The myth of Islamic enlightenment 5

A Wall Street Journal editorialist in a grossly distorted encomium to Muslim Spain, mentioned the “pan-confessional humanism”  of Andalusian Islam, and even asserted: “one could argue that the oft-bewailed missing ‘reformation’ of Islam was under way there until it was aborted by the Inquisition.”

Maria Rosa Menocal, Yale Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, in her 2002 hagiography of Muslim Spain, The Ornament of the World, has further maintained that “the new Islamic polity not only allowed Jews and Christians to survive, but following Quranic mandate, by and large protected them.”

These quotations are from an essay by Bat Ye’or and Andrew G. Bostom at Jihad Watch. The authors go on to explain that the commonly held view that Andalusian Islam was enlightened and tolerant is a myth:

We believe that reiterating these ahistorical, roseate claims about Muslim Spain abets the contemporary Islamist agenda …

Iberia (Spain) was conquered in 710-716 AD by Arab tribes originating from northern, central and southern Arabia. Massive Berber and Arab immigration, and the colonization of the Iberian peninsula, followed the conquest. Most churches were converted into mosques. Although the conquest had been planned and conducted jointly with a strong faction of royal Iberian Christian dissidents, including a bishop, it proceeded as a classical jihad with massive pillages, enslavement, deportations and killings.

Toledo, which had first submitted to the Arabs in 711 or 712, revolted in 713. The town was punished by pillage and all the notables had their throats cut. In 730, the Cerdagne (in Septimania, near Barcelona) was ravaged and a bishop burned alive. In the regions under stable Islamic control, Jews and Christians were tolerated as dhimmis – like elsewhere in other Islamic lands – and could not build new churches or synagogues nor restore the old ones. Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discriminatory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, the Christian peasantry formed a servile class attached to the Arab domains; many abandoned their land and fled to the towns. Harsh reprisals with mutilations and crucifixions would sanction the Mozarab (Christian dhimmis) calls for help from the Christian kings. Moreover, if one dhimmi harmed a Muslim, the whole community would lose its status of protection, leaving it open to pillage, enslavement and arbitrary killing.

By the end of the eighth century, the rulers of North Africa and of Andalusia had introduced Malikism, one of the most rigorous schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and subsequently repressed the other Muslim schools of law. Three quarters of a century ago, at a time when political correctness was not dominating historical publication and discourse, Evariste Levi-Provencal, the pre-eminent scholar of Andalusia, wrote: “The Muslim Andalusian state thus appears from its earliest origins as the defender and champion of a jealous orthodoxy, more and more ossified in a blind respect for a rigid doctrine, suspecting and condemning in advance the least effort of rational speculation.”

The humiliating status imposed on the dhimmis and the confiscation of their land provoked many revolts, punished by massacres, as in Toledo (761, 784-86, 797). After another Toledan revolt in 806, seven hundred inhabitants were executed. Insurrections erupted in Saragossa from 781 to 881, Cordova (805), Merida (805-813, 828 and the following year, and later in 868), and yet again in Toledo (811-819); the insurgents were crucified, as prescribed in Quran 5:33.

The revolt in Cordova of 818 was crushed by three days of massacres and pillage, with 300 notables crucified and 20,000 families expelled. Feuding was endemic in the Andalusian cities between the different sectors of the population: Arab and Berber colonizers, Iberian Muslim converts (Muwalladun) and Christian dhimmis (Mozarabs). There were rarely periods of peace in the Amirate of Cordova (756-912), nor later.

Al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year, sometimes twice a year, raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts, even as far as the Aegean Islands, looting and burning as they went. Thousands of people were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousand of Christian slaves brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women. Society was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the mullawadun converts and, at the very bottom, the dhimmi Christians and Jews.

The Andalusian Maliki jurist Ibn Abdun (d. 1134) offered these telling legal opinions regarding Jews and Christians in Seville around 1100 C.E.: “No Jew or Christian may be allowed to wear the dress of an aristocrat, nor of a jurist, nor of a wealthy individual; on the contrary they must be detested and avoided. It is forbidden to [greet] them with the [expression] “Peace be upon you”… “A distinctive sign must be imposed upon them in order that they may be recognized and this will be for them a form of disgrace.”

Ibn Abdun also forbade the selling of scientific books to dhimmis, under the pretext that they translated them and attributed them to their co-religionists and bishops. In fact, plagiarism is difficult to prove since whole Jewish and Christian libraries were looted and destroyed

In Granada, the Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela and his son Joseph, who protected the Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 to 1066, followed by the annihilation of the Jewish population by the local Muslims. It is estimated that up to five thousand Jews perished in the pogrom by Muslims that accompanied the 1066 assassination. This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade…

The Muslim Berber Almohads in Spain and North Africa (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations…  massacre, captivity, and forced conversion… Maimonides, the renowned philosopher and physician, experienced the Almohad persecutions, and had to flee Cordoba with his entire family in 1148

Although Maimonides is frequently referred to as a paragon of Jewish achievement facilitated by the enlightened rule of Andalusia, his own words debunk this utopian view of the Islamic treatment of Jews: “..the Arabs have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us… Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they..”

