Spain’s Migrants Encounter Social Acceptance and Institutional Resistance

{This article explores Spain’s Islamic legacy and how this history impacts the experiences of the latest wave of Muslim immigrants. According to the author, the Catholicization of the country (beginning in the 13th Century) involved a concerted effort by the Church to expel or convert threatening elements from its midst, including Jews and Muslims. Though Spanish culture and society in some ways provide familiar and accomodating spaces for Muslim immigrants now, habits of institutional resistance to Muslims are still maintained by the Catholic Church.} Original Title: Spain’s migrants ‘seek jobs not conquest’ By Leslie Crawford in Madrid On the cobblestones outside the great 8th century mosque in C_rdoba, once the largest mosque in the western world, Mansur Escudero, a Spanish convert to Islam, unfolds his prayer mat and kneels down to pray. Muslims are not allowed to pray inside. The Roman Catholic Church, custodian of the building since the 13th century, says it would “confuse” Christians to see Muslims worshipping there. Mr Escudero has lobbied the Vatican to transform the C_rdoba mosque into an ecumenical place of worship, – “a symbol of religious tolerance and co-existence,” he says – but his campaign has not met with success…