines, in order to make real and effective exercise of the right to religious freedom for members of the Muslim faith.
1. 1. The rights and obligations derived from the Act by which this present Agreement is approved shall apply to the Islamic Communities that, being inscribed in the Registry of Religious Entities, are part of or later join the Islamic Commission in Spain or one of the Islamic Federations registered as belonging to such Commission, as long as their membership is recorded in the afore mentioned Registry.
2. The incorporation of the Islamic Communities and Federations to the Islamic Commission of Spain for the purpose of their proof in the said Registry, shall be accredited by means of a certificate issued by the corresponding legal representatives under endorsement of the said Commission. The annotation of their withdrawal or exclusion shall be made at the request of the entity concerned or the Islamic Commission of Spain.
3. The certification of religious purposes, required by Royal Decree 142/1981 of 9 January, for the registration of religious associative entities constituted as such in accordance with the regulations governing Islamic Communities, may be issued by the Federation to which they belong, as endorsed by the Islamic Commission of Spain or issued by the latter if they are not members of either Federation.
2. 1. For all effects, the buildings or premises designated permanently and exclusively to islamic prayer, training or religious assistance shall be considered to be mosques or places of worship, when this has been certified by the respective Community, and endorsed by the said Commission.
2. The places of worship of the Islamic Communities members of the Islamic Commission of Spain enjoy immunity under the terms established by law. In the event of obligatory expropriation, the Islamic Commission of Spain shall be first heard, and they may not be demolished unless they are first divested of their religious nature, except in those cases foreseen by the law, in cases of emergency or danger. They shall also be excepted from temporary occupation and the imposition of easements in the terms provided in article 119 of the Expropriation Act.
3. The State respects and protects the inviolability of the files and other documents pertaining to the Islamic Commission of Spain, as well as to its member Communities.
4. Places of worship may be included in the Registry of Religious Entities.
5. Muslim cemeteries shall be entitled to the legal benefits laid down in paragraph 2 of this article for places of worship.
Islamic Communities that are members f the Islamic Commission are entitled to assign plots reserved for Muslim burials in municipal cemeteries. All due measures shall be adopted to observe traditional Islamic rules regarding interments, graves and funeral rites, which shall be conducted by the local Islamic Community. The right to transfer the remains of the Muslim deceased to cemeteries belonging to the Islamic Communities, both from tombs in municipal cemeteries and from towns in which there is no Muslim cemetery is hereby acknowledged, subject to the provisions of local government laws and health regulations.
3. 1. For all legal purposes, islamic religious leaders and imams of the Islamic Community are those persons dedicated, on a permanent basis, to guiding the Communities referred to in article 1 of the present Agreement, leading prayer, training and islamic spiritual support, who substantiate compliance with such requirements under a certificate issued by the respective community to which they pertain, endorsed by the Islamic Commission of Spain.
2. The persons mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall not, under no circumstances whatsoever, be compelled to declare about events revealed to them in the exercise of their duties of islamic worship or religious assistance, under the legally established provisions on professional secrecy
4. 1. Imams and islamic religious leaders are subject to the general resolutions concerning Military Service. If requested, they shall be assigned to missions compatible with their ministries.
2. Enrollment in courses on religious training for the persons referred in article 3 in Islamic institutions recognised by the Ministry of Education and Science shall entitle students to an extension of the period before which they must join the military in fulfilment of their military service, under the terms established in the legislation in force on Military Service.
To request this extension, the above-mentioned courses must be vouched for with a certificate issued by the corresponding teaching centre.
5. Under the provisions of Article 1 of Royal Decree 2398/1977 of 27 August, the persons who fulfill the requirements expressed in Article 3 of this Agreement, shall be included in the General Social Security system, under employee status. The respective Islamic Communities shall assume the rights and obligations established for employers under the General Social Security system.
6. For all legal purposes, practices conducted in accordance with Islamic Law and tradition, issuing from the Qu´rân or the Sunna and protected under the General Act on Freedom of Worship shall be considered to be Islamic religious services or training or religious assistance.
7. 1. Civil validity of marriage administered in accordance with the religious ceremony established under Islamic Law is acknowledged from the time the wedding is held if the parties thereto meet the legal capacity requirements established by the Civil Code.
The bride and groom shall lend their consent in the presence of one of the persons mentioned in article 3, paragraph 1, above and at least two witnesses, who must be of age. For full recognition of these effects, the marriage must be registered in the Civil Registry Office.
2. Persons who wish to register their marriage held in the manner provided in the preceding paragraph must furnish prior witness of their ability to marry, consisting of a certificate issued by the corresponding Civil Registry. The marriage may not be registered if more than six months elapse after the issue date of such certificate. Those who wish to be married according to the rite contemplated in the preceding paragraph shall be responsible for requesting their records before the marriage is to take place, from the person in charge of the corresponding Civil Registry Office.
