U.S. Media Punt on Muslim Violence in Spanish Mosque-Turned-Church

Cordoba Cathedral, taken from http://thebuilderblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/mosque-cathedral-of-cordoba-spain/The Associated Press was the only American major media organization (as of 4 pm Eastern on Friday) that picked up on a March 31 altercation in the world-famous Catholic cathedral in Cordoba, Spain (at right, taken from The Builder blog), where over 100 Muslims responded with violence after security guards ordered them to stop praying inside the building, which once served as a mosque. Two of the guards were seriously injured.

The UK's Guardian reported about the incident in an April 1 article. Correspondent Giles Tremlett noted that "half a dozen members of a group of more than 100 Muslims from Austria had started praying...when security guards ordered them to stop....Cathedral authorities said the guards had invited the visitors to continue viewing the inside of a 24,000 sq metre building...but without praying. 'They replied by attacking the security guards, two of whom suffered serious injuries," the bishop's office said.'" The statement from Bishop Demetrio Fernández's office stated the Muslims "provoked in a pre-planned fashion what was a deplorable episode of violence."

Tremlett continued that "local newspapers reported that a dozen police officers had been called into the building and that these, too, had been attacked when they tried to arrest the two visitors. The local Diario de Cordoba newspaper quoted anonymous police sources as saying that a knife had been taken off one of those arrested."

Besides the Guardian, the Irish Times, The Daily Telegraph, the Times of London, and Ennahar, a daily newspaper in Algiers, Algeria, all published stories about the incident inside the cathedral. Graham Keeley of the Times recounted the history of the historical building: "The Great Mosque of Cordoba was converted into a Christian church in 1236 after King Ferdinand III of Castile recaptured the city from the Moors. The building later became the modern-day Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption....The Roman Catholic Church cited archaeological reports that said before the Mosque was built in the 8th century remains of an earlier Christian temple had stood on the same spot."

Correspondent Daniel Woolls wrote April 2 article for the Associated Press, which was picked up by the websites of the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, CBS News, and MSNBC. None of these news organizations, however, wrote their own articles on the Muslim violence. A search on CNN.com turned up no articles on the incident.
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center