A valid summary assessment of interfaith relationships in Muslim Spain, and the contemporary currents responsible for obfuscating that history, can be found in Richard Fletcher’s engaging Moorish Spain. Mr. Fletcher offers these sobering, unassailable observations:

“The witness of those who lived through the horrors of the Berber conquest, of the Andalusian fitnah in the early eleventh century, of the Almoravid invasion- to mention only a few disruptive episodes- must give it [i.e., the roseate view of Muslim Spain] the lie. The simple and verifiable historical truth is that Moorish Spain was more often a land of turmoil than it was of tranquility…Tolerance? Ask the Jews of Granada who were massacred in 1066, or the Christians who were deported by the Almoravids to Morocco in 1126 (like the Moriscos five centuries later). In the second half of the twentieth century a new agent of obfuscation makes its appearance: the guilt of the liberal conscience, which sees the evils of colonialism – assumed rather than demonstrated – foreshadowed in the Christian conquest of al-Andalus and the persecution of the Moriscos (but not, oddly, in the Moorish conquest and colonization). Stir the mix well together and issue it free to credulous academics and media persons throughout the western world. Then pour it generously over the truth… [But] Moorish Spain was not a tolerant and enlightened society even in its most cultivated epoch.”

A good Friday plot 0

An act of terrorism by Muslim university students, that would have killed and maimed many in the UK this Easter, has fortunately been prevented by timely detection and arrests.  

Michael Burleigh comments in the Mail (read the whole column here):  

The fact is that universities are one of the bastions of multiculturalism in Britain – and although the Government knows that this discredited policy has been disastrous for this country, it is still too nervous of the Left to abandon one of their holy grails.

Multiculturalism ostensibly celebrates individual ethnic ‘identities’ but it has been given such emphasis that each minority identity – ‘Black’, ‘Muslim’ or any other – is all too often encouraged to air a sense of grievance and victimhood, while the majority population are cast in the role of oppressors.

And for years now, terrorist recruiting sergeants – aided and abetted by a greedy liberal lawyers’ racket which encourages people to emphasise their rights rather than their duties and obligations as citizens – have exploited the multicultural havens of universities to persuade those who do feel victimised by society to try to get their own back with bombs and violence.

But if the universities are now one of the main breeding grounds of Islamist terrorism, the terrorists targets are not so rarefied… The 12 men arrested in the North-West on Wednesday … may have been plotting a mass casualty attack on nightclubs frequented by footballers this Easter weekend.

It is time now for us all to ask how long the Government is going to tolerate universities as breeding grounds for the terrorists who seek to kill innocent Britons during the most solemn holiday in the Christian calendar [or at any other time – JB].

There is only one way to tackle this deeply and dangerously ingrained problem: The Government should urgently and unequivocally abandon the multicultural creed that has allowed extremists to flourish in this country.

Sure it should. But it’s almost certainly too late. The ideology of Islam is wholly incompatible with the values of the West, but the immigrant Muslim population of Britain and Western Europe is growing while the indigenous populations are dying out.  It will not be long before Europe is an Islamic continent. 

One thing that could be done before it is too late (but will not be done of course) is – bring the European leftist ideologues, Arab-loving romantics, and Islam-besotted idiots (like Prince Charles) who actively or by sentimental encouragement opened the doors of Europe to the Muslims, to trial for treason. 

O, but – I nearly forgot – British judges are among the most guilty. 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, April 10, 2009

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Europe notices its peril 0

 A European socialist party actually begins to resent dhimmitude!

This from Canada Free Press:

Two weeks ago, the Netherlands’ biggest left-wing political grouping, the Labor Party, which has responsibility for integration as a member of the coalition government led by the Christian Democrats, issued a position paper calling for the end of the failed model of Dutch "tolerance." …

If judged on the standard scale of caution in dealing with cultural clashes and Muslims’ obligations to their new homes in Europe, the language of the Dutch position paper and Lilianne Ploumen, Labor’s chairperson, was  exceptional.

The paper said: "The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance."

Government and politicians had too long failed to acknowledge the feelings of "loss and estrangement" felt by Dutch society facing parallel communities that disregard its language, laws and customs.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, January 7, 2009

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Britain’s accelerating development into a Muslim country 0

 From an article in Front Page Magazine:

It’s no coincidence that Muslims constitute a substantial portion of the Labour Party’s electoral support in London and in much of its heartland in northern England.  In the expected close election for Parliament that will be held by mid-2010, an increasing Muslim population may be the difference between victory and defeat for the Labourites.

But Labour’s bien pensant hardly needs convincing.  Like most on the left today, they fancy themselves champions of the underdog and the oppressed, and sympathy for Islam, and Arab and Muslim causes fits neatly into their intellectual program.  Along with America and Israel-bashing, it goes to the very heart of how liberals view themselves and, more important, how they wish to be viewed by others.  It supplies them with the appearance of a self-abnegation that is supposed to relieve their Western, middle-class guilt with a cleansing humility but is nothing but moral exhibitionism; and, as always, involves other people’s money, other people’s freedom, and other people’s comfort – never or very rarely their own.

A classic of political correctness run amok, wonderful as a burlesque if it weren’t slowly undermining Britain’s way of life and its will to oppose extreme Islamism. 

Worse is that acceding to this nonsense gives Islamofascists confidence that they are on the winning side of history. That if they just shout a little louder and push a little harder, they may expect more of the same that becomes increasingly normative until it convinces the longer-settled among the UK’s population that they have no power to stop, let alone reverse, the process.

Read the whole article here.   

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, August 21, 2008

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