Revisiting the "Golden Age, Al Andaluz and the Myth of 'Islamic Tolerance'"

Spencer: Who Is Really Being Dishonest About Islam?

reconquista-rendicion-granada2Spain, Reconquista: Queen Isabella shows Muslims the way back to Africa

The dhimmi, as these covenanted peoples were called, were granted religious freedom, not forced to convert to Islam. They could continue to be Jews and Christians, and, as it turned out, they could share in much of Muslim social and economic life. In return for this freedom of religious conscience the Peoples of the Book (pagans had no such privilege) were required to pay a special tax — no Muslims paid taxes and to observe a number of restrictive regulations: Christians and Jews were prohibited from attempting to proselytize Muslims, from building new places of worship, from displaying crosses or ringing bells. In sum, they were forbidden most public displays of their religious rituals. (Pp. 72-3)

So much for a paradise of tolerance and multiculturalism. Historian Kenneth Baxter Wolf observes that “much of this new legislation aimed at limiting those aspects of the Christian cult which seemed to compromise the dominant position of Islam.” After enumerating a list of laws much like Menocal’s, he adds: “Aside from such cultic restrictions most of the laws were simply designed to underscore the position of the dimmîs as second-class citizens.”


*  Second -class citizens would be an euphemism for ‘worse than slavery…’

In his “The Faith Divide” blog at the Washington Post’s website, Eboo Patel took umbrage Monday at two recent reviews in the New York Times Book Review charging “Dishonesty About Islam in the NYT Book Review.” Patel was angry at favorable reviews of what he called “Bruce Bawer’s alarmist book Surrender” (about which he huffed, “the subtitle says it all: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom”) and Christopher Caldwell’s Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (which was reviewed by Fouad Ajami). Yet while making the improbable claim that the New York Times printed material that was dishonest and negative about Islam, Patel showed himself to be not a little disingenuous — suggesting that before he call these reviewers on their alleged dishonesty, he should look to his own.

“Ajami,” complains Patel, “opens his piece by juxtaposing two disparate pieces of history: the departure of Spain’s last Muslim ruler in 1492, and the terrorist attacks on Madrid in 2004. ‘A circle was closed,’ Ajami writes, ‘and Islam was, once again, a matter of Western Europe.'” What is wrong with this? “The Muslim presence in medieval Spain,” asserts Patel, “is widely regarded as a time of tolerance, good government and support for the arts and education. In fact, Ajami himself wrote a positive review of one of the many books on that era, Maria Rosa Menocal’s The Ornament of the World. Placing Al-Andalus, as it was known, in the same breath as a ghastly terrorist attack – as if to say ‘Here’s what happens when Muslims are around’ – is beyond questionable. A dead fish wouldn’t want to be wrapped in a newspaper article with that level of intellectual dishonesty.”

Funny that Patel should mention Menocal. Certainly her Ornament of the World is largely responsible for the contemporary myth of a tolerant, pluralistic, proto-multicultural Al-Andalus. But even Menocal, in that very book, admits that tolerance and pluralism went only so far in Muslim Spain, which institutionalized discrimination against Jewish and Christian dhimmis:

The dhimmi, as these covenanted peoples were called, were granted religious freedom, not forced to convert to Islam. They could continue to be Jews and Christians, and, as it turned out, they could share in much of Muslim social and economic life. In return for this freedom of religious conscience the Peoples of the Book (pagans had no such privilege) were required to pay a special tax — no Muslims paid taxes and to observe a number of restrictive regulations: Christians and Jews were prohibited from attempting to proselytize Muslims, from building new places of worship, from displaying crosses or ringing bells. In sum, they were forbidden most public displays of their religious rituals. (Pp. 72-3)

So much for a paradise of tolerance and multiculturalism. Historian Kenneth Baxter Wolf observes that “much of this new legislation aimed at limiting those aspects of the Christian cult which seemed to compromise the dominant position of Islam.” After enumerating a list of laws much like Menocal’s, he adds: “Aside from such cultic restrictions most of the laws were simply designed to underscore the position of the dimmîs as second-class citizens.”

Contrary to Patel’s claims, if Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together peaceably and productively only with Christians and Jews relegated by law to second-class citizen status, then al-Andalus has precisely nothing to teach our age about tolerance. The laws of dhimmitude give all of Menocal’s accounts of Jewish viziers and Christian diplomats the same hollow ring as the stories of prominent American blacks from the slavery and Jim Crow eras: yes, Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington were great men, but their accomplishments not only do not erase or contradict the records of the oppression of their people, but render them all the more poignant and haunting. Whatever the Christians and Jews of al-Andalus accomplished, they were still dhimmis. They enjoyed whatever rights and privileges they had not out of any sense of the dignity of all people before God, or the equality of all before the law, but at the sufferance of their Muslim overlords.

That sufferance, moreover, could be revoked at any time by Muslims who determined that Christians or Jews had overstepped the bounds of their “protection” agreement. If these Christians didn’t abide by the restrictions Menocal enumerates above, they could — in accordance with Sharia — be lawfully killed or sold into slavery.

