Absurd Lies about Cordoba Spain – Islamic Inquisition

March 15, 2011

Jonathan David Carson

Readers of the American Thinker have no doubt heard numerous instances of the following disinformation about Cordoba, this version coming from Whitney S. Bowman in the Austin American-Statesman:

“The name ‘Cordoba House’ is significant.  It is named after the famed medieval Spanish city of Cordoba where philosophers, mystics, artisans and poets–Muslim, Christian and Jewish–lived and shared together.

“Its libraries were vast, and the translations of Arabic works into Latin changed Europe and Christianity forever.  Among the resident luminaries were Maimonides, a noted Jewish intellectual, the poet Ibn Hazm, and Averroes, the Muslim philosopher and mystic.  A Saxon nun of the time called Cordoba ‘the brilliant ornament of the world.’  With the coming of the Inquisition and Christian exclusivism, the brilliance of Cordoba faded, but its significance endures as a vibrant, inter-religious community.”

The idea that Muslims, Christians, and Jews “lived and shared together” in medieval Cordoba could perhaps be dismissed as a rhetorical flight of fancy, but the idea that Christianity and the Inquisition ended the brilliance of Cordoba is a deliberate lie.

According to The Cambridge Companion to Maimonides, “the fundamentalist Almohad movement,” which “fought to restore the pristine faith of Islam, based on the Quran and the Sunna, and to enforce the precepts of the sacred law” (sound familiar?), conquered Cordoba in 1148 and drove out the ten-year-old Moses Maimonides and his family.  They hid from the Almohads in Andalusia for ten years, then emigrated to Morocco, where Maimonides wrote his Epistle on Forced Conversion to console his Jewish brethren forced to choose between conversion to Islam and death.  Later he moved to Cairo, where he achieved safety by acting as a physician to the Muslim rulers.  Obviously, the great works of Moses Maimonides were not written in Cordoba, and Christian exclusivism and the Inquisition had nothing to do with his departure.

Though born in Cordoba and not a Jew, Averroes also suffered Almohad oppression, and “his teachings [were] condemned and his philosophical works torched as dangerous to religious faith,” according to the Cambridge Companion.  

For the record, Averroes died in 1198, Maimonides died in 1204, and Cordoba was conquered by Christians in 1236.  As for the translations, more hokum  has been said on that subject than just about any other.
Update. Andrew Bostom adds:

More on Cordoban “Ecumenism”

Reinhart Dozy  (1820-1883), the great Orientalist scholar and Islamophile, wrote a four volume magnum opus (published in 1861 and translated into English by Francis Griffin Stokes in 1913), Histoire des Musselmans d’Espagne (A History of the Muslims in Spain). Here is Dozy’s historical account of the mid-8th century “conversion” of a Cordovan cathedral to a mosque:

All the churches in that city [Cordova] had been destroyed except the cathedral, dedicated to Saint Vincent, but the possession of this fane [church or temple] had been guaranteed by treaty. For several years the treaty was observed; but when the population of Cordova was increased by the arrival of Syrian Arabs [i.e., Muslims], the mosques did not provide sufficient accommodation for the newcomers, and the Syrians considered it would be well for them to adopt the plan which had been carried out at Damascus, Emesa [Homs], and other towns in their own country, of appropriating half of the cathedral and using it as a mosque. The [Muslim] Government having approved of the scheme, the Christians were compelled to hand over half of the edifice. This was clearly an act of spoliation, as well as an infraction of the treaty. Some years later, Abd-er Rahman I requested the Christians to sell him the other half. This they firmly refused to do, pointing out that if they did so they would not possess a single place of worship. Abd-er Rahman, however, insisted, and a bargain was struck by which the Christians ceded their cathedral….

Indeed by the end of the eighth century, the brutal Muslim jihad conquest of North Africa and of Andalusia had imposed rigorous Maliki jurisprudence as the predominant school of Muslim law. Thus, as Evariste Lévi-Provençal (1894-1956)-the greatest modern scholar of Muslim Spain whose Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane remains a defining work-observed three quarters of a century ago:

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.

For example, the contemporary scholar J.M. Safran discusses an early codification of the rules of the marketplace (where Muslims and non-Muslims would be most likely to interact), written by al-Kinani (d. 901), a student of the Cordovan jurist Ibn Habib (d. 853), “…known as the scholar of Spain par excellence,” who was also one of the most ardent proponents of Maliki doctrine in Muslim Spain:

…the problem arises of “the Jew or Christian who is discovered trying to blend with the Muslims by not wearing the riqā [cloth patch, which might be required to have an emblem of an ape for a Jew, or a pig for a Christian] or zunnār [belt].” Kinani’s insistence that Jews and Christians wear the distinguishing piece of cloth or belt required of them is an instance of a legally defined sartorial differentiation being reconfirmed…His insistence may have had as much to do with concerns for ritual purity and food prohibitions as for the visible representation of social and political hierarchy, and it reinforced limits of intercommunal relations

Moroever Ibn Hazm was not merely a Muslim “poet,” and hardly a paragon of ecumenism. He was a viciously bigoted Antisemitic Muslim theologian, whose inflammatory writings helped incite the massive pogrom against the Jews of Granada which killed 4000, and destroyed the entire community in 1066. And Averroes, despite his “philosophical studies,” was also a traditionally bigoted Maliki jurist who rendered strong anti-infidel Sharia- rulings and endorsed classical jihadism for the very same Almohads who eventually turned upon him. 

