Trouble in the Cordoba Mezquita

I read at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/01/muslim-catholic-mosque-fight that visiting Muslims were not allowed to pray in the Mezquita, now the Cathedral, in Cordoba – where we were just a few weeks ago.

The report has the Catholic church noting, as it is keen to in the leaflet you get on entry, the pre-Muslim religious use of the site – although that building was on much smaller scale than the huge Mosque that was to come.

The Bishop repeated the standard line, which is given every year when Muslims write and ask to be allowed to pray in the building: “The shared use of the cathedral by Catholics and Muslims would not contribute to the peaceful coexistence of the two beliefs”

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2 thoughts on “Trouble in the Cordoba Mezquita

  1. It would be too easy to make a knee-jerk response to this situation in favour of thinking that the Mezquita could be used as a shared space for prayer. But the issue should be seen in the wide historical context, which brings it out as a substantial political issue. The history of religion, going back to ancient times well before the Christian era, has always been marked by 'takeovers' of sacred space – for example, as demonstrated in the development of Ancient Judaism in the Hebrew Bible, as well as in the history of conflict between Christianity and Islam, which remains a continuing underlying cause of aggravation in Eastern Europe, for example in Chechnya – and these 'takeovers' have always been profoundly significant. The history of the Mezquita itself bears eloquent witness to this trend, as does, inter alia, Saint Sophia in Istanbul, and contested sacred space is, of course, a key issue in the continual conflicts of central Jerusalem. The timing of this particular squabble in Cordoba is not coincidental, and so a hermeneutic of suspicion should be employed! It might also be noted that much of the interior of the Mezquita is anathema to Islam, which raises the question of quite why this particular place would be wanted as prayer space. In short, there's probably more to this than meets the eye…..

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  2. Christianity and Islam have the same roots, the same God, i think a coexistence between the three Abrahamic religions should take place, A common place for worship will not harm anybody.

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