Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Retreat of Santiago Matamoros

Santiago Matamoros Santiago Matamoros, St. James the Moorslayer, is the patron saint of Spain and the symbol of the Reconquista. It was the spirit of Santiago that reversed the Islamic conquest of Spain and Portugal, drove the Muslim overlords out of the peninsula, and re-established the Christian kingdoms of Iberia several hundred years before the Ottoman Muslims were finally forced out of the Balkans.

For the last few years there has been a gradual and deliberate effort to eliminate Santiago Matamoros from Spanish public life. The old warrior is too non-PC, too martial, and not inclusive enough for this multicultural age.

And, needless to say, he offends Muslims.

AMDG at La Yijad en Eurabia posted an article today on the topic, “The legend of Santiago Matamoros”. Some excerpts:

As this example of abject surrender has crossed our frontiers, it is also important to let the world know about the cultural, religious and historical background of that image in order to make that shameful dhimmi behaviour even more outrageous.

The Apostolic Sees.

Christian religion defined itself historically as apostolic. The Nicene Creed proposes “unam, sanctam, cathólicam et apostólicam Ecclésiam.” ( You may click here to hear the first documented polyphonic Credo of the Mass by Machaut ). The Church was apostolic because it was the continuation of the enterprise of the Apostles. It was not organised as a Congregationalist society (bottom up), but as an apostolic one: groups of believers under the guidance of a bishop (which means supervisor in Greek). Bishops coordinated themselves by exchanging letters and holding meetings (Councils). This naturally brought along the issue of precedence.

The Apostolic Sees were those founded by a major apostle in the most relevant cities of the Roman world. Furthermore, they were sometimes executed and buried in them. The Catholic Encyclopaedia reads:

But before heresy, schism, and barbarian invasions had done their work, as early as the fourth century, the Roman See was already the Apostolic See par excellence, not only in the West but also in the East. Antioch, Alexandria, and, in a lesser degree, Jerusalem were called Apostolic sees by reason of their first occupants, Peter, Mark, and James, from whom they derived their patriarchal honour and jurisdiction; but Rome is the Apostolic See, because its occupant perpetuates the Apostolate of Blessed Peter extending over the whole Church.

Naturally, the bishops of those four cities considered themselves above the other bishops. The Sees of Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioquia were later on swept by the Mohammedan tide. This left only Rome and Constantinople, the Second Rome.

Constantinople is a special case. It was not a relevant city in the times of the Apostles; therefore, their bishops had to create a legend in order to take precedence above the other three oriental sees: St. Andrew would have founded the Diocese. The controversy with Rome on the precedence grew more and more bitter, and eventually led to the Great Schism — but that is another story. The important issue at this point is to understand that having the sepulchre of an apostle in a city was extremely important in ancient and medieval Christianity.

Saint James and Spain

Tradition has it that the Apostle Saint James preached in Spain (with a meagre result, by the way). He then returned to Jerusalem, where Herodes executed him. The corpse was then placed in a ship that arrived at Spain. Again, a legend. From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

According to this tradition St. James the Greater, having preached Christianity in Spain, returned to Judea and was put to death by order of Herod; his body was miraculously translated to Iria Flavia in the northwest of Spain, and later to Compostela, which town, especially during the Middle Ages, became one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in the world.

The rediscovery of the Apostle’s tomb in the Middle Ages.
- - - - - - - - -
The tomb of the apostle was opportunely rediscovered in the Middle Ages, according to the traditional account.

The tomb was forgotten until the year 813, when the hermit Pelayo noted lights and songs around the place. The hermit warned the bishop of Iria Flavia, Teodomiro, who after removing some weeds discovered the remains of the apostle identified by the inscription on the tombstone. He reported the discovery to King Alfonso II, who came to the scene and proclaimed the Apostle Santiago patron of the kingdom. The area was then renamed as Campus Stellae, Field of Stars, from which the current name, Compostela, has been derived.

The discovery of this tomb -whether it contained the Apostle or not- could have gone unnoticed, or could have been forgotten if it had not happened at the right moment and in the right place. The place was the north of Spain, where the Christians were rolling back the conquests of the First Jihad. The moment was the consolidation of the Asturian monarchy.

The Reconquista could not be waged under the banner of civil rights, not even as the obligation of a king to ensure the security of his subjects, as Luther naively -or maybe maliciously- proposes in The War against the Turk. A religion may be fought in the name of another religion (including an atheist religion) not in the name of religious freedom. The Apostle was the most adequate banner for the Christians in western Spain.

Why Santiago Matamoros?

The appellation “Matamoros” comes from the legend of Clavijo’s Battle, where he led the discouraged Christian troops to a smashing victory against the Mohammedans. King Ramiro I defeated the troops of Abd ar-Rahman II at the Battle of Clavijo with the assistance of a knight on a white horse who fought by his side and who was considered to be the Apostle. This was the beginning of a myth that would make the Apostle the Patron-Saint of the Spanish Reconquista.

Historians agree nowadays that strictly speaking there was no Battle of Clavijo. Still, this Battle is a major event in the history of the Reconquista. What happened then? Was it all an invention?

Not really. The first mention of Clavijo is found in a twelfth-century document, long after the events. It was written by Pedro Marcio, a canon from the cathedral of Santiago, who claims to copy another document from the ninth century in which King Ramiro I makes a series of donations to Compostela as a thanks-giving offer after the battle. The document by Pedro Marcio has been subject to discussions due to its historical and chronological errors. In any case, it was taken as a truthful testimony at the time and is credited in other early histories of the Reconquista. For instance in De rebus Hispaniae, by Bishop Jiménez de Rada, in the thirteenth century.

Read AMDG’s entire article for more about Santiago Matamoros, and to find out what happened at Clavijo.


Solkhar said...

The term reconquest of southern parts of Iberia by the Castillian Monarchy is a political term that was used to attempt to change history.... a common tactis to justify the unjustiable. They should have just said conquest and it would have made more sense.

The reality is that southern Iberia was Visigoth and not Christian and that the Asturian Kingdom that was only just created around the same time (and kept its independance) was the only Kingdom that was Christian.

What was certain was that the Castillians had no claims to the land at all except that it was a conquest against another religion than their own, and certainly if the Andalous had a chance they would also have conqured and kept on going. What Kingdom would not at that time?

It is intersting how until only recently has the Spanish allowed in their text books a corrected history of events and an acknowledgement that the reconquesta was in fact just a conquest and that it eliminated 800 years of "as legitimate a rule" by the Muslims as that of what was later referred to as the Spanish.

The other point is the acknowledgement by all concerned that the Spanish victory was due to the well educated, established and cosmipolitan Andalusis becoming to comfortable in their lifestyles. Their Golden Age had come and gone and they fell into that comfortable tauper that allowed for the more war-like and violent Castillians to take them out.

(Solkhar lives amongst many of the decendants of the Andalusis, listens to their music, knows some pure ethnic Andalusis and resides in Marrakech that once was the capital of a Maghreb Empire that once stood from Senegal to Barcelona. He has published one item in the French language on the history of the decline of the Marrakech governance of Al Andalus but choses to not give the link due to privacy abuse reasons)

Solkhar said...

I should add a clarifications to the above.

The Visigoths only had minor control of the southern part of Iberia that became al Andalous and the Visigoths though at the time of the battle of Guadalete (that signaled the permanent arrival of Arabs) was present not in southern Ibera but in central Toledo region which was the Visigoth Capital.

Roderic whom was King and died at that battle was a devout Christian but most of his armies were not and any religious control, certainly churches and religous structure was not present, even after 200 years of speradic Visigoth control of the old pagan Silingi-Vandal controled region (they were themselves German invaders).

Rocha said...


Please refrain from writing while drunk. The Reconquista reffers to the Visighotic realm because the Kingdom of Asturias was not conquered and governed by a Visigoth nobleman named Pelayo. While the Visigoths were indeed invaders they were absorved by the Roman iberic population their language left almost no trace in the modern iberian languages.

So there were a real reconquista in truth there were two reconquistas, the another one in Anatolia was lost in 1453 and again in 1923.

Solkhar said...

