London, Sept.17 (ANI): Facing a threat from Muslim extremists, a popular Spanish nightclub has been forced to change its name from La Meca.
La Meca (Spanish for Mecca), was the most popular disco in the coastal city of Aguila, in Murcia, southeastern Spain, in the 1980s and 90s before it closed down a decade ago.
According to the Daily Mail, chiefs of Spain's intelligence agency, the National Intelligence Centre (CNI), warned the club's owners that extremists who claimed the disco is insulting to their religion, were targeting them.
Moderate Spanish Muslims also called for the name to be changed.
Mohamed Ali, head of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities said: 'Muslims pray towards Mecca and it is there that the prophet received the holy Koran.
'Calling a place for dancing and drinking by that name shows disregard to the feelings of Muslims.'
Some Muslims have also objected to the design of the club, which is adorned with minarets in the style of a mosque.
Hackers broke into the nightclub's website and posted a video threatening 'a great war between Spain and the people of Islam' if the venue did not change its name.
The La Meca only reopened in June after being closed for a decade
The owners, said to include former Real Madrid goalkeeper Santiago Canizares, agreed to change the club's name after meeting with local Muslim leaders.
Spain has 1.5 million Muslims, making up just under three per cent of the population.
The country has long been a target for Al-Qaeda fanatics who demand the right to re-establish Muslim rule in southern Spain.
Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, is the holiest meeting site in Islam. Every year around 13 million Muslims make a pilgrimage to the city. (ANI)