Jihad At The Cordoba Cathedral: Halfway To A Whole Mosque?

As noted in Andrew Bostom's essay debunking the just-can't-shake-it myth of Islamic "tolerance" in Muslim Spain, by the middle of the 8th century, the cathedral in Cordoba dedicated to Saint Vincent had been "converted" to a Muslim mosque. However, as 19th-century scholar of Muslim Spain (and Islamophile) Reinhart Dozy writes, this was "clearly an act of spoilation as well as an infraction of the treaty" between Cordoba Christians and the invading Arab Muslims.

All the churches in that city [Cordoba] had been destroyed except the cathedral, dedicated to Saint Vincent, but the possession of this fane [church or temple] had been guaranteed by treaty. For several years the treaty was observed; but when the population of Cordova was increased by the arrival of Syrian Arabs [i.e., Muslims], the mosques did not provide sufficient accommodation for the newcomers, and the Syrians considered it would be well for them to adopt the plan which had been carried out at Damascus, Emesa [Homs], and other towns in their own country, of appropriating half of the cathedral and using it as a mosque. The [Muslim] Government having approved of the scheme, the Christians were compelled to hand over half of the edifice. This was clearly an act of spoilation, as well as an infraction of the treaty. Some years later, Abd-er Rahman I requested the Christians to sell him the other half. This they firmly refused to do, pointing out that if they did so they would not possess a single place of worship. Abd-er Rahman, however, insisted, and a bargain was struck by which the Christians ceded their cathedral.

And so the single remaining church in the city became the Great Mosque of Cordoba. This mosque became a cathedral again in 1236 when King Ferdinand III of Castile recaptured the city from Muslim Moors.

Note, however, in these following thumbnails from recent news accounts of Muslim attempts to take the cathedral back for Islam (I'm not kidding), the fudging or complete omission of the cathedral's Christian origins preceding the establishment of the Great Mosque.

From the Times of London, April 3, 2010, "Muslims arrested for trying to pray in Cordoba's former Great Mosque":

The Great Mosque of Córdoba was converted into a Christian church in 1236 after King Ferdinand III of Castile recaptured the city from the Moors. The building later became the modern-day Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption.

Muslim organisations have long campaigned for the right to pray inside the building, which was once one of the biggest mosques in the world.

However, Demetrio Fernández González, the recently appointed Bishop of Córdoba, reinforced a ban on Muslims praying in any part of the 24,000sq m (260,000sq ft) building, saying that canon law did not permit it.

A statement from the bishop’s office said: “The shared use of the cathedral by Catholics and Muslims would not contribute to the peaceful coexistence of the two beliefs.”

The Roman Catholic Church cited archaeological reports that said before the Mosque was built in the 8th century remains of an earlier Christian temple had stood on the same spot.

The not-so-faint implication is that the source of these "archaeological reports" is somehow sectarianly non-objective, while the reports themselves don't merit mention in the recitation of the cathedral's history. And since when are "archaeological reports" dismissed so lightly? When they fail to match the PC narrative.

Oh, and by the way, the Times also reports (paragraph 9):

After being asked to stop praying,  [Catholic authorities] added, “they [two of the praying Muslims] replied by attacking security guards, two of whom suffered serious injuries.”

From CNN, August 17, 2010, "Muslims in Spain campaign to worship alongside Christians":

Muslims in Spain are campaigning to be allowed to worship alongside Christians in Cordoba Cathedral -- formerly the Great Mosque of Cordoba.

And what else? Nothing, according to CNN.

Today, at the original Cordoba mosque in Spain, there is no call to prayer, only the ringing of church bells. That's because the former mosque is now a working Catholic cathedral, performing a daily mass.

It's been a Cathedral since Spain's Christian monarchy conquered Cordoba in the 13th century and more than a million visitors walk through its doors every year.

Look, Ma -- no pre-Islamic history! This obliteration of the past is a traditional hallmark of Islamic conquest.

Meanwhile, note the Islamic good-cop, bad-cop routine, something I've been tracking at least since the foiled British Airplane  Plot of 2006 when it struck me that in the wake the jihadists' attempt to bring down passenger airliners (bad cop), British Muslim leaders followed up by lobbying the government to sanction more sharia in Britain to avoid future outbreaks of such "extremism" (good cop). Notice both sets of actors, the violent jihadists (bad cop) and the peaceful lobbyists (good cop), are after the same goal: extending sharia.