Rocha, not drunk but English is not my first or second language.

The point I am making is that there is no reconquista as the conquest was by Castillians who had no real claim and that if it was simply stated for what it was it would have stopped a lot of face saving later on.

Rocha said...

It's way more complicated than that. Solkar, Asturias had a claim this claim is inherited by Leon AND Castile, Portugal also inherited the Claim by Leon. Aragon did not as the County of Barcelona was not created by Pelagio or another visigoth but by Charlemagne.

English is not my first language also Solkar más se falar em português tu não me entenderás!

christian soldier said...

Thank you for another excellent historical post---

christian soldier said...

also-for the heads up on Luther's _On War Against the Turks_...

AMDG said...

Thanks for the link, Baron.

Solkhars´ claims are in line with the pretention that Southern Spain should be part of Morocco. He does not say that the northern part should pay tribute, but this goes without saying of course. It is in the Koran.

Visigoths were first Arians then Catholics. And the whole Peninsula was a kingdom. Of course kingdoms were in those days looser than the current nation states.

Castilians -and Portuguese and Aragoneses- remembered very well the situation before 711. BTW, another topic: Castilla is imperialist. Many Portuguese and Catalans subscribe it, as we know. Alinsky´s tactics: concentrate your lies and your hate on a specific subject until you destroy it. The others will learn the lesson.

Yes, some text books have now the multiculturally correct history, but you seem to take all the myths at face value:

Andalusian Myth, Eurabian Reality

“… Maghreb Empire that once stood from Senegal to Barcelona”: Fortunatelly, we got rid of it. I would not like Spain to be another Moroccco. Unless I would be part, of course, of its very rich and very corrumpt elites.

christian soldier, let me clarify something. I am rather sceptical on Luther's On War Against the Turks, because the so called Reformation could only take place because Spain, and in general Catholics, very busy fighting the Turk. In any case, this was a mention done just in passing. And I take the Catholic point of view. Understandably.

James Higham said...

I'm currently studying the early years and where it became Romanized. The gnostics were the main problem of the time.

Solkhar said...

AMDG seems to believe he is able to read minds.

I have not made claim that Morocco should own southern Spain. Note I use the word Spain.

History is history and my only comment is that since the Andalousis and Jews were kicked out of southern Iberia the Spanish have tried very hard to make moral claims and only until the 1980s tried to deny that there was a well organized nation there. To add to that the Andalousi considered the Castillians to be uncivilized and barbaric and if you gave a comparison to the quality of lifestyle and laws of that time - I can see how they came to that view point, albiet somewhat bigoted.

Afonso Henriques said...

Solkhar! You're the Moroccan, aren't you?
Be wellcome to this little place of free thinking and polite discussion. I'll comeback at you later.

An interesting thing about Santiago is that in the Portuguese language he is many times evoked as "Santiago Maior".

I mean, there are many historical or legendary figures here who are "someone O GRANDE", meaning "the Great".
The funny thing about Santiago is that he's not O GRANDE but, undoubtedly SANTIAGO MAIOR, meaning not merely "the Great" but something like "The Greatest".

Another curious thing is that Santiago is composed word coming from São (Saint) and Tiago (the name of the Saint).

However this Saint is known as Santiago only and, after him I presume, there are many people (and towns) who are called, not merely Tiago, but Santiago.

Of course, this is a common Hispanic thing and goes for both Portuguese and Spanish names.

Afonso Henriques said...

Also, I forget to mention: Great Post! I know Christianity is under vicious attacks every day in Spain but, are they especially targetting Santiago?


"The Reconquista reffers to the Visighotic realm because the Kingdom of Asturias was not conquered and governed by a Visigoth nobleman named Pelayo. While the Visigoths were indeed invaders they were absorved by the Roman iberic population their language left almost no trace in the modern iberian languages."

I bet you'll like this information.
It appears that most likely Pelayo was not a Visigoth but a descendent of the Suebi aristocracy, from Galiza. His father was the count of Iria Flavia.
It also appears that Galiza and not Asturias was the only region that was never subjected to the control of the dirty mohameden hordes of pigs.

That would also explain the advance Portugal always had when compared to the rest of the Peninsula and once one thinks about it, it makes perfect sense.

(Rocha, if you read that information, focus more in the rationalisation, arguments and facts that are presented and try to ignore less valuable things)

Afonso Henriques said...

Wow... Have AMDG just recognised that Castilla is imperialist????

That is great news for the whole Peninsula and the whole of Europe!

Meanwhile, ADMG, how many more non Marxist (weather wanting or knowing they are or not) Castillans have the same opinion?

When I say Castillans, I mean the people who are from Spain but are not from Galiza, Basques or from the Eastern part of Spain(Aragón, Catalonia, Baleares, Comunity of Valencia).
Ah! And the opinion of those Spaniards on the South does not matter too much... (because they tend to be leftists)

Sean O'Brian said...

There's an interesting essay in the book Imaginary Homelands by Salman Rushide about censorship in Pakistan.

Apparently when the film El Cid (about a Castillian nobleman who was an important figure in the Reconquista) was released the Pakistani authorities were unhappy about the ending so they cut out the last scene, where Charlton Heston as El Cid rallies the Spanish Christians to victory against the Moors.

Afonso Henriques said...

Solkhar, now we two!

"The term reconquest of southern parts of Iberia by the Castillian Monarchy is a political term that was used to attempt to change history.... a common tactis to justify the unjustiable."

False. Before the muslims step in, Hispania was a united entity.
It had been a united entity ever since the Romans conquerer the whole of Hispania.
Before that it was divided in tribes and proto Nations maybe.
But what is important is that when the muslims arrived there were differences in the Peninsula but the whole Peninsula was just one Nation with one people: The Hispanic Nation and people under the Germanic elite.

When the muslims invaded us they attacked THE Hispanic people or, if you insist, ALL THE Hispanic Peoples.
Therefore all the reconquest was legitimate by any point of view as long as it was to liberate the Hispanic people(s). I don't even grasp how someone can contest this.

What may be objectionable is the penetration that followed of Portugal in Spain in North Africa, mainly current Morocco. And, do you know what I think?
I think that, given the 800 years of ininterrupt war and inimaginable suffering that your kind made us go through, giving the horrible cultural legacy and impact that you left here, that meant a de-carachterisation of our entire people, I think both Portugal and Spain should have penetrated deep into African lands, colonise it and even, who knows, erradicate your people.
Because that was exactly what you tried to do to us and I think nobody here can contest this.

Meanwhile, the genetic impact your people left here was small. You tried to erradicate us but not genetically. At least, you failed to do so genetically.

Let me tell you this. I thik that given what you did to us, it would be legitimate for us to erradicate North Africans genetically:

The Southern Cone of South America:
In Brazil live 85 MILLION people, some 60 millions of which are of European extraction.
In Argentina and Uruguay alone live 43 million people, 40 millions of which are of European extraction.

The main European ethnicities there are Spaniards and Portuguese and Italian far from any others.
And there, the non whites are mostly all mixed, and more than 50% of their genes inherited by their fathers are of European origin.
So, we could have exterminated Moroccans.
And given our superior military and navy, I think we were foolish in not doing so.

Morocco, like Portugal, is an Atlantic Nation and I think that one of the strategical errors of Portugal was to not have strategically colonised, maybe with the support of England or as a mere instrument to English domination, the Atlantic close to us, namely: Madeira, Cape Verde, The Canary Islands and Morocco.
We only colonised Madeira successfully.

AMDG said...

> "... the Spanish have tried very hard to make moral claims and only until the 1980s tried to deny that there was a well organized nation there."

Are you serious? Spanish textbooks and history writing have always never ever denied the Cordoba Califate. And please remember that the palace of Medina Azzara as destroyed by the Berber hordes.

> "To add to that the Andalousi considered the Castillians to be uncivilized and barbaric and if you gave a comparison to the quality of lifestyle and laws of that time..."

And so what? You mean that history should not have been as it was? But you started saying "History is history"

I cannot not follow this Mohammedan logic. Can we use Greek one to discuss?

Thank you.

Afonso Henriques said...

