The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise | Intercollegiate Studies Institute

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“The existence of a Muslim kingdom in Medieval Spain where different races and religions lived harmoniously in multicultural tolerance is one of today’s most widespread myths… The problem with this belief is that it is historically unfounded.” – Dr. Darío Fernández-Morera, Ph.D.

Source: The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise – Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Think. Live Free.

“The existence of a Muslim kingdom in Medieval Spain where different races and religions lived harmoniously in multicultural tolerance is one of today’s most widespread myths. University professors teach it. Journalists repeat it. Tourists visiting the Alhambra accept it. It has reached the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, which sings the virtues of the ‘pan-confessional humanism’ of Andalusian Spain (July 18, 2003).

“The Economist echoes the belief: ‘Muslim rulers of the past were far more tolerant of people of other faiths than were Catholic ones. For example, al-Andalus’s multi-cultural, multi-religious states ruled by Muslims gave way to a Christian regime that was grossly intolerant even of dissident Christians, and that offered Jews and Muslims a choice only between being forcibly converted and being expelled (or worse).’

“The problem with this belief is that it is historically unfounded, a myth. The fascinating cultural achievements of Islamic Spain cannot obscure the fact that it was never an example of peaceful convivencia.”

I have thought for years – since my undergraduate medieval studies days, in fact – that there was something that did not ring true about the standard narrative of “peaceful, multicultural” Cordoba / Andalusia, where Muslims, Christians, and Jews allegedly lived together in harmony, and the arts and sciences flourished. There were hints of a shadow – such as the admission that non-Muslims had to pay jizya – but it was hard to pin down anything more. There had to be more to the story!

Now, Dr. Darío Fernández-Morera, Ph.D., has written an exhaustively researched and documented book on the subject, of which the linked (and rather lengthy) article is but an abstract, and which makes it abundantly clear that the much-lauded “peaceful coexistence” was enforced by brutal oppression, in which Christians – in their own land! – and Jews were emphatically second-class citizens, subject to the whims of their overlords, and in which the undeniable artistic achievements were financed by heavy taxes and the spoils of conquest.

I would add, also, that the much-vaunted Muslim medical and other arts were based heavily on Classical and late Hellenistic – Greco-Roman – antecedents, texts to which medieval Christians would have had access, had the great libraries of the Mediterranean world not fallen to Islamic conquerors in the 7th and 8th centuries.

And the “intolerance” shown by the Christian successor state in what had been al-Andalus is perhaps somewhat more comprehensible – perhaps even forgivable – in light of the more than seven centuries (722 – 1492 AD) Spanish Christians had spent re-taking the Iberian peninsula from its Muslim overlords. A cautionary tale for today’s West! But I digress:

In dealing with the question of why this myth (in the popular sense of the term, which is to say, fallacy) has been so persistent in both popular and academic culture, Fernández-Morera suggests – accurately, in my opinion – that it “may be that extolling al-Andalus offers the double advantage of surreptitiously favoring multiculturalism and deprecating Christianity, which is one of the foundations of Western civilization,” and continues,

“This mechanism is not unlike that in the mind of those who dislike Western culture intensely, but who with the fall of Communism find themselves without any clear alternative and so grab Islam as a castaway grabs anything that floats. So anyone who dislikes Western culture or Christianity—for any reason, be it religious, political, or cultural—goes on happily pointing out, regardless of the facts, how bad Catholic Spain was when compared to the Muslim paradise.”

A paradise which exists only in the cultural Marxist imagination.

As I say, this is a lengthy essay. It is, nonetheless, worth a read, for the light it casts on a much-misunderstood, and greatly mis-characterized, time and place in history. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!

Spain State Visit 2017 Highlights | The Royal Family

Today The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh said goodbye to The King and Queen of Spain after this week’s State Visit. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia started their visit with a welcome at Horse Guards Parade – showing British Pageantry at its best. The visit also included a State Banquet involving three generations of The Royal Family.

(Text from The Royal Family Facebook page.)

Brexit news – British politicians react with fury to Spain-EU power grab over Gibraltar | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

British politicians today insisted they would not be “bullied” over the future of Gibraltar as Spain launched a shameless attempt to exploit Brexit and seize back the Rock.

Source: Brexit news – British politicians react with fury to Spain-EU power grab over Gibraltar | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

More on the Gibraltar situation, as Brexit negotiations with the EU loom…

Madrid signalled it could look to browbeat the tiny territory into submission and force it to switch allegiances by starving its people and business of access to the single market.

This morning it emerged the Spanish have secured a special veto over Gibraltar’s future relationship with Europe, meaning it can prevent any post-Brexit trade deal with the UK from applying there.

The bombshell clause, buried deep in the EU’s negotiating guidelines, caught British officials completely by surprise and is already threatening to sour the start of the divorce negotiations.

British politicians reacted with understandable outrage:

It provoked an immediate response from Westminster where MPs said that Gibraltar’s 30,000 strong population, who overwhelmingly backed Remain but also want to stay British, must not be used as bargaining chips. Influential Tory backbencher Andrew Rosindell, who is the vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gibraltar, said if Spain tried to stop the Rock being part of any Brexit deal the UK would simply walk away from the table. 

He fumed: “An agreement without including Gibraltar means there can be no agreement. British people must and will stand together, we cannot be bullied by Spain.

Follow the link to read more…


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Theresa May ‘would go to war’ to defend the sovereignty of Gibraltar

Lord Howard said the British Government will stand by Gibraltar during Brexit talks amid claims of an EU “land grab” for the territory by Spain.

Source: Theresa May ‘would go to war’ to defend the sovereignty of Gibraltar

No offense to my Spanish brethren, but – hands off Gibraltar! It’s British territory, unless or until its own people decide otherwise.

This morning the Prime Minister told Gibraltar’s chief minister that Britain will never allow Spain to take over the peninsula against its will. Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, has also pledged to “protect” Gibraltar “all the way”.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Fallon said: “The people of Gibraltar have made it clear that they don’t want to live under the sovereignty of Spain. Gibraltar is going to be protected all the way.”

Lord Howard told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “There is no question whatever that our Government will stand by Gibraltar.

“35 years ago this week another woman Prime Minister sent a task force half way across the World to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish-speaking country.

“I am absolutely certain our current Prime Minister will show the same resolve in standing by the people of Gibraltar.”

We do not need any more brother-wars in Europe! The great threat is from outside; as J.R.R. Tolkien put it in The Lord of the Rings, “The laughter of Mordor will be our only reward if we quarrel.” I hope and trust that Spain, and the rest of the EU, would not be foolish enough to let it get to that point. But if they do:

Supposing we should meet with some Spaniards by the way,
Ten thousand to one we will show them British play!
With our swords and with our cutlasses we’ll fight until we die,
Before that they shall come and drink old England dry.
Aye dry, aye dry, me boys, aye dry,
Before that they should come and drink old England dry!


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