World Bulletin / News Desk
Spanish guards, employed by the Roman Catholic bishop, harshly reacted to Muslims, who wanted to pray at the world-famous Cordoba mosque.
Two Muslims were arrested when the visitors knelt to pray in the building, a former mosque turned into a Christian cathedral in the 13th century, Guardian reported.
A local bishop, Demetrio Fernández, recently insisted that a ban on Muslim prayers must remain.
Half a dozen members of a group of more than 100 Muslims from Austria has started praying among the marble columns and coloured arches of the vast building. But 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 that was once the world's second biggest mosque, but without praying.
Local newspapers reported that a dozen police officers had been called into the building.
A group of local Muslim converts have long demanded for the right to pray at the mosque building.
"The building is very big and the main cathedral occupies only a part of it," said Mansur Escudero of the Junta Islamica group.
"They publicise the building as a mosque because that brings in tourists, but they do not allow the Muslims who pay money to go inside to pray," he said.
Escudero told Guardian, a space for Muslim prayers would not inconvenience visitors or disturb the cathedral and would promote dialogue and understanding between the two religions. He said there were frequent incidents of Muslims being prevented from praying.
"They argue that canon law does not allow Muslims to pray there, though they have been happy to permit visiting Saudi princes and other dignitaries, including Saddam Hussein, to pray," he said.
"A new bishop was appointed recently and one of his first public statements was to say that Muslim prayers would not be allowed as this would create confusion," he said. "It seems the guards have instructions to prevent prayers with violence, if necessary."
Yet, cathedral authorities reiterated their ban on prayers. "The shared use of the cathedral by Catholics and Muslims would not contribute to the peaceful coexistence of the two beliefs," the statement from the bishop's office argued.
The 23,400 sq metre mosque occupies an area equivalent to three football pitches and boasts 1,300 columns and more than 300 yellow and red horseshoe arches. There are only three larger mosques in the world – at the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the Turkish capital Istanbul, and the Moroccan port city of Casablanca.
After a campaign by teacher and student unions, the University of Helsinki has cancelled the G4S contract, followed by North Carolina also dropping their contract that provided security services in civic buildings which has now been replaced by a local company.
UN members have failed to agree on an atomic weapons ban for the Middle East.
China and Peru signed deals on Friday to cooperate on industrial production and transportation in an effort diversify a bilateral economic exchange that had been focused on natural resources.
US Senate has said that there will be no vote related to agencies telephone data collection until May 31.
A gunfight in western Mexico has killed 39 people in Mexico.
More than a quarter of French Africans feel discriminated against in their workplace in France.
The UN has said that it will investigate the firing of shots on its compound in South Sudan.
The Dutch government has agreed to introduce a partial ban on wearing the full face veil known as the niqab in public schools, hospitals, public transport and government offices. There are approximately between 200-500 women who wear the niqab in the country.
Protestors in Bosnia have demonstrated against the Morsi death penalty.
Germany and France have urged Greece to return to negotiations to complete a reform agreement before cash runs out.
The EU and the Ukraine have put in place a anti-corruption investigative team to handle misuse of EU funds for Kiev
The UN has expressed its shock over a Hungarian survey that has linked migrants and terrorism.
Malawi has expressed high hopes for entrepreneurs to help drive their economy.
The EU is set to propose to relocate 40,000 refugees across the entire EU
Cholera has struck more than 3,000 Burundi refugees in Tanzana, an epidemic that is now worsening daily.