Solkhar, we're not done!

"The reality is that southern Iberia was Visigoth and not Christian"

What!? The Visigoths were Christian. And the Visigoths were not "The people". The Germanics here were a small elite. The Latin-Hispanic people, that was already Christian for longer. Including the Southern part of Hispania. Seville was an early Christian centre, for example.

"the Asturian Kingdom that was only just created around the same time (and kept its independance) was the only Kingdom that was Christian."

This is false.
All the Kingdoms controled by European peoples and that were faithfull to the European Civilisation were Christian.
This includes the Visigothic Kingdom, centred in the Catholic centre that was/is Toledo and the Suebi Christian, centred in the "Arcebishopic" city of Braga.
Ever since and untill today, Braga is still known as "The City of the Arcebishops".
The Suebi Kingdom was the first European Kingdom to be created in what previously was the Roman Empire. It was rulled by invading Germanic peoples. We're talking of the V century, way before the VIII century, when the muslims step foot in the Peninsula.

"What was certain was that the Castillians had no claims to the land at all"

At that time, the main reason was religious: To retake occupied Christian soil and to free Christian souls from moorish opression. That was the main reason of the time.
Another strong reason of the time was to free Hispania. Portugal is an Historical mistake. In that the goal was not to create Christian Kingdoms. The goal was to create only one Christian Kingdom: The Hispanic Kingdom that should comprise all the Iberian Peninsula.

In fact, that is shown in the name of Spain: Hispania -> Espania -> España -> Spain.

Spain still has pretensions to be, well, Spain (Hispania) and not Castille.
That's the big furor over the Catholic Kings and the creation of Spain in 1492 by the merging of Aragon and Castille. After it, there was a time in the XV century when a Portuguese heir to the throne was to marry with the Spanish princess and thus create the Kingdom. He died after have falled from his horse. In the XVI century the Filipina dinasty of Spain was able to annexate Portugal and create that empire.
For many other times the Spaniards tried to create what they name suggest: A unified Hispanic Nation.

And if you think that "Castillans" are not the same prople as "Andalusians", I'll then ask you what's the difference between them?
And especially, what WAS the difference before the muslim invasion?

"if the Andalous had a chance they would also have conqured and kept on going. What Kingdom would not at that time?"

What you did was not a mere medieval war.
It was a Civilisational and (de facto) Racial War of extermination that your people launched against my people in our soil.
We responded with DEFENSIVE TOTAL WAR FOR EIGHT CENTURIES untill one side was exterminated.
And then we lauched a few raids in Moorish soil compared with the frequent raids for slaves (even chilren of both sexes: men for hard work and women for sexual purposes) that you launched ever since against the costs of Portugal and Spain.

Few "Kingdoms" have "kept going" the way the muslims against Hispanic lands, culture, people and religion. And now you appear to be here rewriting History.

Afonso Henriques said...


"It is intersting how until only recently has the Spanish allowed in their text books a corrected history of events and an acknowledgement that the reconquesta was in fact just a conquest and that it eliminated 800 years of "as legitimate a rule" by the Muslims as that of what was later referred to as the Spanish."

I fail to understand what you want to say here. I also doubt that what you wanted to say makes any sense or relates somehow to reality. I'd ask you to try to remake your statement. It's sickening to say that the muslim rule of Southern Spain was as legitimate as the rule of the Northern Spaniards.

"the acknowledgement by all concerned that the Spanish victory was due to the well educated, established and cosmipolitan Andalusis becoming to comfortable in their lifestyles."

I will just stick to the aknowledgement that
1) Moors and Jews were always a minority even in the lands the moors had conquered.
2) The Christians kicked the moors asses in the battlefield.

If they were "too" confortable they should have did the best they could to keep confortable, no?
And meanwhile the "educated and cosmopolitan" ones were overwhelmingly Christians and Jews.
The muslims were well divided:
An educated Arab elite and a warrior Berber and mixed class.
North Africans were never "educated" they were the soldiers. As well as the mixed ones and the Europeans who converted to Islam who had to face conscription to the fights.

"that allowed for the more war-like and violent Castillians to take them out."

You still fail to say the truth: The Martially superior Castillans.

"Solkhar lives amongst many of the decendants of the Andalusis"

Really? I would like to know what is your concept of "Andalusis".

"The Visigoths only had minor control of the southern part of Iberia that became al Andalous and the Visigoths though at the time of the battle of Guadalete (that signaled the permanent arrival of Arabs) was present not in southern Ibera but in central Toledo region which was the Visigoth Capital."

The Visigoths were present throughout the Iberian Peninsula. Mainly in Toledo which was the capital of their Kingdom. However they were an elite throughout the Peninsula. In Guadalete, many Visigoths died.

"Roderic whom was King and died at that battle was a devout Christian but most of his armies were not and any religious control, certainly churches and religous structure was not present, even after 200 years of speradic Visigoth control of the old pagan Silingi-Vandal controled region (they were themselves German invaders)."

That is a lie. Christianity was strong in the most Romanised areas of Hispania even before Constantino made it the Religion of the Empire. And the South of Hispania was much more Romanised than the rest.
The Southern Iberia was a beacon of Christianity before Rome itself. That's why you can explain why so many major mosques in Southern Spain were built over pre existing churches.

"The point I am making is that there is no reconquista as the conquest was by Castillians who had no real claim and that if it was simply stated for what it was it would have stopped a lot of face saving later on."

We're not talking about the "Conquista Castellana" because there was no political concept of Castille prior to the muslim invasion.
We're talking of THE Hispanic people.
IT IS THE HISPANIC RECONQUEST and thus the Castillans (Hispanic) had to Recoquer the land of Andalusia which also is Hispanic. The Hispanics had to reconquer Hispania and save their fellow Hispanics from moorish opression.

Rocha said...


Nice to read from you. That Pelagio was a Suev or a Visigoth dosen't matter much and my maps ( from the Penguin Atlas of Medieval History) does indeed shows in 737 just the asturians and the basques as free from the arabs. What's is more important is that the area of Galiza was free around 756. So the early Spaniards did indeed speak portuguese. And it was the case as the literay language untill around the 1400's.

Speaking about Galiza what the common people view of it today? And of Nationalists?

Rocha said...


"What may be objectionable is the penetration that followed of Portugal in Spain in North Africa, mainly current Morocco."

Why objectionable? North Africa spoke romance languages before the arabs conquest that is well documented take per example do a more deep search about the Romania Submersa. Or just use the common sense Look at the map of the roman empire and compare it to the romance languages maps, romance languages did really retreated in hungary and yugoslavia but north africa is amputated! The language in north africa survived untill the 16 century if the reconquista had been faster we could have been speaking with Solkhar in Portuguese.

Afonso Henriques said...

It's a pitty Solkhar won't recognise the nonsense he's been saying. Or maybe he just have more to do...


I tend to believe that you did not read what I provided. And I don't judge you because that is really boring to read unless you are very very interesting.
It is food for thought. For instance, it claims that the muslims conquered all the Peninsula and arrived all the way up and established a garison in Gijón in the 720s.
Then, the "diocese" of Iria Flavia in the Northwest of Galiza is documented as a Christian diocese that never stopped functioning and also there are not regists of the presence of the muslims there. Even in the 710s and 720s the clergy did not found relevant to write about the presence of moors or war in the soil of the diocese of Iria Flavia.
Centuries after, the muslim scripts speak of a muslim that "went where no muslim had ever dared to step foot". It is referring to the episode in which a muslim leader (probabily Al Mansur but I am not sure) destroyed Santiago de Compostela and forced Christians made slaves to drag the various tones heavy bells of the church way down South into Cordoba. After this the modern majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was built and then, when Cordoba was tooken from the moors, Mourish slaves were forced to bring the bells from Cordoba to Santiago de Compostela. Suposedly the current bells in the Cathedral (and I've never seen such a majestic Cathedral whereas in Iberia or in London. I haven't seen Notre Dâme yet but I'm not expecting it to beat Santiago de Compostela).

It is awfull that the Spaniards created their "multicultural" (while European) state based on that little lie. That Spain came from Asturias and not from Galiza.


