World Bulletin / News Desk
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the ruling Emir of Qatar, has reportedly offered to invest $2.99 billion over 5 years to convert Barcelona's Monumental bullring into a 40,000-capacity mosque which would be the biggest in Europe.
The planned mosque would be the third-largest in the world outside Mecca and Medina, featuring a 300m minaret and would include a conference hall, a 300-capacity Quran study center and a museum of Islamic art and history.
Monumental was opened in 1914 and became famous as a venue for bullfighting and music concerts. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley and Bruce Springsteen have all played there.
Although The Balaña group, the owners, have not confirmed, Spanish daily 20 Minutos reported via sources close to the project that the building's current owners had already agreed the sale and that the next stage would be to secure the agreement of the city council.
Barcelona is the only major European city that does not have a mosque despite its sizeable Muslim community.
Mowafak Kanfach, owner of Barcelona's Arabic Book Shop, told 20 Minutos, "The law says that everyone has the right to pray in a dignified place, not in a commercial premises."
"Locals would have to be proud that Muslims transformed the pain of the bulls into a spiritual centre," he added.
"It would be a great tourist attraction."
A number of mosques have been planned in Barcelona in recent years but none have reached the construction stage.
Last Mod: 24 Haziran 2014, 15:58