Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tragedy of Al-andalus continues

Jihad by other means, in formerly Muslim Spain;
The more than 22,000 square meters of the Mosque of Córdoba, one of the world's foremost historic buildings and a symbol of peaceful coexistence between civilizations, have been the scene of centuries of tension between those who wished to preserve this monument of Andalusí (Spanish Muslim) art, and those who wanted it to have a purely Catholic appearance.
The controversy has deepened in recent years as the bishopric of Córdoba gradually squeezed out the Muslim presence in the equation (going so far as to remove the term "mosque" from leaflets and posters). In 2013 this led to an initiative by a group of citizens, including teachers, journalists and lawyers, to create a civic platform against the Church's iron grip on the site. In a manifesto that has attracted more than 80,000 signatures on the website, the Platform Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba: Everyone's Heritage demands that the ownership and management of the building be public, so it will cease to be an instrument at the service of the Catholic Church.
We've bolded the most risible claim in the above. The part of modern Spain where the mosque sits was first conquered by the Romans, who were driven out by the Visigoths in the 6th century, who were conquered by the Umayyids--themselves having been driven out of Damascus by other Muslims- in the 8th century. Now the building of the Mosque and environs begins.

But the fighting never ceases, as the New York Times admitted in 2003;
Even the Umayyad dynasty, begun by Abd al-Rahman in 756, was far from enlightened. Issues of succession were often settled by force. One ruler murdered two sons and two brothers. Uprisings in 805 and 818 in Córdoba were answered with mass executions and the destruction of one of the city's suburbs. Wars were accompanied by plunder, kidnappings and ransom. Córdoba itself was finally sacked by Muslim Berbers in 1013, its epochal library destroyed.
Andalusian governance was also based on a religious tribal model. Christians and Jews, who shared Islam's Abrahamic past, had the status of dhimmis -- alien minorities. They rose high but remained second-class citizens; one 11th-century legal text called them members of ''the devil's party.'' They were subject to special taxes and, often, dress codes. Violence also erupted, including a massacre of thousands of Jews in Grenada in 1066 and the forced exile of many Christians in 1126.
In fact, throughout Andalusian history -- under both Islam and Christianity -- religious identity was obsessively scrutinized. There were terms for a Christian living under Arab rule (mozarab), a Muslim living under Christian rule (mudejar), a Christian who converted to Islam (muladi), a Jew who converted to Christianity (converso), a Jew who converted but remained a secret Jew (marrano) and a Muslim who converted to Christianity (morisco).
All before the Christian Spaniards re-conquered;
In the 1391 pogroms in Christian Spain, for example, an estimated 100,000 Jews were killed, 100,000 converted and 100,000 forced to flee -- a prelude to the 1492 expulsion of all Jews and the 17th-century expulsion of all Muslims. 
That is what El País is calling 'peaceful coexistence between all civilizations'. And what Osama bin Laden called the tragedy of Al-andalus, in one of his post 9-11 speeches.

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