About Galiza...

Rocha said...


To tell you the truth i didn't read it yet. =] It's saved to my sleepless nights.

As for Spain i'm proud that my ancestors kept the Spanish at bay for so many centuries in Iberia and even made the spanish recede in every frontier on south america. But that was really infighting we could have accomplished more united. Morrocos per example would not stand a chance. France would have a fiercer battle who knows rousillon could be iberic now as it was in the 1650's. I'm almost sure you disagree with me on that.

Afonso Henriques said...

I didn't wanted to send that last comment just yet. Another thing they claim is that it is also registered that the Reconquista initially "focused Eastwards". Which is also very interesting. And they show very early documents of about the Charles Magne time or slightly earlier of the Franks and other Europeans refering to the "Asturian Kingdom" as the "Kingdom of Galaecia".


About Galiza. There are many views. The most common is that Galiza is not Spain and it is also not Portugal. But what Galiza is not for sure is an independent country. That would be stupid and leftist.

However I have to say that the destiny of Galiza is in the hands of their own people, especially their own "Nationalists".

The view of this guys is that before the Romans arrived there were Iberian and Celtic tribes and that all the tribes were Iberian or mixed with Iberians. Then they think that Galiza was the only purely Celtic area and thus must be preserved. For them Galiza consists of Galiza proper, Northern Portugal up to the Douro river and the Asturias region. This was roughly the area the Galaecian Celtic people (the only one they see as pure in the Peninsula) inhabited prior to Roman times.
Then came the Moors and there was war. The Nationalists of Galiza believe that after that war the pure Celtic Galaecian people mixed with some Germanic Suebis was the main force behind the Reconquista (which is true). They believe thus that the areas the peoples from this region colonised should constitute an independent Galiza. And they should incorporate:
Galiza, Asturias and León in nowadays Spain.
Northern and Central Portugal down to the Mondego river including Guarda and Coimbra (and Aveiro and Viseu) and the Serra da Estrela.

Of course no normal person agree with this and this is not viable.
They are also a tiny wanna be Nazi minority.
The current "Nationalist" group in Galiza with some expression is far Leftist. And it doesn't gather much vote because the people of the North are very conservative.

Also, this Nationalists of Galiza don't like too much the people from Asturias and León because, while considering them blood brothers, they don't speak Portuguese and are more influenced by the Castillan Centre of the Peninsuala than by the Celtic Northwest.

True Portuguese Nationalists of course dream with the day in which Portugal gains its head (Galiza) back again above his neck.
But it's far from being a priority, especially now that Galiza is for the first time in History richer than Portugal, and especially Northern Portugal. The battle now is to stop multiculturalism and make people stop thinking of selling themselves to the European Union or, even worst, Spain istelf.

The Nationalists of Galiza:
It may become a serious movement. At least they have succeeded in creating a Celtic revival that has no paralel in th Peninsula. But if they want it to be successfull they will have to make their minds up.
The natural thing to due is to become Portuguese.

Many average Galegos would simpathise with this, like the ones who spoke Galego in the European Parliament claiming that they were spoken Portuguese, an oficial language of the E.U. but the problem is that our capital still is too South. As they say, they "não querem falar Lisbonês" and given the multicultural hell whole that the Lisbon and Setubal area is becoming. We deeefintely have a capital way down South.

And this reflects also in Lisbon. Lisbon NEEDS a stronger Northern influence. Both from Northern Hispania and from Northern Europe.

Lisbon don't be French
I say don't be French and stop trying to make yourself part of the Third World.

Solkhar said...

Alfonso said "that was never subjected to the control of the dirty mohameden hordes of pigs"

I think that already confirms that there is a certain bias in his words and if his history is controlled with lines like that, which it is - it explains the very onesided and bigoted views (and words) used.

1) Dirty - Muslims wash five times a day had access to bathhouses that were used frequently, used perfumes and soaps whilst the Visigoth controlled locals slept in hovels. The term dirty is anything but a description of the locals and even the Castillians and others suffered plagues and other diseases based on the unsanitary conditions they lived in. Cordoba had sewers and though the Romans had brought to the region the concept of bathhouses, they were left to collaps.
2) Mohamaden - Muslims believe in God and thus called Muslims, the term used implies they pray to Mohammed which is considered apostacy - the term was used by ignorants because they assumed since Christians prayed to Christ they used that name that Muslims made the same mistake and prayed to the prophet instead to God.
3) Pigs - Muslims do not eat or have contact with pigs, neither do Jews, Christians eat them and in some areas even share the same barn with them.
4) Hoardes - the Muslim Arab and Berber invaders (they certainly were and never try to hide that fact unlike other nations whom hypocritically call them conquests or reconquestas and such) never had a large army that could be considered a hoarde. The Goths had one that destroyed Rome.

I suggest the next time you try and use insulting and disgusting language that at least one of the three could be even remotely correct to not make yourself embarrasing.

The Spanish text books attempted to make out that Andalous culture and life was barbaric when it was of a higher standard and more cosmopolitan and cultured than the life under the Castillians. The question of is there really an Andalousi culture was raised by Alfonso which I find insulting when I live amongst their decendants, listen to their music, see their art and see their architectual contributions every single day since I moved here permanently in 2002.

Alfonso also incorrectly assumed that I am a Moroccan - I am Dutch but chose to live here.

Some of my phrases are perhaps badly structured, I am not as good at English as I am in Dutch and French of which I am fluent in both. I write mostly in French and then translate it using software and go over it.

As for Christianity in the region prior to the Arab-Berber Invasion - I understood that it was Aran which was considered an apostacy by Christianity and thus considered a seprate fringe religion. If that is not considered so, I make the regret and correct myself without reservation but would like someone to explain it first.

I still dispute the Hispanic people and unity of Southern Iberia. Asturians I understood would consider themselves a separate people and not "Hispanic" and that term was used fo years by Spanish propogandists to try and justify that the reconquesta was nothing more than another dominating invasion from the northern mixed tribes. Hispana was a Roman term and a national myth.

As for great Cathedrals, try St Baaf's in the Belgian City of Ghent (also known as Gaand in French). It was the cathedral that Charlemagne prayed and was corinated in and is amongst the biggest and most grande that I have seen.

Afonso Henriques said...

Rocha, I agree with you. The only problem is that in Spain Castille smacks the other Nations.
And in turn, the other Nations prevent Spain from reaching their full potential.

Just look to the map of las Spanish elections. See the main leftist areas: The colonised South of Extremadura and Andalusia plus the Basque country and the Aragon-Catalonia axis (with the Catalan Balears, without the Catalan(?) Comunity of Valencia).

All of this Peninsula has too much in common in many ways. And I want to preserve that. I even think that we should take measures Peninsula wide to reinforce our power projection and follow some common polices.

What I am against is that it sometimes tries to unify the whole think. We have great diversity in here as well, let us preserve that.
Let each Historical Nation pursue its own forein relations but in a way that all the Peninsula wins.

That could happen with free Nations acting as they will but within limits which are imposed in order for one Nation not to "put at risk the whole Peninsula".

I'll give you two exemples of that "Anti-Hispanic Castillan Nationalism". Pick a man of the right. Say, Mr. Aznar.

When the muslims attacked Madrid, the first thing the man did was too blame the Basques. I was a child and said: "So strange, I never seen the ETA killing so many people and not calling to the police saying there was a bomb in the place x" And I was not even in Spain!

When the Prestige started to fill the Ocean with Oil, the Spanish authorities instead of trying to save the people and contain the oil in the sea, tried to force the boat into Portuguese watters. We had to send a warship! The result? The beaches of Galiza filled with oil and that vibrant ecossistem afectef fot years.

And we could even mannage to have only one state, but divided in Traditional Nations who had all the power over themselves like the American or Swiss model mixed with the British one (but without the constant attacks on the English).

Once this not applies, I don't want to be a Catalan or a Basque in Spain.

About Rossillon. Once upon a time the Ostrogoth Kingdom of Italy and the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania were united into one that covered all Italy, Portugal, Spain and even Provence, the South of France with a strong Latin character.
That could have revived the Latin Empire. But it was short lived.

