Sep 17, 2009

Football Player Save Mosque in Spain

Muslim footballer saves Spanish mosque: press
[ Thursday, 13 December 2007 ]


Mali international footballer Frederic Kanoute has saved a mosque from closure in Seville, Spain's ABC newspaper reported on Thursday.

Kanoute paid 510,860 euros (749,340 dollars) so that fellow Muslims in Seville would not find themselves without a mosque.

Kanoute, who plays for Sevilla in the Spanish League since moving from French champions Lyon in 2005, has also created a foundation in Mali to help children, particularly orphans.


Seville Mosque Remains Costly Dream

By Al-Amin Andalusi, IOL Correspondent

For years, Seville Muslims have been trying to build a stately mosque in the southern city to no avail

SEVILLE — Despite years of relentless efforts, the construction of a stately mosque remains a costly dream for Muslims in the southern city of Seville, the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia.

"We are still negotiating with city officials to find a solution for the mosque issue," Muslim community leader Malik Roueth told

After municipal officials reneged on several promises to allocate a plot of land for the mosque, the sizable Muslim community is left with no other option but buy one.

"We need no less than 6 million euros," said Roueth, citing rocketing land prices in the area.

For years, Seville Muslims have been trying to build a stately mosque in the southern city.

Efforts with local authorities to get a state-owned piece of land to build a mosque that can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers have repeatedly hit snags.

"Finding a 6000-meter piece of land (for the mosque) will not be an easy task," notes Roueth.

Seville is the capital of Andalusia, the most populous and the second largest of the seventeen autonomous communities making up the Kingdom of Spain.

Seville Cathedral now occupies the site of an ancient mosque world-renowned for its Giralda minaret.

Topped with four copper spheres that could be seen for miles around, the Moorish tower was used both to call the faithful to prayer and as an observatory over the city.

The minaret, which tower took 12 years to build, is considered the finest of the three great Almohad minarets, the others are in the Moroccan cities of Rabat and Marrakesh.

The Giralda became the bell tower of the Christian cathedral as of 1402.

Fierce Opposition

Plans to build a purpose-based mosque in Seville have been met with fierce oppositions from some locals.

A few months ago, authorities froze plans to allocate a plot of land for Muslims to build their mosque after protests.

Opponents has left slaughtered pig heads at the location, believing such a move would push Muslims to drop the plans.

In reaction to the protests, the authorities withdraw the land even though by that time Muslims had spent more than 200,000 euros to prepare the land for the mosque construction.

"At the moment, we are not planning to seek financial compensations from local authorities," said Roueth.

"We have other priorities."

In 2005, local authorities reneged on a decision to allocate a plot for building the mosque after similar protests from some locals.

A Spanish court ruled at the time against granting state-owned lands to build places of worship.

"The verdict set a precedent," Roueth notes.

"The Catholic Church will be the most affected because most churches are built on state-owned land."

Spain has an estimated Muslim minority of about at 1.5 million out of a total population of 40 million.

Islam is the second religion after Christianity and has been recognized through the law of religious freedom, issued in July 1967.
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