July 8, 2003
The Telegraph (UK)

After 500 Years, Granada's Muslims Get Their Mosque

by Isambard Wilkinson

After a wait of more than 500 years, Spanish Muslims have finally succeeded in building a mosque of their own in the shadow of the Alhambra, once the symbol of Islamic power in Europe.

. . . Granada's Great Mosque . . . is, say its builders, the symbol of the revival of Islam in Europe and Spain's "glorious Islamic heritage".

For that reason, though, many Spaniards are quietly unhappy. "Everybody is opposed to it, but they know it's politically impossible to voice their objections," said one local journalist.

It is more than 500 years since the Spaniards reconquered the southern districts of the country, bringing to an end almost eight centuries of Moorish rule.

Ignoring their promises to tolerate the Muslim faith, the Spaniards indulged in a wave of forced conversions, expulsions and killings. Mosques were demolished and churches built, often on the same spot.


[The site was bought 22 years ago, when it was still a small plot of farmland squeezed between a convent and a church on the crest of the Albaicin, the last Muslim quarter of Granada before the Catholic King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel reneged on their treaty with Boabdil to guarantee religious freedom in Spain.--David Sharrock, "Granada hears the cry of Islam after 500 years," Times, July 8, 2003]

Craig S. Smith, "Where the Moors Held Sway, Allah Is Praised Again," New York Times, October 21, 2003

[My question for Switzerland and other European countries enthralled by the right wing: When did Saudi Arabia become your role model?--Mona Eltahawy, "Europe's call to intolerance," Washington Post, December 1, 2009]

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