And I hoped I satisfied your curiosity about that Galiza thing, although perhaps I didn't. Feel free to ask whatever you want if that's the case.


And we couldn't speak Portuguese with Solkhar. The languages were Latin, not Portuguese...
But there are things more important than language, Rocha.

Solkhar said...

I suggest that Afonso reads Glaire D. Anderson and Mariam Rosser-Owen's "Revisiting al-Andalus -
Perspectives on the Material Culture of Islamic Iberia and Beyond" (ISBN 978 90 04 16227 3). The book shows about how the old Andalusi culture has been rediscovered and more - the strong continuence of that culture in Morocco. Andalusis are an ethnic minority, mostly situated in the cities of Fes, Tanger, Meknes, Rabat and Salé. Near Tanger there is the small town of Ksar-Sghrir which now has UNESCO heritage support as it is ethnically almost totally Andalusi. Visit and the lighter hair, distinctive green eyes are evident.

There is a distinct Andalusi music that continues to this day in Morocco. It is divided into basic and religious music with a special chanting that uses mutliple harmonies.

A lengthy discription exists on Wiki on Andalusi Classical Music's histry (Click to Link Here).

There is a website that can give samples of the traditional styles (not modern) by uploading.
(Click to Link Here).

It is often quoted that Islamic Muslic orignated in Al-Andalus and that is very evident in modern day Morocco were religous music is a day-to-day part of traditional or ceremonial activities. Unlike much of the conservative Islamic world, Music is not shunned but endorsed and supported. A very good article from about Music in Islam is available here. I recommend reading the entire website.

Rocha said...

Thanks for the info Afonso,

I had already dwelt on the matter but what i found in the internet about Portugaliza and about galizan nationalism was few and far between. Most very amateur stuff. Your info really expanded it specially about minority views in Galiza. It's a shame that nationalism in much of west was stolen by the left the irish, basques and the galizan all suffer from it. Don't know about the other celtic nations like Brettonia, Wales and Scotland but i will. And here comes one interesting info, do you knew that in the brazilian northeast portuguese people and blonde people in general are called Galegos?

Who knows what a morroc latin language could look like? And i just know two things more important than language: Race and culture. =]

Rocha said...


I did knew of the "andaluzi" diaspora but most are on the coast. How far and how deep in the interior this influence is felt?

Solkhar said...


The Andalusi influence into the countryside is mostly in the norther-west coastal region and into the cities that I mentioned but not much more.

I live in both cities of Marrakech and Rabat and in Rabat and neighbouring Salé is a significant Andalous influence in music and architecture. At wedding ceremonies or funerals you hire groups of Andalusi singers - religious songs for the funerals of course. During Ramadan, Moroccan television will start the period of an hour before breaking the fasting with Andalusi religious chanting.

It is appropriate to also mention that with the exodus of the evicted Andalusis and Jews that were the Andalusis moved to the Jews did as well, adding to an already large community (as a second wave).

Solkhar said...

If it was not for a death and a dispute over succession, the second wave of Arab and Berber invaders into Iberia would have had almost three times the amount of Berber forces and the battles in southern France would probably have ensured an Arab Iberia to this day with perhaps an empire from Senegal to Paris in the north and Nice in the East. That is subjective like Alfonso's comments about ownership because of the internatonal events since those dates.....

That it is me speaking a version of Latin or Portuguese or Alfonso actually born a Muslim and discussing this in an Andalusi-Arabic dielect is now for conjecture.

If the "Hisponics" as Alfonso claims existed had conquered and stayed in North Africa, for instance, what would WWII have turned out to be like, no French colony may have existed, perhaps no victory? So many possible options that to be honest such calculations would be a wasted effort.

babs said...

I have read through many comments by Solkhar. I have tried to listen with an open mind but, his defense of the conquest of the Iberian penn. by Islam is just beyond the pale.
Muslims conquered Andalusia and Portugal by sword (not attraction) and instituted their own law and religion. They were driven from the land many years later by the historic indiginous population. The fact that "Islamic Music" originated in Iberia makes no difference to me. In fact, to echo a theme presented here at GOV many times, did Islam co-opt the talents of the existing people to further their development before engulfing the conquered in subservience?
I have been to the Alhambra. Yes, I agree, that the elites of the Islamic world certainly seemed to be ahead of the native population as judged by the church that was erected on the very same grounds after the reconquest.
Mr. Solkhar needs to ask himself why such an "eurudite" civilization was driven from conquested lands... Could it be that their sharia law and failed religion didn't hold up over time? After all, how could such barbarians drive Islam out of their conquered lands?
If Islam is such a superior religious/political system, why were they driven out of Iberia?
You, Mr. Solkhar, should wonder why "Islamic music" was not created in an indigenous Muslim state but rather in a conquered territory.

Solkhar said...


There is no doubt that the Arabs and Berber armies invaded Iberia, that is clear and undeniable facts.

As all conquerers did, they installed by force their values and faith. That is the clear and brutal history of the world and what is done by the greed of man in the name of God.

My question still puts it that what is indigenous Iberian, and I question that those that were originally there were a mix of indigenous and those imports over more than 800 years and then the Andalus 800 years it was outsiders that invaded from the other half of Iberia (lead by Castiallians). It is still not 800 years yet now (ie shorter than the period that the Andalusian Arab/Berber state has occured... thus the validity of Al Andalus is AS VALID as the so-called Spain that there is now.

As for your comment that "You, Mr. Solkhar, should wonder why "Islamic music" was not created in an indigenous Muslim state but rather in a conquered territory", Islam has no indigenous status, it is a faith and thus it must represent all the peoples and locations that it is in.

Rocha said...

Babs he do not need to wonder. He just need to understand that islam destroy everything it touches. How can you create music if anything as trivial as flying kites or singing is devilish... Not that it just happens in islam. I know of preety dictatorial evangelical churches.

babs said...

And just in case Mr. Solkhar, you would like to make the claim that an intellectual elite was overwhelmed by a barbarian horde, I would like to point out to you that this barbarian horde has gone on to make the most intellectual progress in the history of man. Leaving Islam and their "elite" in the dust...
I really don't think you have a reasonable response for this... In TODAY'S world more books are translated in Spain than in the entire Islamic world. You can't even begin to compete based on your insular religion and screwed up political system.

Rocha said...


Al-Andalus was really turning into a muslim land that is true.The Arabs did it in everywhere. But after 1212 Al-Andalus fell quickly and these aculturation was reversed in the peninsula. Only in Granada the process neared it's completion. Granada was truly an expansionist war but so what 711 was one too.It was not the only occasion Spain lost the chance of colonizing morrocos, was not for the Stupidity of Isabella II of Spain Morrocos would have a much large spanish minority as you said who knows what could have followed it.

Rocha said...


Be prepared because there's not many apologetic people in GOV. Make good arguments and good luck to you. Maybe you could even (god forbids!) change your mind about islam.

Solkhar said...

Babs and Rocha,

I am currently on holidays in a place called Agadir in the south of Morocco, I have a five year old son and since it was windy, the kite we built was flown.

I also go to bookstores often, both in Rabat and Marrakech were I live. I am currently reading Angels & Demons translated into Arabic. Since I have now completed my Degree in Arabic Letters I am enjoying seeing how it translates.

Why I am saying this is your comments about the Islamic world and what is devlish or not shows me that none of you have travelled to a Muslim country, you either are reading questionable websites and blogs as sources of information or you simply have not bothered to notice the reality on the ground. The Muslim World is not just the Iraq War, Afghanistan, Sudan, Saudia Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Palestine, Pakistan or Iran.

People in a great many countries, cities live normal lives like everyone without all this radical extremist "crap" that you think is everywhere. Life in down-town Casablanca, Beirut, Tunis are pretty much as down-town Paris. If you simply appeared in anyone of those places it would take a while before you realise that you were say in North Africa or the Middle-East. Certainly go to the country side and you see the strong cultures but not what you obviously think we all live in.

