Spanish Muslims have appealed to Pope Benedict seeking permission to worship inside a landmark southern Spanish cathedral that was a mosque more than 800 years ago.
Spain's Islamic Board says it is not trying to take over the Cathedral of Cordoba, but wants to turn it into a place where believers of all faiths can worship in the spirit of peace and humanity.
The board says Spain's Catholic Church leaders have turned down its request, and that cathedral guards often use force to stop Muslims from praying inside the church.
The Cordoba cathedral was built as a mosque when the Moors ruled Spain starting in the 8th century.
The building was converted to a Catholic church in the 13th century when Christians reconquered Cordoba. Voice of America
This request comes from a leaders of a religion that is a state religion in one third of the world that won't allow Catholics and other Christians to publicly worship in their countries.And my, wouldn't it be nice if the Pope could celebrate Pontifical High Masses regularly in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the former Church of St Sophia before the Ottoman Turks stole it in 1453. [During the Pope's recent visit to Turkey, few Turks breathed during the Holy Father's short visit to St Sophia in terror that he might say a Catholic prayer or assume a Catholic prayer position and "desecrate" the form Christian basilica.]
But they want the right to pray in Catholic churches. Some people have a lot of gall.