3. After marrying the couple, the representative of the Islamic Community in which they were married shall send a certificate attesting thereto to the Civil Registry for registration, which certificate must include the particulars required by laws concerning the Civil Registry. Once this step has been carried out, the person in charge of the Civil Registry Office shall issue, in duplicate, a certificate establishing that the marriage partners have legal capacity to marry. This certificate should be delivered by them to the minister who will celebrate the marriage.
4. In order for the marriage to be valid under civil law, consent must be given in the presence of the minister officiating the ceremony and at least two adult witnesses, within six months of the issue of the certificate of matrimonial capacity.
5. The rules of this article relating to the procedures for effective exercise of the rights stipulated herein shall be adopted to accommodate any future amendments which may be made to the legislation regarding the Civil Registry, after hearing the Islamic Commission of Spain.
8. 1. The right shall be recognized of all military personnel of the Muslim faith, whether or not they be professionals, and of all persons of said religious belief serving in the Armed Forces, to receive Islamic spiritual support and to participate in religious activities and rites inherent to the Islam, subject to authorisation by their superiors, who shall endeavour that these be compatible with the needs of service, facilitating the places and suitable means for this purpose.
2. Muslim servicemen unable to comply with their religious obligations, in particular collective prayer on Friday, because there is no mosque or, as appropriate, oratory in the place they are stationed, may be authorised to comply therewith in the closest mosque in the vicinity, service permitting.
3. Islamic religious assistance shall be dispensed by imams or persons designated by the communities belonging to the Islamic Commission in Spain and authorised by Army commanders, who shall lend such aid as needed so they can perform their duties under the same conditions as those ministers of other churches, faiths or communities that have signed Agreements of Cooperation with the State.
4. The corresponding authorities shall notify the families of the decease of muslim servicemen occurring while they are in the service of the military.
9. 1. The exercise of the right to religious assistance is guaranteed for persons in prisons, hospitals, welfare or other similar public centres or establishments, provided by Imams or persons designated by the communities, subject to authorisation by the corresponding public centres or establishments. Public centre and establishment management shall be bound to forward the request for spiritual support received from interns or their families to the corresponding Islamic Community if the parties concerned are unable to do so personally.
The spiritual support provided for in this article shall include that administered to the dying, as well as islamic funeral services.
2. In any case, religious assistance will be given with due respect to the principle of religious freedom and in observance of the organisational rules and internal system of the centres, especially following the provisions of penitentiary legislation, freely and with no restrictions with respect to timetable. As far as penitentiaries is concerned, religious services shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the penitentiary laws.
3. The expenses incurred to provide afore spiritual assistance shall be defrayed in the manner agreed by the representatives of the Islamic Commission of Spain and the public centre and establishment management authorities referred in paragraph 1 of this article, without prejudice to the use of the premises that, for that purpose, exist in the corresponding centres or establishments.
10. 1. In order to make the provisions of Article 27.3 of the Constitution, and General Act 8/1985 of 3 July, regulating the right to education, and General Act 1/1990, of 3 October, concerning the General Provisions of the Educational System, students, their parents and those school organisms so requesting, shall be guaranteed the right to receive Islamic al religious classes in public and private subsidised schools, at the primary, elementary and secondary levels, as long as the exercise of this right is not in conflict with the nature of the centre.
2. Islamic religious education shall be imparted by teachers designated by the communities belonging to the Islamic Commission of Spain, in compliance with the respective Federation.
3. The contents of islamic religious education, and the text books relative to the same, shall be provided by the respective communities, as endorsed by the Islamic Commission of Spain.
4. The public and private subsidised schools referred to inparagraph 1 of this article shall provide premises suitable for the exercise of this right, in accordance with the carrying out of teaching activities.
5. The Islamic Commission of Spain and its member communities may, by agreement with the academic authorities, organize courses of religious teaching in public universities, using the premises and resources of these universities.
6. The Islamic Commission of Spain, as well as the communities belonging thereto, may establish and run schools on the educational levels named in paragraph 1 of this article, as well as religious universities and training centres, subject to general legislation in force concerning this matter.
11. 1. The Islamic Commission of Spain and its member communities may freely request services of their followers, organise public collections and receive offerings and donations.
2. In addition to the concepts named I paragraph 1 , the following operations shall not be subject to any tax:
a) the provision of publications, instructions and internal Islamic religious bulletins, delivered directly to members by the communities belonging to the Islamic Commission in Spain, as long as this is free.
b) Islamic religious teaching in centres belonging to the Islamic Commission of Spain or its member communities, devoted to training imams and islamic religious leaders.
3.The Islamic Commission of Spain, as well as its member communities, shall be exempt from:
A) Real estate tax and the special contributions that, whereappropriate, correspond to the following property owned by them:
a) Mosques or places of worship and branch offices or building andannexed premises, designated as places of worship or religious assistance and as residences for imams and Islamic religious leaders.
b)Premises designated as offices for the communities belonging to the Islamic Commission in Spain.
c) Centres devoted solely to the imams and islamic religious leaders.