There is no doubt at all there is a serious and very, very dangerous radical Is;lamist element that controls the lives of millions and threatens peace and harmony around the world. The concentration should be on fighting that and not misdirection and misinformation about the religion - it does injustice to the great bulk of the 1.6 billion Muslims whom just want to get on with their lives and it deflects the effort needed to combat the real threat out there.

Solkhar said...

I wrote a study (in French) for a study group about the decline of the greater Maghreb when Marrakech was the capital of a Empire that was from Senegal to central Iberia and learnt a great deal about Berber culture and power, its links with Arab dynasties and the Andalusi Arabs whos dynasty really comes via Arabs roots in Damascus.

Though my study was not about the fall of al Andalus, it is very clear that they fell into a comfortable tauper having too much confidence on their military and that their lifestyle and culture was superior. It was in most definitions more advanced and technically advanced then the rest of the region and you can only have a Golden Age of science and philosophy when you can enforce stability and the people are wealthy enough to persue intellectual persuits. Obviously something happened there, partially because via deaths and marriages the states were divided and at least two generations of lazy leaderships allowed for them not to continue the processes of miltiary modernization. It was enough for them to allow for a total and swift collapse.

babs said...

As for your comment that "You, Mr. Solkhar, should wonder why "Islamic music" was not created in an indigenous Muslim state but rather in a conquered territory", Islam has no indigenous status, it is a faith and thus it must represent all the peoples and locations that it is in.
In this statement you give something away... That Islam has been spread by the sword not by attraction. However, I do believe Mr. Solkhar that the Saudi Penn. would be considered an indigenous Islamic land. I guess you could begger the point by saying that Islam has only been around since the 7th century. If you wanted to argue that point I guess you could say that there are no indiginous lands...
However, if you wanted to argue that point a counter would be that Islam conquered lands and co-opted their acheivements. In short, I see no recent progress in Islamic lands on any front.
Music? You have to be kidding me... You stole from the Iberian people their love for music and now want to claim it for your own.
I do not wish you any ill. In fact, if we coulod debate for eternity without violence, that would be all right with me. The problem is that your defense of Islam does not hold up to the facts. This would be fine (as I have many friends that I think a bit off beam but not a threat to my security.) Islam OTOH is a threat to the way I live my life and my security. I do not wish to abide by your cultural norms. I do not wish to be blown up in a public space. I do not wish to have my children indoctrinated against my way of life in favor of yours.
We may discuss in a civilized way the validity of the surrahs, whether the Quaran is a literal or historical text and what your dietary regulations and dress code mean to you. However, when it starts to imapct my life (and not yours) then we reach an impass.
Please do not preach to me about the conquest and failure of Islam in Iberia. Clearly yours was a failed ideology or you would be in control there today rather than just a relic that tourists visit in a vibrant democratic state.

Solkhar said...

Rocha, I have dealt with all sorts when it comes to misinformed or agenda-based opinions on many subjects, I was a diplomat for my country for 22 years and know what is the difference between right-wing minority loudmouths and real radical dissention.

I have though each time come accross those that do seek logical debate without all the trash thrown in by most and get to the heart of points and that is why I remain commenting in some.

Perhaps I will enlighten some to understand Islam better as you put it, I certainly have never over 28yrs of being Muslim changed but in fact have confirmed my own beliefs and style of Islam. I am what is known as a Sibanist, following the ideals set by Ibn-Sina. That means that the Qur'an is all important, Haddiths are taken as historical texts only, certainly to be studied and individuals can opinonate on the subject themelves. We are not a small minority but most modern-liberal Muslims view it that way anyhow.

If anything, GoV may find that some of its readers/contributors may change their minds completely.... from being so far leaning to the right .... turning towards Islam would be even more unlikely.

Solkhar said...


at the time the Arabs/Berbers invaded Iberia there was Music in the lands of those Arabs that chose to invade/migrate there. That music is the basis for Andalusi Music, not local Iberian musical traits. The Arab dynasty was from Damascus and though later the music died there it continued.

No theft at all, your assumption is incorrect.

I am always there for civilized debate, but it will be difficult if you continue to wrongly assume that your children will be indoctinated, your lifestyle threatened or anything like that as the enemy is radical militant Islamists who frankly speaking would sell their mothers if it gave them what they want.

There is no dream of global conquest but in the minds of these terrorists. I wonder why tens of thousands of French nationals chose to live here in Morocco without fear of anything and yet you fear that somehow Islam is going to take over and make your family into slaves or something. If I told the locals in the café tomorrow they will laugh.

Afonso Henriques said...


I may have exagerated in that more insulting statement but I think it's not offensive to qualify as such the people who caused terrible disgraces upon my people, an eight centuries long war. What can a people do when it has to continually fight to survive during eight centuries?

1) I don't know how often did people bath. What I know is that Arabs and Islam are from the desert, where there is few water. That is not the case in Hispania.
Actually, in North Africa water is not abundant. That makes your claim very suspitious.
If you want to figure out who baths or not, look at the average Arab, Iraqi or Moroccan and then to the average Spaniard or Portuguese and who looks cleaner. I wouldn't like to go that way.
For your information the local Celtic tribes took baths. The Lusitanians were said to take a ritual bath in cold water everyday and periodically in hot water in baththubs before celebrations. This is so because water abounds here and the people connected water to the divine.
The Romans had public baths.
I don't know about the Medieval and early modern period but I believe the people would wash as soon as they had a chance (like everywhere else). Given the relative aboundace of water and good climate, I'd say people here took more baths than in the freezing European North and water lacking North Africa and Middle East.
About the "people did not bath in the Medieval times":
In Portugal and Galiza at least, the water curses were very important (and er... existed). There was a tradition from Celtic times that was not forgotten: The close connection between the water and the people and water and the divine.
Thus, virtually every course of water (and there are many) in Portugal and Galiza has an Enchanted Female Moor (I know the name is suspect but I can show you the connections) which was specially strong during the Middle Ages.
So, I do not believe that a people from the desert...

2) You are right. I'm Sorry.

3) Yes, I like por!

4) You're kidding, right?
The Christian Chronicles claim there were about 150.000 people that arrived from North Africa. Probabily, they were some 10.000.
If you think that the entry of TEN THOUSAND AMED MEN into a foreign country 1300 years ago does not constitute a "large army that could be considered a horde"... then I don't know what could.
This, not to mention the numerous hordes that continually crossed the seas with Berber warriors during the next 8 centuries.

Solkhar, my History is not "controled with lines like this". But it should. The History of peoples should be told passionately.

Now, I'll ask you some questions:

1) Yes, "Andalousi" culture was more cosmpolitan in average than Castillan culture. But, why do you say that it was "more cultured"? I can't understand that. And besides, was it more cultured than Castillans or all Europeans? Or was just more cultured than all the Europeans in Hispania?

Are you Dutch or Moroccan?
What does "Andalousi" means?

On what terms do you dispute the unity of the Hispanic people?

Why would Asturians not consider themselves Hispanic? Did you know the Greatest of Asturian Kings styled themselves "Imperator Hispanorum"? (Emperor of All Hispania)

You fail to see that Hispania at large was an overtly Romanised place. Much of our culture is indeed Latin. That's why sometimes we're called Latin. The early Christian masses of the Asturian Kingdom were sometimes referred to as Hispano-Romans. You can't take the Latin/Roman out of the Hispanic because we have internalised Romanity like (the Italians) no other. In a way, we are more Roman than we are European.

Thanks for your suggestion concerining Cathedrals but... I still have not been in Belgium. And no photos can be as majestic as the real thing. I have to go there in person. And I've seen pictures of that Cathedreal but... it's not the real thing...

Afonso Henriques said...


Scottish "Nationalism" is leftist. And I think Bretanha in English is Brettany or something.
You see, that "Nationalism" does not fool no one. The Nationalist Galego Block, is in favour of third world mass immigration for Galiza, for instance.
It's just that they are leftists in all and just asked to be independent to advance more with their leftist agenda.

