RELIGION

Spain's Muslim Business Owners Feel Restricted By New Zoning Proposals

Muslims offer prayers on the last Friday of Ramadan in Lleida, Spain, Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Muslims offer prayers on the last Friday of Ramadan in Lleida, Spain, Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spain's Mediterranean coast is home to the country's biggest Muslim community. And in one town there, local politicians have proposed new zoning laws that have people pondering what it means to be Spanish, or Muslim, or both.

Ruling conservatives in the town of Tarragona want to limit the number of kebab shops and Internet cafes in the town center, keeping them 500 yards apart to "protect traditional Spanish businesses" and prevent what they call ghettos.

But just what is a traditional Spanish business?

"You tell me! My tomatoes are Spanish, and so are the potatoes I sell," says Nouari Benzawi, an Algerian immigrant who runs a kebab shop and halal grocery store.

Read more on www.npr.org