This happened more than once in al-Andalus, but even on a day-to-day basis the situation of Christians and Jews in Muslim Spain was not as pleasant as it might seem in The Ornament of the World. According to historian Richard Fletcher, “the simple and verifiable historical truth is that Moorish Spain was more often a land of turmoil than it was a land of tranquility.” In fact, “Moorish Spain was not a tolerant and enlightened society even in its most cultivated epoch. The Mozarabic Christian communities whom John of Gorse met on his embassy to Córdoba were cowed and demoralized. . . . The Christians of al-Andalus were second-class citizens like Christians under Muslim rule elsewhere in the world such as the Copts of Egypt.”

Nor were the dhimmi communities free from the most extreme penalties. Menocal notes that Spain’s Muslim rulers “had zero tolerance for disparagement of their Prophet.” Consequently, according to Wolf, “in the spring of 850, a priest named Perfectus was arrested and later executed for publicly expressing his opinions about the errors of Islam to a group of Muslims. Months later a Christian merchant named Joannes suffered a severe lashing, public humiliation, and a long prison term for invoking the prophet’s name as he sold his wares in the marketplace.” This was the beginning of a series of public denunciations of Islam and the prophethood of Muhammad by Christians. All were followed by public execution; Menocal reports that after about fifty such horrifying events “the passions of the moment passed and life went on as it had before in this city of thriving religious coexistence.” But in fact Christian and Muslim sources contain numerous records of similar incidents in the early part of the tenth century. Around 910, in one of many such episodes, a woman was executed for proclaiming that “Jesus was God and that Muhammed had lied to his followers.”

Jews in al-Andalus sometimes had it even worse. On December 30, 1066, four thousand Jews in Granada were murdered by rioting Muslim mobs. Menocal called this a “relatively isolated Muslim uprising against what had been a warmly favored Jewish community.” But Fletcher correctly points out that the political power of the Jewish vizier Samuel ibn Naghrila and his son Joseph, although celebrated by Menocal as an example of Islamic tolerance, was also resented by Muslims as a “breach of Shari’ah.” Then as now, Islamic law stipulates that a non-Muslim must not have authority over a Muslim, as the Saudi Sheikh and legal expert Manaa K. al-Qubtan stated in a 1993 fatwa: “The command of a non-Muslim over a Muslim is not permitted based on the words of Allah: ‘and Allah will not open to the unbelievers against the believers a way.’ [Qur’an 4:140]” In 1066 the angry mob was incited to kill the Jews by a poem composed by the Muslim jurist Abu Ishaq: “I myself arrived in Granada and saw that these Jews were meddling in its affairs. . . . So hasten to slaughter them as a good work whereby you will earn God’s favour, and offer them up in sacrifice, a well-fattened ram.”

Since the mob was killing dhimmis who were considered to be in breach of their contract of “protection,” the attackers could claim that by the light of Islamic law the killings were lawful. Thus even if Menocal’s description of it as an isolated incident is correct, the legal justification for such incidents was always present. And the beautiful record of the culture of tolerance in al-Andalus is overshadowed by the fact that if any such tolerance was achieved, it was in spite of Islamic law, not because of it.

“Islam,” Patel asserts, “has much to contribute to the West.” Sure, “some loud and boorish Muslims in Europe claim Islam can only dominate,” and “yes, a few of them are dangerous to Europe – including the Muslims of Europe.” Yet nonetheless, he says, “Fouad Ajami should know better. And so should the editors of the New York Times Book Review.”

And so, above all, should Eboo Patel.

By Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.


Encyclopaedia Judaica

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Jews in Spain 02: Jews in the Muslim parts of Spain since 711

Jews coming back from Africa to Muslim Spain – Umayyads – Berbers – Abbasids – Almoravids – anti-Jewish Berber Almohads – Arab kingdom of Granada

from: Spain; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, Vol. 15

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

When Tarik b. Ziyad in 711 crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, and overran the Visigothic Kingdom, there were no communities of openly professing Jews in Spain. But there remained in the country many secret Jews who welcomed the Muslims as their saviours from long oppression and flocked to join them.

According to reliable Arabic sources the Muslim invaders made it their custom to call together the Jews wherever they found them and to hand towns which they had conquered over to them to garrison. They mention that this happened at Córdoba, Granada, Toledo, and Seville. Since the number of Muslim soldiers was relatively small, there can be no doubt that they appreciated the military help of the Jews who enabled them to continue their campaigns without having to leave behind them sizable divisions.

So the situation of the Crypto-Jews changed abruptly and they occupied the enviable position of a group allied with the new rulers of the peninsula. Probably their economic situation changed too, since most of the Visigothic nobles had fled and they could appropriate abandoned estates.

[Jews coming back from Africa to Muslim Spain – bad development: taxes and civil wars]

The immediate sequel of the conquest of Spain by the Arabs was apparently that many Jews who had left Spain at the time of the religious persecutions by the Visigothic kings or their descendants returned from North Africa where they had found shelter. But soon the Jews began to suffer from the exactions of the new rulers who imposed on them (as on the Christians) heavy taxes. Even the party strife and civil wars which flared up among the Arabs brought down many calamities upon them.