It's also because of that scam that I am fiercly against regionalisation in my country.
Not because the current state of affairs from Lisbon is great but because it would only strenghten the old school Communists of the South and the Independentists of the North (which has been mistreated as no other region).
(Not that there exists an independentist movement in the North but, you know those guys, they call us moors, think we're sissies and are so fricking tired of us. And with good reason I tell you)

:O There are still whites in Northeastern Brazil!! :O Even blondes :O!! Just kidding...
No, I didn't knew that. But I know that light eyes are called "Dutch Eyes".

"and I just know two things more important than language".
Man, you forgot girls and football XD
But you got it sooo right!

Rocha said...


My family mostly comes from Vila Nova de Gaia so can i call you Moor or sissy? =] I didn't know that people from Lisboa were bichinhas mouras.


Well i'm not so much in Footbal but i'll correct myself now. girls are a must.

Rocha said...


My family mostly comes from Vila Nova de Gaia so can i call you Moor or sissy? =] I didn't know that people from Lisboa were bichinhas mouras.


Well i'm not so much in Footbal but i'll correct myself now. girls are a must.

babs said...

"it will be difficult if you continue to wrongly assume that your children will be indoctinated, your lifestyle threatened or anything like that "

Unfortunately Mr. Solkhar, you might have lived in Morocco for too long and not have witnessed the changes to western society during your absence.
Are you aware that school lunches have been modified to comport with Muslim dietary laws (just like to point out that these are NOT Western Christian dietary laws but are being followed none the less.) The interesting thing about this is that I grew up in a suburb of NYC durings the 50's-70's. One of the greatest concentrations of Jews on the face of the earth. All my school friends were able to deal with the school lunches (even though Jewish dietary laws very closely mimic Islamic laws). Then came the Muslims with their demands. Now, my grandchildren kow tow to Muslim dietary laws. Do you not think this is Muslim indoctrination? Actually changing the diet of American school children???
How about the state of MA that instituted a forced policy for health insurance... except for Muslims!!! What kind of pandering and insanity is this? Non Muslims get the uninsured Muslim population computed into their premiums???
I am sorry Mr. Solkhar, while I would like to agree with you the facts on the ground prove you wrong. Should I have to hide the fact that I bought some duty free alcohol while overseas in order to get a cab driver to take me to my destination while in MN??? Never mind if I happen to be blind and want a "dirty guide dog" to enter the cab with me...
You keep fobbing the significant cultural changes that are taking place in the west on "extremists." This just cannot be true. The so called "Muslim moderate" of which you hail supports and defends the changes taking place in my society.
I resent these changes. I don't really give a damn how you slaughter sheep in your neck of the woods. We do it differently here and, we also eat pigs. Why is our point of view so subservient to yours?
It is Orwellian how our young people are bombarded with "Islam, the religion of peace" while people are blown up on a daily basis, our textbooks are changed and our dietary norms and attire are called into question.
Please Mr. Solkhar, don't tell me I am a paranoid and beyond redemption. I have lived many decades and this Muslim cultural onslought is the greatest wave I have ever experienced.
Young girls are blown up or have acid thrown in their faces in Afghanistan for the crime of educating themselves. Women are chucked off balconies in Turkey and Europe for "honor killings." Women are drowned in Canada for "honor killings." Don't even get me started on FGM... Female medical students in the UK refusing to comport to established sanitary norms by not exposing their forearms to cleansing...
If this were the practice of "a few extremists" the rest of the Muslim population would be marching in outrage. They are not...
If you and I were to debate for eternity I am sure we would not take up arms against each other (OTOH, if you were to refuse to clean your forearms before an operation I would refuse to let you operate on me). I give you full allowance to run your household in a non violent way as I am sure you give me license to run mine. But... when your religion is shoved down my throat I take offense. That is what is taking place in the western world today and it is not pretty.

Afonso Henriques said...

Solkhar, one thing is to rewrite History, another is to look back and spot errors.
We started the discoveries in 1415 with the Conquest of Ceuta. We diverged with some Kings wanting to take the fight into Moroccan plazzas and some others wanting to explore the world.

What I was saying that we could have explored the world and not had desisted of controling our "near abroad". That is, our passage to the Atlantic and eventually control the entry to the Mediterranean with the help of England.
In my view we only had to conquer and colonise Madeira, the Canary Islands, Morocco, Cape Verde and Gibraltar.

That and the consideration that after what North Africa gave us, we could actually have run wild down South as a retribution, which we did not in a large scale.
In fact, the Papacy was very happy with the Portuguese and Spanish penetration in Northern Morocco.
This in the same manner that the United States penetrated Japan after the Japs had taken the war to America during WWII.


You claim that the Andalusians after 800 years were for sure a mix of Hispanics and the muslim invaders. But how come? Are a mix!? How, exactly?

It is undeniable that the muslims left a trace in pretty much everything here but I wouldn't even call it a mix. However, I'd say that the muslim presence was the second biggest influence in Hispanic culture, only after the Romans. But, while considering that the Romans laid a base, they not only were integrated like the Germanic barbarians, they integrated us. It was the Romans that made us Civilised.
On the contrary, the muslims were an outside influence. We defined ourselves in contrast with the muslims. And their influence, while strong was only superficial and met resistance.

Now consider this about Southern Spain. The muslims entered here in 711. They were expelled from all the Peninsula in 1492, when they were expelled of the tiny Emirate of Granada. Here is a compilation of the Reconquista in the Southern half of the Peninsula.
I've listed the year we took back each main city or any main event that may had happened:

Before the XIII century the main centres of Lisbon and Toledo were token. None of each stayed for more than 500 years in muslim hands and it's much more than 500 years that they are Hispanic again.

1085 - Toledo
1147 - Lisbon
1165 - Évora

The XIII was a great century for the Reconquista. Pratically exactly 500 years after the muslim advancement all the Christian Hispanic Nations united and defeated the much more nomerous moors in the Battle of Navas de Tolosa which opened the Reconquest of the Hispanic South. In Capitals are the cities which lie in the Southern cost of Hispania meaning that the Reconquista there was completed:

1212 - Navas de Tolosa
1229 - Badajoz
1230 - Mérida
1231 - Jeréz de los Caballeros
1234 - Beja
1236 - Córdoba
1238 - Valência
1241 - Albacete
1243 - Murcia
1246 - Jaén
1248 - Sevilha
1249 - FARO
1250 - HUELVA
1262 - CÁDIZ

Ever since the second half of the XIII century the Reconquista was finished, resting only the small Emirate of Granada. In a way, 550 years after the muslim rule, most of the Andalusia was already liberated.

1330 - Teba, close to Málaga
1487 - MÁLAGA
1489 - ALMERÍA
1497 - Granada

SOLKHAR, YOU SAYING THAT MUSLIMS CONTROLED ANDALUSIA FOR LONGER TIME THAN THE CHRISTIANS DID AFTER THE RECONQUISTA IS FALSE. And holds only true to three little Spanish provinces that constituted the small Emirate of Granada, namely: Granada, Almería and Malaga which today comprise some 3,2 million inhabitants of the 50 millions who live in the whole Peninsula. And of the 8 million Andalusians of Southern Spain and the million of Portuguese who live in Algarve and Alentejo, the Southern third of Portugal.

All the rest has been ever since the Reconquista Christian for a longer space of time than it had been muslim.

Afonso Henriques said...

Rocha, you "tripeiro" (eater of cow's intestin)!

Watching Eagle said...

Alas, with a disastrous fertility rate of 1.1 (population halving every generation), along with massive migration into Spain by Muslims (backed by Welfare from UAE and Saudi Arabia), [the population is 7% Muslim now] the Sultanate of Andulsia appears to be coming soon. It will likely be part of the Eurabian Caliphate.

By the way, Solkar, can you present your case as to why the Eurabian Caliphate is impossible? I would certainly like to study it.

Solkhar said...


though today I have not much time - I travel back and forth to Europe and my home in The Netherlands all the time, I have a very large extended family base in the regions of Rotterdam and Tilburg.

There are changes and I see them and I am also very unhappy with them, I do not deny that or defend it at all, if not I criticize it.

Remember this, my statements are on the subject of my core religous beliefs being attacked and incorrect statements about Islam. I defend Islam, not Muslims and politics.

