The true history of Cordoba, not to mention the whole of Andalusia, is far less inspiring than what Western academics portray: the Christian city was conquered by Muslims around 711, its inhabitants slaughtered or enslaved. The original mosque of Cordoba—the namesake of the Ground Zero mosque—was built atop, and partly from the materials of, a Christian church.
Modern day Muslims are well aware of all this. Such is the true—and ominous—legacy of Cordoba.
More pointedly, throughout Islam's history, whenever a region was conquered, one of the first signs of consolidation was/is the erection of a mosque atop the sacred sites of the vanquished
: the pagan Ka'ba temple in Arabia was converted into Islam's holiest site, the mosque of Mecca; the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site, was built atop Solomon's temple in Jerusalem; the Umayyad mosque was built atop the Church of St. John the Baptist; and the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque upon the conquest of Constantinople.
(Speaking of, in 2006, when the Pope visited the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, there was a risk that the "Islamic world [would go] into paroxysms of fury" if there was "any perception that the pope is trying to re-appropriate a Christian center that fell to Muslims," for example, if he had dared pray there
—this even as Muslims today seek to build a mosque on the rubble of the Twin Towers.)
The Two Faces of the Ground Zero Mosque :: Raymond Ibrahim