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Ban Remains on Muslim Prayer in Spanish Cathedral
by Soeren Kern
A court in southern Spain has acquitted eight Muslims who were accused of resorting to violence to break a ban on Muslim prayers in a cathedral in the city of Córdoba. The church was once the world's second-biggest mosque and remains the single most powerful symbol of Islam in Spain.
Some observers say the ruling, which caught Spanish public prosecutors completely by surprise, reflects a desire by local judges to dispense with a highly sensitive case that has the potential to inflame Muslim sensibilities.
But the ruling is likely to embolden the growing Muslim community in Spain and elsewhere, who believe they have a legitimate claim to the historic monument because of its former identity as a mosque.
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