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NewsReal Sunday: NYTimes Columnist Calls Cathedral of Córdoba “The Great Mosque”

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Posted on November 7 2010 8:00 am
Lisa Graas has covered politics and religion at her blog LisaGraas.com since 2008. She has served as a crisis pregnancy counselor, youth speaker, mental health advocate and legislative consultant.
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Rachel Donadio, anti-papal conspiracy theorist, resident priest basher and Islamapologist for the New York Times, has turned her attention to the clash between Christians and Muslims in Córdoba over the Catholic Cathedral or, as Donadio calls it, “the great mosque of Córdoba”. As the New York Times engages openly in the practice of obscuring history in a manner that helps Islam, perhaps instead of a mosque at Ground Zero there ought to be a minaret alongside the “Gray Lady“.

Donadio fundamentally fails in her explanation of the history of Córdoba in the context of Islamic-Christian conflict by offering as equally debatable points the historical revisionism of Islamists, both openly radical and ostensibly moderate, while mischaracterizing the position of Bishop Demetrius Fernandez, the latter being based on a history that is disputed by virtually no one outside the Muslim community and their leftist, Catholic-hating apologists.

“The great mosque of Cordoba”, as Donadio calls it, is actually La Catedral de Córdoba, a Catholic cathedral. While it is true that the current building was formerly a mosque, Donadio fails to point out that it was built by Christian dhimmis on the ruins of the Basilica of Saint Vincent which had been destroyed by the invading Muslims. In 1236, King Ferdinand succeeded in a bloodless return of Córdoba to Christian hands and the building was consecrated as a cathedral which, by definition, refers to its place as the official seat of the Catholic bishop, the teaching authority of the diocese.

Donadio’s reference to the Cathedral of Cordoba as “the great mosque” indicates an appalling bias giving credence by strong implication to the Muslim claim that Muslims have some right to worship in the Cathedral. She even suggests that because it is a cathedral, Muslims should be able to worship in it.

[D]iocesan officials are upset that some Muslims have tried to pray there, even though it is a consecrated cathedral. [Emphasis mine.]

Muslim worship may not occur in a Catholic cathedral. As Canon Law states in regard to sacred places such as churches, “anything not consonant with the holiness of the place is forbidden.” Suggesting for any reason whatsoever that a Catholic bishop should violate Canon Law, particularly in the context of allowing his official seat of authority to be shared by Islamists engaging in what Catholics consider to be unholy worship, is not only contrary to religious freedom but horrifies the sensibilities of Catholics everywhere.

Donadio’s holding up as potentially valid the deceitful claim of utopia under Muslim rule in Córdoba is egregiously incompetent, as well.

Today, the legacy of Al Andalus is highly contested. While Osama bin Laden and other radicals have called repeatedly for the return of Al Andalus to Muslim hands — that is, for the Islamic reconquest of Spain and implicitly Europe — others look to Al Andalus as an almost utopian era of peaceful coexistence among Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Catholics who remember their history and honor the memories of the Christian Martyrs of Córdoba would beg to differ with both of these two Islamist points of view. Sharing the view of Osama bin Laden as if it might have some weight as a debatable point is shocking in and of itself. Even further, Donadio could use some instruction on the historical realities of dhimmitude.

A non-Muslim community that is forced to accept dhimmitude is condemned to live in a system that will protect it from violent jihad on only one condition: if it is completely subservient to a Muslim master. In return for that subservience, the community is granted limited rights, although dhimmis could be capriciously subjected to such depredations as mass slavery, abductions, and deportations.

It seems clear that as long as there are Catholic-hating Islamapologists at the New York Times in Manhattan, there is really no need for a mosque at Ground Zero. Just build a minaret at 620 Eighth Avenue and Voilà! An “Islamic Cultural Center”!

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Follow Lisa Graas on Twitter and visit her blog at LisaGraas.com

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