Finally, what Maimonides escaped in the 12th century-disguised as a Muslim-was nothing less than a full-blown Muslim Inquisition under the Almohads. The jihad depredations of the Almohads (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations in Spain and North Africa. This devastation-massacre, captivity, and forced conversion-was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud, and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, Muslim “inquisitors”, i.e., antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries, removed the children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators. Ibn Aqnin (d. 1220), a renowned philosopher and commentator, who was born in Barcelona in 1150, also fled the Almohad persecutions with his family, escaping, like Maimonides, to Fez. Living there as a crypto-Jew, he met Maimonides and recorded his own poignant writings about the sufferings of the Jews under Almohad rule. Ibn Aqnin wrote during the reign of Abu Yusuf al-Mansur (r. 1184-1199), four decades after the onset of the Almohad persecutions in 1140. Thus the Jews forcibly converted to Islam were already third generation Muslims. Despite this, al-Mansur continued to impose restrictions upon them, which Ibn Aqnin chronicles.

…a part of history they don’t teach in schools in the United States or anywhere


Spain: Police release US Al-Qaeda suspect

October 1, 2010

Mohamed Omar Debhi was released for lack of evidence but the investigation is kept open, his passport seized and he’s been barred from leaving Spain and ordered to report to police daily.

Mohamed Omar Debhi, 43, a
US citizen of Algerian origin

Barcelona, 1 Oct. (AKI) – Spanish police have freed a US citizen arrested earlier this week on suspicion of funding Al-Qaeda’s North African branch, Algerian daily El Khabar reported on Friday. Upon his release, Mohamed Omar Debhi, who is of Algerian origin, returned to his apartment in the northeastern Spanish city of Barcelona, his family said, cited by the paper.
A Spanish judge ordered Debhi’s release on Thursday citing a lack of evidence but keeping the investigation open. Dehbi’s passport has been seized and he has been barred from leaving Spain and ordered to report to police daily.
Debhi was suspected of sending more than 60,000 euros to the Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is based in Algeria.
He was also suspected of money-laundering, tax fraud and forgery.
Fugitive Algerian militant Toufik Mizi, to whom Debhi allegedly sent the money, told El Khabar Debhi’s release was “a positive signal.”
Mizi said he was planning legal action against Spain’s authorities over the “moral damage” he has suffered since being accused of belonging to Al-Qaeda.
Police have been searching for Mizi since 2006. They believe he fled Spain several years ago when the authorities smashed an Al-Qaeda fund-raising cell.

…well if Al-Queda says that is a positive sign then we can only assume….
….it is bad for everyone else. right?


Spain: Disco changes name after 20 years to appease Muslims, avoid jihad

September 18, 2010

Religion of peace strikes again. Threatening war…over a night club.

via Discotheque to change its name after Muslim protests

MURCIA (SPAIN): 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.

Again, Muslim hackers go to work. A growing trend. Just last week Muslims hacked one of Rifqa Bary’s ex-lawyers websites.


Spain, Israel and the Jews: Casa Sefarad-Israel on anti-Semitism in Spain.

September 18, 2010

The Pew Research Center published a report about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Spain, Poland, Russia, Germany, France, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The report dates from 2008 and showed that 46% of the Spaniards had unfavourable views towards the Jews.
Worried about the results of the report, the Spanish Government made the Casa Sefarad-Israel (an institution centred on the study of Jews and dedicated to foment Spanish-Israeli relations) to take on the issue. Finally, a new report was published, which found the following results:
1.- 58.4% of the Spaniards think that the “Jews have much power because they control the economy and the media”. Among university students this attitude encompasses the 62.2%, and among people “interested in politics” this attitude encompasses the 70.5%. All of this means that anti-Semitism in Spain is highly worrying and intolerable, due to its level and to the fact that it’s higher among educated and informed people.
2.- 34.6% of the Spaniards have unfavourable or totally unfavourable opinions about the Jews. This attitude encompasses 34% of the far-rightists (who rate the Jews with 4.9 points in a scale from 1 to 10) and 37.7% of centre-left-wingers (who rate the Jews with 4.6 points in a scale from 1 to 10). This case is unique in Europe because far-rightists show less unpleasantness towards the Jews than centre-left-wingers.
3.- Among those who admit to be “unpleasant towards the Jews”, 17% of them attribute this attitude to the “Middle East conflict”; 29.6% of them attribute this attitude to “their religion”, “their customs”, ” the way they are”, etc.; others among them attribute this attitude to “general unpleasantness”, “the power” and “the money”; 17% of them attribute this attitude to reasons they don’t know. This means that only a small percentage of the Spaniards show unpleasantness towards the Jews due to “the State of Israel and its policies”.