Muslims in Spain demand the right to worship at Cordoba Cathedral

Spanish Muslims have written to the Vatican to demand the right to worship at Cordoba Cathedral.

Spain’s Islamic Board wrote to Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, calling on him to grant them permission to worship in the cathedral, parts of which were built as a mosque during Spain’s period of Islamic rule.

The group said in their letter: “What we wanted was not to take over that holy place, but to create in it, together with you and other faiths, an ecumenical space unique in the world which would have been of great significance in bringing peace to humanity.”

They said that senior Spanish Catholic clergy had earlier rejected requests for Muslims to be allowed to prostrate themselves inside the Cathedral.

Mansur Escudero, the board’s secretary general, said security guards often stop Muslim worshipers from praying at the old mosque.

He said: “There are reactionary elements within the Catholic Church, and when they hear about the construction of a mosque, or Muslim teachings in state schools, or about veils, they see it as a sign we are growing and they oppose it.”

Mansur said Muslims came from around the world to see Cordoba’s Cathedral, which is still commonly known as the Cathedral-Mosque. from AlJazeera

Every time I think I’ve heard it all, the muslims top themselves once again. In this case, The St. Vincent Cathedral was destroyed by the muslims and replaced with a mosque in the muslim conquest. When the muslims were driven out of Spain some 500 years ago, the site was reclaimed as a Catholic place of worship. Now, muslims in Spain are demanding the right to use the church as a mosque once again. According to the news article, there are some 1 million muslims in Spain, out of a population of 44 million. Most of them are from north Africa.So far, the Church has refused their demands, and in my opinion, rightly so.

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Pakistan Plans to Mine Afghan Border

“The Pakistan Army has been tasked to work out modalities for selectively fencing and mining the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,’’ Riaz Mohammad Khan, the Pakistani foreign secretary, said at a news briefing in Islamabad, the capital. “These measures will supplement the measures which are already in force.”

At present, Pakistan has an estimated 80,000 troops on its porous and craggy border straddling Afghanistan.

NY Times

Pakistan has also decided to strictly monitor the Afghan refugee camps, Mr. Khan said at the news briefing. “We also request the
international community, especially the United Nations, to expedite the refugees’ return to Afghanistan and to relocate some of
the camps which are closer to the border,’’ Mr. Khan said.

Pakistani officials say the continued presence of Afghan refugee camps on its side makes it easier for Taliban to mingle, hide and travel across the border.

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True Brit: what was your best pesent this year?

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I just thought I would share with you my ‘bestest’ Christmas present this year! Commando comics are small, black and white, and contain spiffing war stories. The enemy are ‘huns’, ‘nip’s and ‘eeities’ and the Brits always, ALWAYS win in the end.

Blissfully un-P.C. they have been part of British culture since ever i was a kid. I cannot remember walking into a newsagent and not seeing them on sale. This collection of twelve vintage stories is raising their profile again and introducing them to a younger generation who have been brought up on Manga and the like. There is also a companion volume called, perhaps predictably, The Dirty Dozen”

Lucky me hey? What did you have – show and tell time folks.

Somali Forces Retreat: Ethiopia Senses Victory

Sensing victory against its Somali Islamist foes, Ethiopia attacked retreating fighters from the air on Tuesday and threatened to seize their stronghold Mogadishu after a week of war in the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopian forces are said to be on their way to Mogadishu – about 40 mile away. Islamists remain defiant – any attack on Mogadishu will end in disaster, they have announced.

It would be good to see a decisive defeat for the Somali Islamists. Not least for the people of Ethiopia who are in great danger with the paranoid Islamists being willing to bring devastation to the whole of the Horn of Africa.

Turkey Involved in Saddam’s Gassing of the Kurds?

Many of the critics of the Coalition war plan have seemed to have forgotten Turkey’s role in the Spring of 2003 in preventing the planned deployment of the 4th Infantry Division.

The battle plan originally intended for the 4th ID to spearhead an advance into northern Iraq. The Turkish Parliament refused to grant permission for the operation and the division’s equipment remained offshore on ships, and eventually had to be re-routed through Kuwait after the invasion had started. The planned pincer move with the 3rd ID advancing from the south, and the 4th ID from the north never materialized, allowing Baathists loyalists to escape into Syria, and preventing the capture of Fedayin and AlQaeda operatives who were able to escape and blend into the local populations.

Turkey’s role in the run-up to the war, as well as her hoped for membership in the EU, the large contingent of Turkish Army forces on the Iraqi border, and her ongoing oppression of the Kurdish poulation in the eastern provinces makes this story from Saddam Hussein’s trial even more intriguing.

From News 24 : Evidence relating to Saddam Hussein’s alleged use of poison gas against Kurdish civilians was given to his genocide trial in secret on Thursday, so as not to embarrass Turkey.

After seeing a string of memos issued by Saddam’s chief of staff in 1988 ordering “special ammunition” attacks, the court cut off its microphones while studying documents relating to Iraq’s northern neighbour.

We will now cut the microphones because this concerns Iraqi-Turkish relations,” said chief prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon, who then presented various documents while the sound in the reporters’ box was cut off.

No details were given of the evidence presented in this part of the trial, nor was it explained how it touched on Turkey.

It’s interesting that the American and the European media have reported little, if anything about Turkey’s role in this. If Turkey had a role in Saddam’s massacre of the Kurds, then it should be disclosed, and that involvement should weigh heavily in Turkey’s membership petition to the EU.


Sercan Ondem

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