Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Monday 30 June 2014

New Mosque for Barcelona

The Emir of Qatar is reported to be negotiating with the owners to buy the now defunct Barcelona bullring with a view to turning it into the biggest mosque in Europe. It will accommodate 40,000 worshippers at prayer. In support of his action he is reminding the Barcelona town hall of all the money his charitable organisation, the Qatari Investment Fund, pumps into the local economy, not least the local Football Club.
A spokesman for the group says that Barcelona is the last big Spanish City without a custom built mosque but locals fear the sheer size will provoke disturbances not least because of its proximity to the  Sagrada Familia church, within hearing distance of the 300 metre tall minaret and its muezzins. Nor, it seems, is the Emir concerned that half a millenium ago his God forsook all his Moorish adherents as they were kicked out of the Iberian peninsular by the Catholic kings.
The plans are ambitious but I wonder if, instead of escalating the reach of Islam, the Emir should be more mindful of the damage caused by its followers around the globe, I am thinking of ISIS in Iraq,  Boko Haram in Africa and Al Qaeda in Asia, and wind down operations. We are repeatedly told that the Islamic faith is a peaceful religion but hard line stances on, for example, apostacy and  blasphemy and the promotion of sharia law in the secular world makes people nervous, especially if they have followed a different faith or none. However this is not the most worrisome aspect of the faith; the worst fear for the world is the resolve of Islam that 'total submission to God' is not only preferable; it is unequivocally essential in all aspects of life including Government. This, despite its obvious failings in Iberia and the Near and Middle East.
Now, ISIS have issued a map showing the extent of the Caliphate they wish to create and it includes the reoccupation of the Iberian Peninsular.

Has the Emir of Qatar jumped the gun or is he part of the plan?
Can the Abrahamic religions sustain? I can forsee a time in the near future when the Vatican and Lambeth Palace say they have seen and heard enough; Spinoza was right, science has won and there is absolutely no justification for any belief in an interactive God. The last bastion of ignorance, along with some lost jungle tribes and the Creationists of America,  will be the followers of Islam. Does the Emir of Qatar, I'm sure an educated man, see the new mosque as a centre of religious tolerance and excellence or will he see it become the largest secular counselling centre in the world and a tourist attraction much like the old mosque or mezquita of Cordoba?

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