UMAYYAD RULE. [755-1030s]

[Tolerant Umayyad rule and flourishing Jewish communities – Bishop Bodo converts to Judaism – Jewish and Arab culture – “Jewish cities”]

The *Umayyad kingdom in Spain was established by ‘Abd al-Rahman I in 755 with its capital at Córdoba in Andalusia. There was relative economic prosperity throughout Umayyad rule and Jews were represented in many occupations, including medicine, agriculture, commerce, and crafts. Jews continued to work in these fields after the fall of the Umayyad regime. The tolerance of the Umayyad regime rendered Muslim Spain a refuge for the Jews and their numbers increased within the country. In 839 the Frank Bishop *Bodo converted to Judaism in *Saragossa, married a Spanish Jewess, and wrote a tract against Christianity to which Alvaros of Córdoba replied.

Jewish scholarship and culture flourished alongside its Arab counterpart and was influenced by it. The Babylonian geonim corresponded with rabbis and scholars in the centers of *Lucena and *Barcelona. R. *Amram Gaon sent his prayer book to Spanish scholars. The academy at Lucena flourished into the 12th century and is mentioned in responsa as early as the ninth. Later Arab geographers cited Lucena, Granada, and *Tarragona as “Jewish cities”.

[Main town Córdoba – center for Arab and Jewish culture]

The real Jewish cultural revival began in the tenth century under ‘Abd al-Rahman III (912-961), who assumed the title of caliph in 929 in Córdoba. At that time Córdoba was a center of both Arab and Jewish culture. This was the time of the political rise of the court physician *Hisdai ibn Shaprut, who attained the position of chief of customs and foreign trade. Hisdai was also a diplomat who negotiated with Christian rulers on behalf of the caliphate. In addition, he was a patron of the two leading Hebrew philologists *Dunash b. Labrat and *Menahem b. Saruk.

[Jewish literature – Jewish statesman Hisdai – rabbis in Spain – philologist Hayyuj]

The Jewish literati acquired a sense of aesthetics and an appreciation of physical beauty from the artistic accomplishment of the (col. 222)

Arabs in Spain. This sensitivity took root in the mid-tenth century and found expression in the Hebrew poetry of medieval Spain almost right up to the general expulsion in 1492.

As head of Spanish Jewry, Hisdai appointed *Moses b. Hanokh, who came from Italy, chief rabbi and head of a yeshivah [[religious Torah school]] at Córdoba. Thus, Spanish Jewry’s reliance on the Babylonian geonim in halakhic matters decreased. Hisdai is the first example of the many-faceted Jewish statesman, communal leader, and intellectual who was characteristic of the community in Muslim Spain.

After his death the post of rabbi of the Córdoba community was disputed by Joseph b. Isaac *ibn Abitur, supported by the wealthy silk merchant *Ibn Jau, and R. *Hanokh b. Moses. The latter emerged victorious and his appointment was sanctioned by Caliph al-Hakam II, the patron of the Jewish geographer *Ibrahim b. Ya’qub. During the reign of al-*Mansur (d. 1002) the great Hebrew philologist *Hayyuj (Abu Zakariyya Yahya b. Da’ud), who established the principle of the trilateral root, led in Córdoba.


[since 1013: Southern Spain under Berber rule – Jewish positions – Jewish philosophers Samuel ha-Nagid and Joseph ha-Nagid – Granada pogrom and massacre of 1066]

With the decline of Umayyad rule after al-Mansur’s death, the Berber conquest of Córdoba (1013), and the demise of the dynasty in the 1030s, Córdoba lost its former prominence and the capitals of the various Berber and Arab principalities became cultural and commercial centers. Jewish tax farmers, advisers, and physicians served at the different courts. The relatively tolerant rulers welcomed and esteemed Jewish financiers, advisers in matters economic and political gifted writers, scholars, and scientists.

The ethos of this Jewish upper class was distinguished by several features: the desire for and attainment of political power, the harmony of religion and secular culture, the study of the Talmud along with poetry (col. 223)

and philosophy, equal proficiency in Arabic and Hebrew, the epitome of the fulfillment of this ideal was the poet and halakhist *Samuel ha-Nagid, a refugee from Córdoba who served as vizier and commander of the army of Granada from about 1030 to his death in 1056; he was also head of the Jewish community. His remarkable career and military exploits are recorded in both Hebrew and Arabic sources including his own poetry.

Samuel was succeeded by his son *Joseph ha-Nagid, whose pride and ambition aroused the enmity of certain Muslims who assassinated him in 1066. Inspired by fanatics, Muslims then attacked Granada Jewry and many survivors moved to other towns, particularly Lucena. The Granada massacre marked the first persecution of Jews in Muslim Spain.

