Muslims ask to worship at Cordoba

Spanish bishops say they will not negotiate shared use of the Catholic cathedral.

    More than a million of Spain's 44 million 
    inhabitants are Muslims [GALLO/GETTY]

    They said that senior Spanish Catholic clergy had earlier rejected requests for Muslims to be allowed to prostrate themselves inside the Cathedral.
     
    Mansur Escudero, the board's secretary general, said security guards often stop Muslim worshipers from praying at the old mosque.
     
    He said: "There are reactionary elements within the Catholic Church, and when they hear about the construction of a mosque, or Muslim teachings in state schools, or about veils, they see it as a sign we are growing and they oppose it."
     
    Mansur said Muslims came from around the world to see Cordoba's Cathedral, which is still commonly known as the Cathedral-Mosque.
     
    Complex history
     
    The Roman Catholic cathedral had originally been a mosque but was converted into a cathedral in the 13th century.
     
    The mosque itself was built on the site of the earlier cathedral of St Vincent which was demolished by Cordoba's Muslim rulers following the Islamic invasion and occupation of parts of southern Spain in the eight century.
     
    In December, Spain's Catholic Bishops Conference released a statement, quoted by newspaper ABC, saying it "did not recommend" Muslims prayed at the Cathedral and was not prepared to negotiate the building's shared use with other faiths.
     
    Spain's last Muslim territory fell with the conquest of Granada in 1492 after almost eight centuries of Muslim rule.
     
    Today, more than a million of Spain's 44 million people are Muslims, many of them recently arrived immigrants from North Africa.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.