Openness of Mosque Community Quells Fears of Extremism

March 9, 2004

Source: BBC News

On March 9, 2004 the BBC News reported, "When the Muslim community in the southern Spanish city of Granada built a new mosque this summer - the city's first for 500 years - it was to considerable local opposition. During eight centuries of Moorish rule, Granada had enjoyed a reputation for religious tolerance...[but] in the post-11 September world, people said, they feared the mosque could become a focus for religious extremists...But thanks to the open-door policy of Granada's new mosque, local suspicion and resentment has begun to melt away. 'We invite school groups, tourists... anyone who is interested to come by and visit us. We also offer free classes in Arabic for children,' mosque director Abdalhasib Castineira told me as we walked through the mosque's garden with its breath-taking view of the Alhambra. 'We have nothing to hide and welcome outside interest in our faith and our culture. I believe this is the way forward for Muslims all over the Western world.'"