[Jews in Muslim Sevilla under the Abbasids – Lucena – Saragossa and others – Toledo Christian since 1085]

Prominent communities in the middle to late 11th century also included Seville, then ruled by the Abbasid dynasty. Jewish courtiers included Abraham b. Meir ibn *Muhajir, to whom Moses *ibn Ezra dedicated his Sefer ha-Tarshish (Sefer ha-Anka). Under al-Mu’tamid [[al-Mutamid]], Isaac ibn *Albalia served as court astrologer and as chief rabbi of Seville, and the scholar Joseph *ibn Migash was sent on diplomatic missions.

Lucena remained an important center of learning. Its academy was led by the great talmudist Isaac *Alfasi. His successors were Isaac *ibn Ghayyat and Joseph ibn Migash.

During Samuel ha-Nagid’s term of office, the Jew *Jekuthiel, who was later murdered by political rivals, served as vizier in Saragossa. A dynamic cultural center, Saragossa was the home of the philologist and grammarian *Ibn Janah, the controversial Bible commentator Moses ha-Kohen ibn *Gikatilla, the important neoplatonic philosopher and poet Solomon ibn *Gabirol, and the ethical writer *Bahya ibn Pakuda. The latter’s major work, Fara’id al-Qulub (Heb. Hovot ha-Levavot, “The Duties of the Hearts”), shows the influence of Muslim ascetic ideals.

Other important communities were *Denia, a major port in eastern Spain and the residence of the talmudist R. *Isaac b. Reuben al-Bargeloni, *Tudela, *Almeria, and *Huesca.

Eleventh-century Toledo, capital of a Berber kingdom had a Jewish population of 4,000 and a Karaite community as well. It was taken by the Christians in 1085.


[Muslim Victory at Zallaka against Castilian armies – Jews at the Muslim courts – poets at Seville]

The advance of the reconquest prompted al-Mu’tamid [[al-Mutamid]] of Seville to request the aid of Yusuf ibn Tashfin of North Africa, the leader of the fanatic *Almoravid sect. In 1086 the latter led the Muslim armies to victory at Zallaka against the Castilians commanded by Alfonso VI. Yusuf attempted to force Lucena Jewry to convert to Islam, but payment of a large sum of money caused him to rescind his decree.

Under his son, Ali (1106-43), Abu Ayyub Sulayman ibn Mu’allim served as court physician and Abu al-Hasan Abraham b. Meir ibn Kamaniel was sent on diplomatic missions. During Ali’s reign the poets Abu Sulayman ibn Muhajir and Abu al-Fath Eleazar ibn Azhar lived in Seville. Córdoba continued to prosper and was a cultural center and the residence of the gifted poet Joseph b. Jacob *ibn Sahl (d. 1123) and the philosopher Joseph ibn *Zaddik.


[Berber Almohad dynasty from Morocco in Spain: Jewish cultural institutions closed – forced Islamization]

In 1146 the *Almohads, an even more fanatic Berber dynasty of Morocco, led by ‘Abd al-Mu’min, began their conquest of Muslim Spain, which put an end to the flourishing Jewish communities of Andalusia. The practice of the Jewish religion was forbidden by the authorities. Synagogues and yeshivot [[religious Torah schools]] were closed and Jews were compelled to embrace Islam. Many emigrated to Christian Spain; others outwardly professed Islam but secretly observed Judaism, an ominous portent of the Conversos in Christian Spain a century later.

R. *Abraham ibn Ezra composed a moving elegy on the demise of the Andalusian communities. In 1162 these secret Jews were (col. 225)

active in a revolt against the Almohads, particularly in deposing them in Granada. Almohad rule in Spain lasted longer than a century.

[Castilian conquests – Jews in the Arab kingdom of Granada]

Jews from Christian Spain emigrated to Granada as their situation deteriorated. The poet, historian, and talmudist Saadiah b. Maimon *ibn Danan was rabbi of Granada in the late 15th century. At that time Isaac *Hamon was court physician and very influential in government circles.

When Granada surrendered to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492, the last Muslim king stipulated that Jews enjoy the same rights as other subjects, i.e., judicial autonomy, freedom to practice their religion, and permission to emigrate. According to this treaty, Conversos who had come from Christian Spain could leave within a month. The Catholic monarchs, however, did not keep their word and proclaimed the edict of the expulsion of the Jews in Granada.

23 thoughts on “Revisiting the "Golden Age, Al Andaluz and the Myth of 'Islamic Tolerance'"”

  1. Robert Spencer is an agenda based text-book bigot whom writes articles and sells books by making it a scandal.

    His arguments above are just a whinge because he found an item by a qualified author with real credibilty and tried to find and justify from basic lesser historical events to somehow be the sum total. A very typical method of well-planned smeers.

    The reality of Al Andalus is much different. It certainly as did all nations at tha time go through human brutality. As many in the Muslim lands as with non-Muslim. For instance that period of the 11th century of attacks by mobs on the local Jews – around the same time Pope Urban II declared his First Crusade against Islam and what happened? The first year the Crusader Army did not even leave European soil but spent its time butchering Jews. It is not to say that Christianity is Evil, because it is certainly is not – like Islam and Judaism. It is in fact the evidence that it is simply the greed and selfishness of mankind that is evil and they will always say that God is on their side.

