Muslims in Spain have already reasserted a right to conduct Saracenic prayers in the mosque in Cordoba. Osama bin Laden has expressed the recovery of the Islamic Kingdom of Andalusia as one of the goals of his jihad. Spanish bishops are justifiably alarmed by Islamic ambitions.
Spain’s bishops are alarmed by ambitious plans to recreate the city of Cordoba – once the heart of the ancient Islamic kingdom of al-Andalus – as a pilgrimage site for Muslims throughout Europe.
Plans include the construction of a half-size replica of Cordoba’s eighth century great mosque, according to the head of Cordoba’s Muslim Association. Funds for the project are being sought from the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and Muslim organisations in Morocco and Egypt.Other big mosques are reportedly planned for Medina Azahara near Cordoba, Seville and Granada.
The bishops of those cities are alarmed at the construction of ostentatious mosques, fearing that the church’s waning influence may be further eclipsed by resurgent Islam financed from abroad. Up to one million Muslims are estimated to live in Spain. Many are drawn by a romantic nostalgia for the lost paradise of Al-Andalus, the caliphate that ruled Spain for more than five centuries.