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Murcia disco changes it's name due to pressure from Muslims

Thu 16th Sep 2010

A Spanish discotheque called Mecca which has angered Muslims will change its name, a Muslim representative said on Thursday in the southern city of Murcia.

The discotheque in Aguilas near Murcia will also modify controversial features of its architecture, said Mohammed Reda el-Qady, secretary of the Union of Islamic Communities in Murcia.

Features that were deemed offensive by Muslims included a minaret-like tower, a blue dome with a half-moon on top which made the building look like a mosque, and verses of the Quran inside.

The discotheque owners reached an agreement with local Muslims after its name and style sparked a wave of protests on the internet.

A hacker even broke into the website of the establishment, threatening with "a war between Spain and the people of Islam".

The discotheque was criticised as far as Morocco, and the Algerian ambassador to Spain commented on the affair, saying the name Mecca was "not a brilliant idea".

"We thought the name was just a minor detail, but for (the Muslims) it was a really big thing" said Pedro Morata, one of the owners of the establishment.

The discotheque had existed under the name Mecca for more than 20 years, but it was closed for most of that time. It only came into the spotlight when new owners reopened it in August.

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