    Al Andalus had used AND abused its chances to a Golden Era. It had it but it did not last and in many ways was destroyed by the next generation of that era. At its peak it was the wealthiest, most organized and soically advanced civilization on the European Continent and was the centre for science, philosophy, medicine and more. Militarily the armies were a force that was unconquerable. At its height the most senior Vizier (Minister) responsible for finance and tax collection was a Jew, as was the chief architect.

    But because of that greatness, the next generation took it all for granted and it began to collapse. Corruption from the elite was combatted each time by either further corruption or by outsiders from the Middle-East, alien to the life that was Al Andalus. By the time of Isabella and her blood-thirsty radical Catholic fanatics policies – Al Andalus was only a name. Much of the social elite had already moved to Al Ribat and Fes (Rabat and Fez) in what is now Morocco – the rest fled, were murded or forced to convert under threat of being burned alive. The former Andalusis – Muslims, Jews and non-Catholic Christians fled to the Maghreb – the Christians moved to what is now Tunis and Alexandria in Egypt.

    In the Maghreb, the refugees were welcomed at first but later jealosy arose amongst many Maghrebi Arabs, because those Andalusis with skills quickly became either leaders, the wealthy merchants or at a minimum – did better than the locals. To this day, reference to superiority complexes by Fassis (those from Fez) is still a local joke. Note that even now, the PM of Morocco is an al-Fassi and has blue/green eye color.

    Reality has nothing to hide.

    1. Go away, Solkhar!

      You been annoying the good folks from the Gates of Vienna long enough. Do your thing elsewhere, we smell Musel-bullshit five miles against the wind here!

      “the PM of Morocco is an al-Fassi and has blue/green eye color.”

      So what? All around the Mediterranean you find all kinds of colors, the financial advisor to the king of Morocco is a Jew (because he cannot trust a Muslim with his money) and Al Waleed bin Talal al Saud is trusting Jews to manage his money, simply because Muslims are not ‘on the ball’.

      Fact is, once Muslims have conquered a territory and divided the spoils, no progress is possible. Once the loot is squandered, the ‘golden age’ is over.

      That’s all there is to it.

  2. The so what comes when you lay your BS with every Muslim hate’s jews but if you are given examples, it it not important anymore. You then give dribble about the Muslims all suffering under Shari’a but when you are told that in reality most Muslim countries do not use it but have secular courts – you quietly ignore it. You spouse crap about some conspiracy about a Caliphate but when told it is only those extreme radicals in the West who claim it (and only following one group) – you change the subject AND no matter what someone says, out comes the taqiyya escape clause which means – who cares because no matter what you say it is a lie.

    The reality is that you are enjoying having a freebie hate-fest because you want to see yourself on some platform spouting garbage to pretend you are a social commentator and you just cannot cope with the fact that you and your BS has been found out. I do not blame you personally, I blame the internet for killing off professional journalism and letting every Tom-Dick & Bigot think he is now one.

  3. “The so what comes when you lay your BS with every Muslim hate’s jews but if you are given examples, it it not important anymore.”

    Mulsims follow satan (aka allah), and satan is devoted to destroying Israel. Some muslims may not seek to destroy Israel, but “allah” and his false prophet show their hatred for Jews in the blasphemous koran.

    Revelation 12

    1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
    2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
    3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
    4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
    5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

    The woman is Israel; the man child is Jesus Christ; the dragon is satan (who uses a number of aliases, such as allah). The koran denies
    that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and denies that He was crucified for our sins and resurrected – anyone believing those satanic verses
    is doomed, unless he or she changes their mind about Jesus Christ.

    Just about “game over” for islam, Solkhar – Ahmadinejad and others seek to destroy Israel in accordance with Ezekiel 38 and 39 – such nations are to be destroyed by God (not “allah”).

  4. I have no problem with the internet, it is just a sad fact that it opened the door to every crack-pot who now thinks he is a journalist.

    But I am certain you got the main thrust of that post, that your “so what” is an excuse when you cannot justify your point. That in the end when you are told the reality it is “so what” or “it is not important” anymore.

    At least your just a right-wing agenda schemer, the dangerous ones are the right-wing evangalist groups like above whom if it was not for strong law enforcement would be already up in their own mountains bombing in the name of Christ.

    Because in the end it is the same thing, quoting religous text to suit their own political agenda and given half a chance would enforce their views on others. Both the radical evangalists and the radical Islamists are both scum and we should be at least sighing in some relief that at present it is only one group that is terrorising the planet and not both.

  5. Mullah Lodabullah,

    I am not going to get into an endless religous squabble with you. As far as I am concerned, your right-wing extremist evangalical BS puts you in the same dangerous and radical category as radical and militant Islamists.