Anyway, to recap the situation in Cordoba: In April, violent "worshippers" (bad cop) seriously injured (knifed) security guards. In August the "peaceful" lobbying effort (good cop) to convert the Catholic cathedral into a half a mosque continues apace. They're both trying to achieve the same goal

And with CNN's implicit favor:

Depictions of Jesus' crucifixion hang underneath the distinctive red-and-white arches of what was once the Muslim prayer hall. Cordoba's dazzling "mihrab" -- the sacred alcove from where Muslim prayer is lead -- still stands as a separate part of the site and is one of the main attractions for tourists.

In fact, the site remains significant for Muslims as a symbol of Islam's golden age of learning and religious tolerance.

Ah, back to that fraud.

The Mosque of Cordoba was once famed for allowing both Christians and Muslims to pray together under the same roof.

Yes, as, Dozy tells us, as an act of "spoilation" and a broken treaty.

Now, some Muslims are trying to repeat that history. Mansur Escudero, a Spanish convert to Islam, is leading the movement that is pushing for the right of Muslims to pray at the Cordoba Cathedral.

"I don't think it's important for Muslims. I think it's important for humankind," Escudero says. "We think this is a beautiful paradigm of tolerance, knowledge, culture. People of different religions living together."

Uh-huh. Sounds beautiful so long as you block out the clanging echoes from the middle of the 8th century when, as Dozy tells us, Muslims broke their treaty with the Christians, "appropriating half of the cathedral and using it as a mosque."

Wikipedia on the Mezquita

From Wikipedia:


"The Great Mosque of Córdoba, or the Mezquita, was built by the Umayyad Moors on the site of a Visigothic Christian church, and now houses the Catedral de Córdoba...The building was begun in approximately AD 600 as the Christian Visigothic church of St. Vincent.[2] After the Islamic conquest of the Visigothic kingdom the Emir Abd ar-Rahman I bought the church.[3] Abd ar-Rahman I and his descendants reworked it over two centuries to refashion it as a mosque, starting in 784. Additionally, Abd ar-Rahman I used the mosque (originally called Aljama Mosque) as an adjunct to his palace and named it to honor his wife. Several explanations have been proposed to explain the mosque's unorthodox orientation. Traditionally, the mihrab of a mosque faces in the direction of Mecca; by facing the mihrab, worshipers pray towards Mecca. Mecca is east-southeast of the mosque, but the mihrab points south. Some have suggested the mihrab faces south because the foundations of the mosque were taken from the old Roman and Visigoth constructions..."


The Wikipedia entry is at once ambiguous and contradictory.  Wikipedia firsts suggests that the Mezquita was built anew on "the site" of where the Church of St. Vincent once stood.  Even the groundbreaking is dated to 784 not 600.  Apparently, some of the foundations from the "old Roman and Visigoth constructions" remained.  The site must have been a ruin until the Umayyads arrived.


Then Wikipedia comes clean that the Mezquita is indeed a "reworked" church.  But of course, it was "bought" in good faith (the Islamic conquest being irrelevant), and the process of conversion or construction took 200 years, plenty of time for the Christians of Al-Andalus to accept and embrace it.


I wish I could blame this on Muslims re-writing history.  But Muslims are out in the open.  Only the "New" Left could come up with this confusing drivel.  I am beginning to prefer the enemy than our Fifth Column.

Silly Approach (2)

What a delight to see the 'progressive' would-be educator, kappert, receiving a thorough educational shellacking from one of her 'pupils', Capo'.

Silly Approach?

Yes, it would be, wouldn't it? So why did you propose it? Because if the Moorish and Spanish “architecture” is the determining factor in how the property is to be best utilized, which was the argument you put forth in your silly Incidental Austrian Tourist post, then aren’t you presuming that the Cathedral ‘belongs’ to your silly suggestion?

So yes, I take your point, it would be a silly approach for the architectural style to determine the Cathedral's use. Isn’t expropriation fun...whether it's a cathedral or a silly idea? As the Muslims say: the moor the merrier.

On behalf of Capodistrias

On behalf of Capodistrias and for the edification of Kappert: The Muscovite princes of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries famously hired Italian architects to design and build their palaces, cathedrals, city halls, opera houses, and courts of justice. “Romanov” architecture is largely Italian architecture. If the Cordoba Cathedral “belonged” to Muslims because Muslims built it (as Kappert argues), then, by analogy, most civic buildings in Moscow, including those of the Kremlin, would belong to Italians. Haghia Sophia in Constantinople was made a museum by decree of Kemal Atatürk, whose birth in Thessalonica bolsters the rumor that he was not a Muslim. Viva Capodistrias! Viva Italia!

no belonging

I did not speak of any 'belonging' as religions should be universal. If an Austrian tourist group is accused of praying in a catholic cathedral, it seems wrong to me. The place of the mezquita in Cordoba was a place for worship long before monotheism. The Hagia Sophia remains a museum, long after Kemal Atatürk's death. If architects would require their buildings as ownership of their birth country ... but that's a silly approach.