B) Corporation tax, under the terms stipulated in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5 of Law 61/1978, of 27 December, regulating this tax.
Corporation tax levied on increases of wealth obtained gratuitously, as long as the goods and rights acquired are intended for worship or social services.
C) Transfer tax and stamp duty, as long as the respective goods or rights acquired are intended for worship or social services, under the terms established in the Consolidated Text of such Tax approved by Royal Legislative Decree 3050/1980, of 30 December, and its By-Laws, approved by Royal Decree 3494/1981 of 29 December, in keeping with the requirements and procedures established for this exemption.
4. Without prejudice to the stipulations in the preceding paragraphs, the Islamic Commission of Spain, as well as its member communities and associations and entities created and administered by them, that are devoted to religious, charity , teaching medical and hospital or social service activities, shall have the right to tax benefits provided by the legal tax code of the Spanish State at any given time for non-profit organisations and, in any case, those granted to private charitable organisations.
5. Income tax regulations shall govern the treatment given to donations made to the communities belonging to the Islamic Commission of Spain, including any applicable deductions.
12. 1. Members of the Islamic communities belonging to the Islamic Commission of Spain who wish to do so, may request that their work cease every Friday, the Muslim day of compulsory collective prayer, from one thirty p.m. to four thirty p. m., and during the month of fasting (Ramadan), one hour before sundown.
In both cases, prior agreement must be reached between the parties concerned. The hours not worked must be made up, with no compensation therefor whatsoever.
2. The holy days listed below which, according to the Islamic Law, are religious holidays, may, subject to agreement between the parties concerned, replace those established in article 37 of Workers= By-laws as a general rule, under the same terms of paid holidays with no time pay-back, at the request of persons of the Muslim faith belonging to the Islamic communities that are members of the Islamic Commission of Spain.
- Al Hiyra, corresponding to the 1st day of Muharram, first day of the Islamic New Year.
- Achura, tenth day of Muharram
- Idu Al-Maulid, corresponding to 12 Rabiu al Awwal, nativity of the prophet.
- Al Isra Wa Al-Mi=Ray, corresponding to 27 Rayab, date of the Night of Determining and the prophets=s Ascension.
- Idu Al-Fitr, corresponding to the 1st, 2sn and 3rd days of Shawwal, which celebrates the culmination of the Ramadan fast.
- Idu Al-Adha, corresponding to the 10,11 and 12 Du Al-Hyaah, to celebrate the sacrifice made by the prophet Abraham.
3. Muslim pupils studying at public and agreed private subsidised schools, shall be exempted from attending class or taking examinations on Friday during the time referred in paragraph 1 of this article and on the religious holidays and commemorations listed above, if so requested by the students themselves or by those with parental authority or guardianship.
4. Examinations, competitive state examinations or selective tests convened for employment in Public Administration jobs that are to be held during the period expressed in the preceding paragraph, shall be set for an alternative date for the muslims that so request, unless otherwise warranted by just cause.
13. The State and the Islamic Commission of Spain shall cooperate to conserve and further the Islamic historic, artistic and cultural heritage in Spain, which shall remain at the service of society, for contemplation and study.
Such cooperation shall include drawing up a catalogue andinventory of such heritage and embrace the creation of Trusts, Foundations and other Institutions of cultural nature, whose membership shall include representatives of the Islamic Commission of Spain.
14. 1. In accordance with the spiritual dimension and specific peculiarities of Islamic Law, the denomination Halal serves to distinguish food products prepared in accordance therewith.
2. In order to protect the proper use of such denominations, the Islamic Commission of Spain must apply for and obtain registration of the corresponding trademarks from the Patent and Trademark Office, pursuant the legal standards in force.
Once the above requirements are met, products bearing the Islamic Commission of Spain mark on the package shall be guaranteed for the intents and purposes of marketing, import and export, to have been prepared in accordance with Islamic Law.
3. The slaughtering of animals in accordance with Islamic Laws must abide by health standards in force.
4. Where requested, attempts shall be made to adapt the food provided to interns in public centres or establishments and in military premises, as well as to muslim pupils in public and agreed subsidised private educational institutions to islamic religious precepts and to mealtimes during the Ramadan fast.
First Additional Provision. The Government shall notify any legislative initiatives that may affect the contents of this Agreement to the Islamic Commission of Spain, in order that the Commission may give its opinion on the matter.
Second Additional Provision. The present Agreement may be denounced by either parties who have endorsed it, who must notify the other six months in advance. The Agreement may also be subject to full or partial revision, by request of either party, without prejudice to its subsequent parliamentary transaction.
Third Additional Provision. A Joint Commission shall be constituted representing the Administration and the Islamic Commission of Spain, for the implementation and monitoring of this Agreement.
Final Provision. The Government shall be authorized, by proposal of the Minister of Justice and, if appropriate, jointly with those Ministers competent in this matter, to dictate the necessary provisions for the development and implementation of the stipulations of this Agreement.