Qatar plans to turn bullring into Europe’s mega mosque

Qatar plans to turn bullring into Europe’s mega mosque

QatarNews
By QatarNews

The site of a former bullfighting ring in Barcelona could one day house the largest mosque in Europe, members of Barcelona’s Muslim community have said after announcing they have found a backer willing to cover the ¤2.2bn cost of the ambitious project.

Mowafak Kanfach, of the Islamic Federation of Catalonia, said Qatar’s Emir, H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, had expressed interest in buying La Plaza Monumental, a former bullfighting ring that has sat largely unused since hosting Catalonia’s last bullfight in 2011.

Since the region’s ban on bullfighting came into effect, several plans have been batted around for the imposing century-old neo-mudejar building, including a street market, luxury flats and a green space.

Kanfach told the Spanish daily 20 Minutos that a purpose-built mosque was desperately needed for Barcelona’s large Muslim community. Current plans envision a renovation that will take five years and employ an estimated 4,000 people. The mosque would have a capacity of up to 40,000 worshippers under its 300-metre minaret.

The space would also house a Quran study centre for 300 students, an art museum and a study centre focused on Spain’s Muslim history.

The mosque could become a “high-level tourist attraction”, said Kanfach, with regular exhibitions open to the public, as well as restaurants and shops.

“Residents of Barcelona should be proud that Muslims want to transform the pain of bullfighting into a spiritual centre,” he said.

The Emir’s offer to fund the project is a step forward but the plans are still in the initial phases, pending the sale of the bullfighting ring by the current owner and the approval of the city of Barcelona.

Kanfach said the process was likely to be boosted by the roots that Qatar already has in the city. Qatar Airways sponsors Barcelona football club, and the investment arm of the Qatari armed forces recently bought a five-star hotel in central Barcelona.

Still, the plan to build one of the world’s largest mosques blocks away from the Sagrada Familia basilica has attracted criticism.

Yesterday, the leader of the People’s Party of Catalonia, Alberto Fernandez Diaz, rejected the idea of a “mega-mosque”, saying it was not suitable for a city like Barcelona.

In particular, Diaz worried about undertaking a project of such magnitude with “people and countries” who may “have values that collide with our own”.

This is the second time Barcelona has flirted with the idea of turning a bullfighting ring into a mosque. 

In the early 2000s, the city’s then mayor, Joan Clos, studied the possibility of building a mosque in Las Arenas bullfighting ring.

Disagreements with the financial backers, based in Saudi Arabia, led the project to be cancelled. 

Instead, the bullfighting ring became a shopping centre.

The Guardian

By Rip Cord• 7 years 10 months ago.
Rip Cord

Ramadan Kareem Mast, I hope you and your family have a blessed month.

By Molten Metal• 7 years 10 months ago.
Molten Metal

Rip , Do you 've any plans to pay a visit there in the future ? ....................... Thu, 03.07.2014 , 11.20 hrs

By mast kalandar• 7 years 10 months ago.
mast kalandar

Ramadan Kareem to you and your family Rip Good Initiative by the Emir of qatar In sha ALLAH hope the agreement passes sucessfully for the people of barcelona

By mast kalandar• 7 years 10 months ago.
mast kalandar

Ramadan Kareem to you and your family RipGood Initiative by the Emir of qatar In sha ALLAH hope the agreement passes sucessfully for the people of barcelona

By Rip Cord• 7 years 10 months ago.
Rip Cord

Currently Muslims in Qatar have a reflect your respect campaign so that people of other faiths show respect when in a muslim country, is it too much to ask muslims in a predominatly Christain country, (one in which they invaded in the past and caused many deaths) to also do the same?

It is you that is the intolerant one my friend, I had no problem with anyone of any faith, that is their person business

By acchabaccha• 7 years 10 months ago.
acchabaccha

There are some people who were born to hate Islam and the Muslims. You are one of them. You don't miss a single opportunity to insult Islam and the Muslims. Do you show tolerance towards Islam and the Muslims? Just look back at all the postings you have made over the past several months and you will have the answer.

By Rip Cord• 7 years 10 months ago.
Rip Cord

Aggghhh! The intolerant talking about the true religion, ignoring all other people and faiths. Reflect your respect to others, the same as Qatar expects from expats.

By acchabaccha• 7 years 10 months ago.
acchabaccha

Agggh! The Muslim-hater is now back once again after so many months of silence, spewing out his venom against the Muslims and their religion. With the construction of the mosque the Spanish people will get a chance to get to know much about Islam, the true religion.

By Rip Cord• 7 years 10 months ago.
Rip Cord

Who will protect Spanish culture from this invasion? I hope the people who use this mosuqe reflect their respect to the local population

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