Catalonia Muslims Urge Grand Mosque

Muslims in the Spanish autonomous province of Catalonia said it is high time they established a grand mosque to meet the needs of the sizable minority.

Catalonia Muslims Urge Grand Mosque

Faulting state statistics about thegrowing number of mosques, Muslims in the Spanish autonomous province of Cataloniasaid it is high time they established a grand mosque to meet the needs of thesizable minority instead of the dozens of prayer rooms and vaults that burst atthe seams with worshippers.

"The government statistics are inaccuratebecause officials simply call vaults and underground prayer roomsmosques," Ali Al-Mukhtari told Tuesday, March 27.

He was referring to recent statistics released bythe General Authority for Religious Affairs in Cataloniaon the number of "mosques," churches and other places of worship inthe posh Catalonia.

The statistics put at 169 the number of"mosques" in the province, saying that then mosques were establishedannually.

"They could not be called mosques," saidAl-Mukhtari. "They are no more than 169 vaults and small prayer rooms ingarages and basements."

Ahmed Zayen, a Spanish citizen of Moroccan origin,also questioned the state version.

"The government wants to leave the impressionthat mosques are on the rise and there is no need for Muslims to have a grandmosque," he said.

There are 800,00 Muslims in Catalonia,making up the bulk of the estimated 1.5 Muslims in Spain.

Islam is the second religion in the southernEuropean country after Christianity.


Muslims in Barcelona,the capital of Catalonia,were about to have their dream of a grand mosque come true.

In 2000, the Barcelona Municipal Council promisedMuslim minority leaders a piece of land to build their mosque.

No sooner had Muslims started raising funds for themuch-hoped place of worship mosque than the council reneged on its promise,arguing that the issue was not a priority.

Al-Mukhtari said the council came under intensepressures from the Christian majority in Barcelona,who would not tolerate a grand mosque in their neighborhood.

"Residents held several rallies in protest thecouncil's initial stance, which put on hold the project," he added.

Mohammad el-Shayeb, an MP at Catalonia'sparliament, said the Muslim minority leaders in Barcelona have been trying their best in a"civilized and astute" way to iron out obstacles to the constructionof the first grand mosque.

"We want a grand mosque to meet the needs ofthe sizable Muslim minority in Barcelona,"he told IOL.

"But we must find first an area that does notirk locals and seek necessary finances to fund the construction of the mosquethat should be in line with Barcelona's unique architecture," he added.

Ahmed Bin Alal, the coordinator of the IslamicCouncil in Catalonia, said Muslims shouldlaunch know-Islam campaigns in Barcelonabefore starting the project.

"Muslims should reach out to non-Muslims toallay their fears and remove misconceptions about Islam," he said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16