21 May 12
The neighbors of Bilbao La Vieja following their battle against the local Mosque construction permits have now called for a precautionary measure to suspend these works. The City Council, in the other hand has granted permission to the Alforkan Mosque to take over 605 square meters and build there an oratory for circa 398 people.
The dispute arises at a critical time for centers of worship in the Basque region. Bilbao City Council has suspended for a year the construction licenses to draft its new regulations, giving special attention to its location. However, the Regional Basque Government has a different opinion considering the precautionary measure as “extemporaneous” and not necessitating the halt of construction works. The two institutions are moving in parallel, with serious differences over how to manage religious diversity and to decide about the requirements to be met by the promoters of places of worship.