Mel Lehman visited the Umayyad mosque several times in the course of his humanitarian work in Syria. "I always felt a warm welcome," he said.
In 2001 Pope John Paul II visited the Umayyad Mosque:
The Umayyad Mosque has a long and dis-tinguished history. First it was a temple. Then it was the Church of St John the Baptist which is why the shrine of John the Baptist is there. Then it was changed to a Mosque in 715 CE.