Museum (2) continued

Because a museum is an institution which collects, documents, preserves, exhibits and INTERPRETS material evidence and associated information for the public benefit, whereas a Cathedral  is a building for Christian WORSHIP and a Mosque is a place for Muslim WORSHIP. Ergo, living religions do not belong in an institution - YOU DO! 

Museum (2)

Q: If a muslim country Turkey declares Hagia Sophia as a museum, why shouldn't Catholic Spain do the same with the Cordoba Cathedral?

A: Because in the case of the Cordoba Cathedral, neither Christians nor Muslims are seeking that outcome, only the odd, and I mean odd in every sense of the word, heathen like you, Kappert, considers this a lasting solution to a problem you deliberately choose not to understand...   


If the muslim country Turkey declares Hagia Sophia as a museum, why shouldn't catholic Spain do the same with the Mezquita de Cordoba?


Could you explain your Moscow statement?


@ Traveler - Amen Brother!

@ Kappert - You are nuts!

@ Atlantacist - Well said my friend!

@ Diana West - Well written, well put. Kudos to you for shattering their shibboleths!

de bende van

"You are nuts!"

One may wonder what motivates kappert to invite continuous derision by his/her pronouncements on this website. He/she can take comfort in the fact that his/her rationalist, pacifist, socialist, bureaucratic political and social philosophy is in fact in the saddle, as the dominant political and social philosophy of the so-called cognitive elites around the world--however much we may rail against it as destructive, utopian, false, Gnostic, Satanic, delusional, and tyrannical. "How these ants go on," laughs kappert to him- or herself, "against their human masters!"

Austrian tourists

The Unesco World Patrimony Great Mosque of Cordoba, including the nearby 16-arc Roman bridge, should be converted in a museum, like the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, or it should be an open temple for Christians, Jews and Muslims, as the mosque is often labelled as symbol for the religious diversity. The capital of al-Andalus, rivalling with Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad, was the see of the caliph. The question when the worshipping place was build first, whether by Luso-Iberians or Phoenicians or Carthaginians or Romans or Visigoths, is of no importance as the current building is famous exclusively for the mourish and spanish architecture. Already a museum is the Calahorra-Tower, the Museum of Three Cultures, evoking the peaceful times of muslims, christians and jews altogether in the big town. After the Christian reconquista in 1236, the mosque remained untouched until 1523, when Carlos V ordered a new nave, being constructed in the following 230 years.
The alleged knife attack by Austrian muslims against policemen is denied by the tourists. The Austrian delegation visited the mesquite and began praying, when the security forces expelled six muslim and two catholic Austrians. There were no charges against them.
Maybe the author wants to fuel oil for American readers, as the New York mosque discussion is linked to the NY Cordoba Center. If so, it's a shameful attempt.

@ kappert

A church or a mosque is never a symbol of diversity, that's total BS.
I am sick and tired of this "universal multiculti" drivel, it does NOT EXIST.

Cordoba Cathedral

Diana West has come straight to the point about the Christian origins of Cordoba Cathedral. Spain was already largely Christian when the Goths, taking advantage of the troubles in the Roman west, organized the Iberian Peninsula as a kingdom; but the Goths, too, were Christian converts by the Fifth Century, when they asserted their political independence. A distinct Christian-Gothic, post-Roman civilization began to develop in Spain, which never ceased to remember its own character and prepossession of the land. Readers of West’s article will also want to read “The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise” by Dario Fernandez-Morera, accessible at this web-address:



Very funny, Atlanticist! Good grief, how much easier it is to be a conservative. All it takes is a modest attachment to truth. No endless entanglement in PC taqqiya, no denial of the obvious. Mankind cannot stand very much reality, said T.S. Eliot. But when there is so little to be found, a little will go a long way.

With respect to recalling pre-Islamic territory, why should we not refer to Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Bosnia, and Albania as "Occupied Territories." These are formerly and properly Christian lands that should become Christian again, Deo volente. And shall I add England, France, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands?

Halfway to a 'Ole...?

This audible conspiracy of silence about the true origins of the Cordoba Cathedral reminds me of a verbal exchange which takes place between two characters in the film 'Scary Movie 4'.

'Imam'Henry Hale:

 I fear the presence of the outsiders will attract those of whom we do not speak.

D West/Female Elder #2:

But if you talk about those of whom 'we' do not speak, have you not spoken of that about which 'we' do not talk?

'Imam'Henry Hale [again]:

Do NOT speak of that about which we talk of not speaking ... about.