Doesn't this sound familiar to anyone who is acquainted with the Temple Mount, conquered by Muslims in 638CE and turned into an Islamic compound with a mosque and then, eventually, becoming an exclusive site prohibiting any non-Muslim from entering or praying therein?
When Christians re-conquered Córdoba, they built a cathedral, completed in 1236, in the heart of the mosque. Since then, only Christian worship has been allowed inside the monument, which draws 1.5 million visitors each year. In 2010, two Austrian Muslims were arrested after an altercation with security guards who had stopped them from praying in the monument.
Isabel Romero, president of the Islamic Council, which represents Spain’s two million Muslims, said that in recent years the Catholic Church had showed “a lack of respect to the monument and its history … Just because it is not a mosque now doesn’t mean it was never a mosque. Wiping out eight centuries of history didn’t make sense.”
And the news:
Local authorities in Córdoba have dealt a blow to the Catholic church’s claim of legal ownership of the Spanish city’s mosque-cathedral, declaring that “religious consecration is not the way to acquire property”.
The report, written by the city council’s secretary general, Valeriano Lavela,..says the building does not belong to the church nor to any other organisation or individual. Lavela writes that the church’s acquisition has no legal basis and cannot confer ownership. This, he adds, is not just because the site has since 1984 been a Unesco world heritage site “of exceptional universal value” and therefore cannot be owned by anyone.
Citing Roman law, Lavela argues that the site’s true owners “are each and every citizen of the world from whatever epoch and regardless of people, nation, culture or race”.
...While mass is held in the building, the local bishop has banned Muslims from praying there. In 2010 fighting broke out when a group of Muslim visitors knelt to pray.
I have blogged previously (and back in 2010) on the situation in Cordoba so parallel to Jerusalem.
The structure began as a small Christian Visogoth church before being divided into Christian and Muslims halves in 711. Umayyad Prince Abd al-Rahman I founded the famous medieval mosque in 784 after purchasing the Christian half. The structure was converted into a Catholic cathedral in 1236.
However, in our situation the Jews are denied the rights that Muslims demand for themselves in Spain.
Will we ever be equal, at the least, to Muslims at our holy site?