    The Qur’an puts both good Jews and Christians as the People of The Book and all that are righteous will stand shoulder to shoulder with good and righteous Muslims at the Gates of Heaven on Judgement Day. If you wish to only cite the references of what happens to one part of those that chose not to be righteous then at least admit to it instead of playing a game of deciet and lies which I am sure breaks one of the 10 Commandments.

    Evangalists should be aware, since they enjoy studying to a point of having entire groups creating “cases” against those that disagree with them – that quoting the Bible or Torah to a Muslim is a wasted effort as in Islam it was clearly explained (and it makes logical sense) that the Bible and Torah has been interpreted, modified and reinterpreted time and time again to the point were it has lost its divinity and quotability. Thus quoting revelations is a wasted effort. Note that the recently discovered and translated Aremaic Bible is much different and reflects more clearly those similarities in the Qur’an. Why? Because as Mullah Lodabullah is fearful of the fact that Islam is the continuance of The Book and that the God and Prophets of Adam, Noah, Abraham and yes even Jesus are the same Allah, Adam, Nu, Ibrahim and Issa.

    I will not continue to make religious statements but this single one, my apologize to the Blog Owner but since Mullah Lodabullah raised it, I thought I will hit the nail on the head and be certain I will not respond to such postings again.

  6. Solkhar,
    Islam is a fraud – and you peddle the same rubbish to support your argument.
    It is very curious that the only argument that justifies that the quran is a holy book is circular, and as such has no value at all – you however are not sufficiently bright to understand this. Stop wasting bandwidth and time.

  7. kaw,

    if being sufficently bright to understand things, then perhaps you should rethink your post.

    The idea here is that my religion is being attacked and thus I respond. It is obvious that if you do not believe in the religion then you will not accept and believe in the texts – after all it is a matter of faith. So to argue the point is rather mute on your behalf ‘because’ the subject was raised here, not by me.

    Thus, by your statement that “Islam is a fraud” makes you also a contributor, I will always answer “it is not”. The real topic here is in fact proof that the religion itself is the cause for evils and problems in this world and I will argue no it is not and it is only people whom are Muslim are the cause, just as much as it was with other religions. The other topic here is basically how agenda based groups and individuals whom like to make a scene and thus sell more books will distaut to ensure they get the maximum albiet limited audience of right-wingers.

    Thus to keep on topic – the article that Al Andalus (it was even spelt wrong) was backwards and a myth was complete BS by a known BS artist that is discredited in the academic field and on this thread he is caught out by someone who has done not only his MA on the subject but lives amongst the descendants of the Andalusi and even is married to someone with a partial mix of that blood.

    But of course now the blog-owner will come back with the “who cares” or “so what” excuse, even though it is the topic.

  8. Solhar,
    Actually, I do believe in religion – I simply dislike it when idiots blurt out what they have accepted as truth without thought – hence my response. Tip – dont take psychology as a major. You revert to the tired old circular argument that proves nothing. And it cannot prove anything – if you wish to believe in a moon god called allah that is your choice – it is a matter of faith – however you have absolutely no right to claim that your moon god is better or superior to any other (as you did in an earlier post). Religion is a personal choice. And here is the real problem – all other religions have developed, in order that mans growing understanding of the spiritual and physical world is incorporated into a developing belief system. However only islam is incapable of growth – and this is the real reason why muslims provide so much trouble to the world today. You would do well to start considering a mechanism by which islam can dynamically change rather than attack those that query its validity. As far as I see it, the comment of the level of integration in Spain is valid – quite simply there was no real integration between muslim and others – which was why the muslim were thrown out. It seems that this has to be done again and you have only yourselves to blame – and it will happen if need be. Dont ever mistake tolerance for weakness.

  9. I would point out that your support that one of the reasons for the Muslims being thrown out of southern Iberia was lack of integration and others is a simplistic answer that does not stick. I would argue with as much strength that at the time the Catholic force and brutality behind it was in fact intolerant and wiped anything that did not support it from the entire Iberian sub-continent. If you were not a devout Catholic of the style demanded you were a heretic and killed.

    Sticking to the topic rather than talking about who’s religion is better (I certainly did not intend and still do not see were I said Islam is superior to Christianity – but did say that life in Al Andalus was superior for most of those 800yrs), the fact is that Robert Spencer whom is considered a very poor academic has tried to compete with Eboo Patel, a well known and supported Academic, a Rhodes Scholar and Oxford University elite and a very stuborn realist. He must annoy the hell out of Robert Spencer because Patel is now an advisor to President Obama and the hastely and rather self-defeating cut & paste claims in this article shown above is simply an act of an desperation that reeks of agenda.

    1. Solkhar, I would point out that the Spaniards ‘lack of integration’ in their own country did indeed brutalize them and after 800 years of dhimmitude the Spanish had enough of their unelected Muselmanic occupiers. If the Spaniards didn’t throw the Moors out by force they would have ended up like the Christians in all the other Mohammedan occupied countries around the Mediterranean, where everybody is now forcibly converted due to the discriminating conditions of dhimmitude and the sharia. Even Turkey is now 99% Islamic, due to Muselmanic tyranny, genocide on the Armenians and the Greeks. Life must have been good for the Moors in good Al Andaluz, (my preferred spelling) but not so for the local enslaved Christians. I’m certainly not sorry that the Moors have -finally- been evicted. Most Spaniards would agree.

