Many people from Granada exhibit reproductions / replicas of the Alhambra in their business or in their own home. They show proudly - in photos, paintings or murals - a monument erected centuries ago by a culture that, in its current version, most of them either ignores or repudiates. Although still little studied, it is a proven fact that Islamophobia is growing day by day in Western societies. We direct our rejection towards a religion - and therefore towards its practitioners – which only seems to exist in its most radical and dangerous version.

[Political and geostrategic interests designates Islam as the great enemy of the West, as a threat to the values of freedom, peaceful coexistence and democracy that fly, like an almost exclusive flag, in Europe and the United States.]

At the same time, in countries like Spain, we do not hesitate to take advantage of the mercantilist Islamic symbols inherited, a heritage that we have appropriated as a tourist attraction, as a fabulous hook for our cultural industry.

Another clear example is the Mezquita de Córdoba which, together with the Alhambra, is one of the most visited monuments in the world. Converted into a cathedral today, it is forbidden to pray to muslim visitors, whose obligation - for religious reasons - is to pray in any temple with Mihrab, an Islamic element that still retains this building, which, however, has now consecrated itself to Christian worship. Curiously, in the past this site was shared by Christians and Muslims for a time, being able to be considered a space of encounter and affirmation of the two cultures.

This report aims to analyze the relationships between tourism exploitation of these spaces, the current functionality that is granted in contrast to their original use and meaning, as well as the fascination they cause in the thousands of tourists who arrive in a year, attracted by an Orientalism nostalgic of past times, wrapped in a kind of romantic dreaminess that has little to do with prejudices and fear of Islam that extends to the times.

The Islamic Culture praised for its legacy, for that past evoked in the style of "Arabian Nights" and, however, questioned in the present by the same citizens who occupy their heritage as if it were a theme park. It is used by those who value the continent above the content and who even promote the declaration of these architectural gems as a World Heritage Site to convert them into an economic engine that justifies any symbolic conquest.

Economic investments are high for the restoration and conservation of these monument as heritage of humanity. Like the one of the temple of the Palace of the Lions in the Alhambra.By José Torres
Mudejar were the Muslims who remained in Christian territory and developed Mudejar art. In the Palace of Pedro I is this mudéjar patio, a word that means domestic and that astonishes the tourist who visits it.By José Torres
A tourist takes detailed photographs of the decoration of Islamic tradition in the Reales Alcázares of Seville.By José Torres
The courtyard of Los Leones is one of the most emblematic spaces of the Alhambra in Granada. This architectural complex is visited by about 2.5 million visitors a year.By José Torres
A small shop shows a replica of the Alhambra on one of its walls, an icon which generates identity.By José Torres
The Lions palace with its central fountain with twelve lions, its columns, and its decorative wealth, is one of the milestones of Hispanic-Muslim art.By José Torres
ABDERRAMÁN III established the Caliphate of Cordoba and ordered the raising of the Palatine city of Madinat Al Azahara. It was projected with great splendor as a symbol of its religious and political power.By José Torres
Inspiring and profitable; the Mezquita-Cathedral of Cordoba is a source of income for numerous businessmen and local artists who take advantage of the convening power of the monument.By José Torres
At the Cathedral Mosque of Cordoba, the contrast between cultural symbols represents a great attraction for the tourist but also reflects, in our days, the winners and losers.By José Torres
The evolution of the art of the Umayyads surprises travelers from all over the world in the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba.By José Torres
"There is no Conqueror except Allah," is the phrase reproduced on this plaster, copied from the inscriptions that decorate the walls of the Alhambra. It is sold as a souvenir by Muslims in the Alcaicería of Granada.By José Torres
A reproduction in white chocolate of the Giralda of Seville (old minaret almohad of the mosque) stands out at this Sevillan pastry shop.By José Torres

See Also

zenith Photo Award 2014

The third edition of the zenith Photo Award called upon professional and amateur photographers alike to pick up their cameras and take part in the debate on what Islam in Germany looks like.