A SECULARIST group in Cordoba has slammed the Catholic Church for phasing out the Islamic history of the city’s cathedral.

More than 146,000 have signed a petition demanding the common Islamic and Christian heritage of the site be recognised following what they claim has been a gradual phasing out of its Islamic history.

The Save the Cordoba Mosque petition says: “Over the past few years the Diocese of Cordoba has erased the term ‘mosque’ from all the information leaflets of what is recognised worldwide as a symbol of cultural harmony.”

The most recent visitors’ leaflet says a mosque was built on the site of a Visigoth church in the eighth century, but skims over the next 500 year history as a place of worship for Muslims at the height of the Islamic rule in southern Spain.

Construction of the mosque, which included a prayer room and marble columns, began in 766. It was transformed to a cathedral in the 13th century after a Christian ruler conquered the city.

“For the citizens of Cordoba, what has hurt our feelings is that they have cut off the name and the memory of the monument,” said Antonio Manuel Rodriguez, a law professor at Cordoba University.

Others have criticised the diocese for presenting a distorted historical account of the cathedral, which attracts millions of visitors a year.


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