      As for Robert Spencer (a very good friend of mine) you are very welcome to take him up on “poor scholarship” and to prove him wrong. You know very well that these kind of dumb, primitive smears don’t stick. Many Mohammedans have tried to take him on and they all failed miserably. Eboo Patel has been shredded here on several other occasions. You wouldn’t be a fellow Muslim brother to good ol’Eboo if you did not praise him and offer him support, but you only discredit yourself even more by defending the indefensible. Obama is of course a Muslim (which was denied at first but now obvious due to his support of Muhammedan causes) That Eboo works for him means what exactly?

      Besides, Robert Spencer as well as myself have never denied that we have an agenda, which is to stop the Islamiation of our countries. You make it sound as if this noble task was something illegitimate: it certainly is not.

      It makes you look foolish to imply that was the case.

  10. A confession of being a member of the lunatic fringe and links to poor academic book-sellers is for most considered self-defeating. The stated assumption that the very Christian Obama is a Muslim is rather proof in the pudding and hour rather hysterical inference that having an advisor as a Muslim and on Muslim subjects makes him one is someting for the mental institutions to work out. Considering the size of the Muslim community in the US and its having to deal with a Muslim world, what leader would not seek out an educated and patriotic American Muslim to advise him? Bush had in fact a group of academics and Imams – some not even born in the US as his advisors, does that make Bush a Muslim?

    I have seen Robert Spence at work, and this is were the problem and the big question mark on your (and his) agenda falls completely flat. Your obvious hatred of everything Islamic (for whatever real reason other than being seen as self-importance) overshadows your logic and that for me means the most base of inhumanity. Death, destruction and selling out one’s intellect are the great evils of this world. Spencer and yourself simply avoid facts and events and do the entire Goebbels excercise of carefully manipulated statements to justify your case – that fails.

    I have no problem with identifying all the horrors, crazed and evil rantings and ludicrous and backward beliefs of the radical and extremists Muslims – I would even join you. But you do not do that, you try and assume that the entire Muslim world lives under Shari’a Law, that we all sit in tents planning how to conquer the world and install some Caliphate – all complete and utter BS.

    You cannot admit to and accept facts and then work from there to achieve your goal – so that also make you and Spencer rather piss-poor radicals, considering Spencer is educated. He has fallen down to the base emotive propoganda trick and that is to sell books and look good to the radical right-wing even though he knows the rest of the world knows he is a fool. His clients are sold and that is all he cares about. That is why I dispise him, he is a sell-out to his own intelligence.

    If you accepted facts such as Shari’a is not in all or most Muslim countries that is an easy step. That the burqa and the viel is not the common dress of Muslim women in most of the world, that would be another.

    If you accepted that the claims and demands for Shari’a, a Caliphate and other extremist views is mostly done by radicals in the West and that they are in fact looked down and scorned upon by most in the Muslim World would go also a far way to learning what is a reality.

    That it is important to distinguish between what is Qur’anic and questionable/debatable Haddiths would also go a long way, in fact what better way to attack radicals then for right-wingers to attack then to point out to them that they are a dangerous fringe that is usurping their own faith. That would hurt more.

    I doubt that you can, I know Spencer cannot, simply because he (and you) are a dangerous fringe yourself and you know it and you simply do not care, because you have just enough other fringe dwellers to justify an audience to your rantings.

  11. Oh, a short one – your Iberian and Spanish history sucks and that may explain why you think Spencer said anything even remotely logical.

  12. Solkhar,
    Apart from falsely implying Patel to be a leading Oxford light, which he is not, the simple fact is that the “golden age of islam” , which you are valiantly trying to uphold, was not a golden age for those subjugated under islam. It was also not a time of massive development in the arts or the sciences – and most developments claimed are traced back to the Greeks. For example – the scientific method was clearly demonstrated by Eratosthenes in 240BC – approx. 840 years before your religion was formulated. El Cid is around the corner – and unless you folks do a little development he might be needed.

  13. Solkhar deserves our pity. He has obviously been thoroughly brainwashed and indoctrinated to the extent that he cannot think for himself. He is unable to think logically.

    He does not understand that Islam is not a religion. It is a political cult. Started by a control freak who wanted to impose his will on others. Gullible followers of Muhammad who swallow the ‘peaceful’ propaganda are in a state of denial regarding the evil cruelty recorded in the Koran and the Hadiths.

    A suggestion to Solkhar. Read the Ayatollah Khomeini’s ‘Sayings’ in his “Little Green Book”, translated from the Persian.

    And read the Koran again. With an open mind. You might be shocked!

  14. I hope that people like Solkhar can change their religion for the better – because if they cannot there will be a war – they will loose – but in reality no one will win.

  15. I find it intersting that when facts are shown it comes down to personal attacks and the usual cut & paste from the rightt-wing anti-Islam guide. With some of you like “Izzla-mo Fo’bik” obviously not even reading his/her guidebook enough to know what the difference between Sunii and Shi’ite is to come up with that garbage.

    Kaw on the other hand only read’s Spencer and thus will one day face a shock when he discovers how much of that was propoganda and what reality is. As for Patel, all Rhodes Scholars are referred to as an “Oxford Elite” and the word “light” is yours.

    Remembering of course that Arab Iberia (it never was Spain nor Catholic before they arrived and thus the reconquesta is a bad name) was for a period of 800 years which a singular “Spain” has yet to reach that milestone actually had gone through two Golden Ages and the assumption that they only were documenting existing Greek sciences is a dishonor to every academic. The father of medicine Ibn Sina as the best example, the concepts of Astronomy and even the basic structure of modern architecture all came from there – but of course your agenda requires for you to ingore these facts. Note the word facts and even the Spanish government is now not only acknowledging these but capitalizing on it.

    As for Slavery, it should be pointed out that slavery at various points was used by Andalusis but in fact more by the Maghrebis and the act of using, selling and dealing in Slavery continued by many countries up until a little more than a century ago – most notably and organised in the United State via British, Portuguese and Dutch middle-men along with Arabs and Chinese – of which only one of those groups is Muslim.

    Dear blogger, go back to your friend Spencer and remind him that quoting only portions of other authors works and not the the entire refrerence does not make for an entire truth or factual basis. That is what Spencer does and that is why he is constantly and correctly bagged by real academics including those that he has even quoted from. Thus using that argument that “he has said nothing incorrect” is a wast and the reference should be that “nothing that he has said is of value”.

  16. “If you accepted facts such as Shari’a is not in all or most Muslim countries that is an easy step. That the burqa and the viel is not the common dress of Muslim women in most of the world”

    As if that makes it any better, it’ll be just a matter of time when the “true mohammedans” aka “fundamentalists” aka “salafists” will impose sharia on the unveiled women as Hamas is doing in Gaza or the salafists are doing in Kosovo. Sharia destroyed Al-Andalus, the Ummayads were seen as decadent and were conquered by the Almoravid “extremists” and these were in turn conquered by the even more extremist Almohads.

    said the mohammedan:
    “Remembering of course that Arab Iberia (it never was Spain nor Catholic before they arrived and thus the reconquesta is a bad name)”

    Get your history right, dumbass. The Roman Empire converted to Christianity in 380 CE, Hispania (Spain and Portugal) was part of the Empire until the Visigothic invasion around 5th century CE yet the Visigoths were already Christian, they were Arian Christians but converted to Catholicism in the 6th century CE before the mohammedan arrival at the dawn of the 8th century CE. BTW Spain = España = Hispania you fool!

  17. said the mohammedan:
    “The father of medicine Ibn Sina as the best example, the concepts of Astronomy and even the basic structure of modern architecture all came from there”

    You should’ve mentioned Mamonides since he was born in Alandalus and even he had to flee from the mohammedan mob in 1148 CE. Ibn I guess Ibn Sina’s father was Galen since Sina copied from him and other sources, he was regarded as an heretic by the pious mohammedans, such is the way islam treats scholars.

  18. BTW Ibn Sina wasn’t born in Alandalus, fool, nor was he an Arab, he was PERSIAN, another victim of Arab Supremacism since the Arabs destroyed the Persian Sassanian Empire in 644 CE, Islam had nothing to do with the genius of Ibn Sina.

    Said the mohammedan:
    “As for Slavery, it should be pointed out that slavery at various points was used by Andalusis but in fact more by the Maghrebis and the act of using, selling and dealing in Slavery continued by many countries up until a little more than a century ago”

    Slavery continues to this day in MOHAMMEDAN COUNTRIES like Sudan or the UAE where they use slave labor to build fugly, tacky but outrageously expensive buildings:
    Or enslave children to serve as camel jockeys:

    Said the mohammedan:
    “most notably and organised in the United State via British, Portuguese and Dutch middle-men along with Arabs and Chinese – of which only one of those groups is Muslim”

    Let me rephrase that: yadda yadda yadda along with Arabs, Iranians, Ayyubids, Kurds, Turkmen, Seljuk Turks, Ottoman Turks, Berbers, Maghrebin, Tatars, Andalusi, Mongols, Uighurs, Mughals, Black muslims etc, etc, etc, all of which groups are mohammedan. The Portuguese didn’t create the demand of slaves, you mohammedans were capturing slaves and selling them for centuries since the beginning of islam in 7th century CE. At least the Portuguese didn’t castrate the slaves, something the mohammedans used to do as there hardly are any black people in Arab countries, unlike America.

    1. odilos,

      you might want to add that the Arabs were slave traders long before they became Mohammedans.

      The Arabs raided the Kraals in black Africa to supply the Romans with gladiators and slaves just like the old Egyptians did for their needs…

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