The greatest problem in the West is that ultra conservatives infiltrated there in the 1970s when Western governments foolishly played politics with the Muslim World by accepting "political assylum seekers", it is a way of saying we think you are abusers. What they did was accept the unacceptable. Hard liner ultra conservatives from Egypt, Saudi, Pakistan, Iran etc came over and established themselves and they are now the backers of terrorism and these demands for Sharia in the west etc.

Ironically, their demands would not even be looked at in the Muslim World and are laughed off or arrested as dangerous radicals with obsurd views. Remember that for instance they want Sharia but which version? Sharia Courts are not in every Muslim country, not even in most who use secular court structures. These people demand no photos on IDs for their wives and viels in passports that are not accepted in any country - even if they go on the pilgramige to Mecca they must have photos - and so on.

This is a problem, but having a good relationship with good Muslims and Muslim countries is possible and not a trouble. I live a good life here, in fact better than in Holland for many reason, not just that my money does better here. I see issues, it is a developing country, not religous ones.

Solkhar said...

Watching Eegle,

there will be no Eurabia nor a Caliphate because of the following two simple factors:

Who would support it? Under what management and basis?

If there was one united Islamic school of thought and already one united Islamic national consciousness "and" it was subverted by utra-conservatives then there could be an issue. But it is not. So first that has to be achieved before one group could attempt a conflict to make such a thing happen. But as it is more than unlikely and in fact impossible that is enough. A wahhabist controlled caliphate whith which Caliph? Bin Laden? Every Muslim country would reject it immediately. A Shi'ite Caliphate, they are minority and so it will not happen, but Shi'ites will not accept another? Maliki or Hannafis would want theirs etc, etc, etc.

There are already 56 plus Muslim Countries, do you think they would join together? Would they support a conflict in Europe of which they are all invested and committed to?

No, a Caliphate is the pipe dream of ultra conservative militant Islamists whom all the other Muslims laugh at AND right-wingers who need a boogey-man to justify their hard-lines.

Solkhar said...


I know you are young because you gave an event and said so and though that should make no difference, I will say that it shows in your comments about what you think Arabs and "desert people" are like.

Have you ever heard of the Hamam? North Africans and Turks in particular are very clean, Islam demands cleanliness in that five times a day you must wash very well to ensure you are clean to pray. Poverty can distort that but that still does not make such a factor.

Also, do you think that Muslims live in deserts? That even the Arabs were all desert people. There are no cities in the Arab world? The army that invaded Iberia was of Arabs AND Berbers who are mountain people. The main bulk of Arabs were from a tribe that lived in and near Damascus a large historic city. To have a population you have to have water and cities..... think about it a bit harder.

Cathedrals - St Baafs is suprisingly big, you can almost put Notre Dam inside it without touching the roof. Paintings by Rubens in corners ..... it is impressive.

Take care

Afonso Henriques said...

Solkhar, it is AFonso and not ALfonso.

About who's cleaner and not... don't you think ridiculous insisting going that way? Let's not do that.
And I talk on the basis of the average Moroccan and Algerian and Arab I see here.

Solkhar said...

Afonso - sorry about the name spelling, I have a friend here with the other name - Italian though.

Yes going on about cleanliness is rather banal, I say from what I have seen over 22yrs of work and 7yrs living here, in fact as soon as I log-off I am off to the hamam so that I can have all the skin peeling off my back from sun-burns removed.

If you ever do get to go to Belgium and look at Cathedrals, not only St Baafs in Ghent is great, so is the main Cathedral of Cologne - from that same era. I have seen quite a few, Barcelona, Seville and Milan certainly comes to mind. I forget the name, but the one outside of Madrid were the dead from the civil war that is half inside the mountain was incredible.

Then again, but please not this is not a provocation or a comment in any direction, I have been many times in the old Byzantine Cathedral of St Sofia that became the Mosque Aya Sofya. It is now a museum to both religions which is great. Go there, if you can.

babs said...

Mr. Solkhar - I find your comments to be disingenuous. It is not Muslim extremists imported into the west in the 1970's that are causing these changes.
It is the "moderate Muslims" from which you hail that are causing the changes. Do you actually think that 55+ year old men are going to school board meetings to get the diet changed and the textbooks changed in the public schools?
Are these same 55+ year old men interns in the hospital refusing to wash themselves to standards?
No, it is the "moderate Muslim" that aids and abbets this behaviour.
While I appreciate your moderate stance I really think you need to look at the changes in western society and ask yourself who is making this happen because I think the "extremists" while committing the violent acts perpetrated on the west are just a small part of the problem.
The larger problem is that Muslim families immigrate to the west and then expect their way of life to follow. A way of life that has been shown to be a failure, why would they immigate if it wasn't a failure?
Their unwillingness to assimilate is unlike any other immigrant group in recent time. Instead, the "moderates" expect the host culture to accomodate their pathologies.
As I said before, I don't really care how you slaughter your meat but, when you start changing our diet and rewriting our textbooks it becomes an issue. I will go one step further; that is that the Muslim world has done a spectacular job of making any criticism of their culture taboo.
I understand that you strive to seperate your "pure religion" from the effects on the ground. I am just plebian enough to not do that. The impact of your religion is everywhere to be seen in the west. It is very difficult to seperate your point of view from what I see every day.
I think I would have a lot more respect for you if you actively fought against these noxious tendencies.

Anonymous said...

What an educational thread. Thank you all, specially, AMDG and Afonso Henriques.

Solkhar said...


I will disagree, who prepared the groundwork for the attitudes and demands of the people you have spoken about? It is these very people. It is they that are either the clerics or the committes that brought them. It is them that are the most established and thus are in political parties and in local councils.

Interesting how you say the interns in hospitals that do not clean their hands correctly. I am suprised and that tells me that the hospital authorities are not doing their job and just sacking them. See this is the ludicrous situation. My wife is a peadtric surgeon in the number one hospital in Morocco. I know medical clinics very well because my 5yr old was in and out of them from the age of 1 with a serious medical condition. The fact is that what some of these crazed radicals in the west demand are never accepted in the actual Muslim World. They wash their hands here or they are fired, that is clear.

Just like that stupid case in Britain were this Pakistani born police constable with a huge long beard and face like Bin Laden (who insisted that his pants be inside his socks) was awarded damages for being suspended and that other police joked at him by calling him Bin Laden. The reality is that most police forces in the world including in the Muslim World would even accept such a guy as a policeman. I showed my best friend who works sometimes for me here - a retired police commissioner and he just laughed and said how dumb the British must be. Tell him to shave his beard off like police in most of the Muslim world do and stick to uniform and rules or get out.

Getting back to the subject here, there is in the UK, The Netherlands and other western countries an established radical presence that was foolishly let in and they ARE THE ROOT CAUSE of these demands in the west and it shows simply because they ask for things that even the Muslim World do not accept.

Watching Eagle said...


Have you ever heard of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat-al-Islami, and Tablighi Jamaat? Each of these groups has millions and millions of members, and their are many other smaller groups as well. These groups are NOT al-Qaeda, or Hamas, or Hezbollah, and they are mostly non-violent. But they still want to bring back the Caliphate and their understanding of Shariah.

Shariah has four main orthodox Sunni schools of thought, but the differences are relatively minor (to a Westerner). The 15% of "fundamentalists" would support violence to reestablish the Caliphate. The 50% of "strong conservatives" would not support violence, but they would support a peaceful reestablishment of the Caliphate. The 20% of moderate Muslims don't support a Caliphate, and the other 15% don't know or care about it (although the Wahhabis are working hard to reach them). After all, the Caliphate existed until 85 years ago, when the "English agent" Kemal Ataturk broke it up.

I have read that the Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, etc. are much more orthodox than they were 10 or 15 years ago (the war with the Serbs might be different if fought again today).

The pro-Caliphate forces will probably conclude that the West is sabotaging their efforts to reunite the Muslim world. Thus, they will concentrate on gradually the EU into a Caliphate, first, and then trying to extend to Caliphate over present Dar-al-Islam.

With the EU on course to lose 50% of its native population under 45 in the next 50 years, and with 30 Million Muslims in EU-27 now (and at least 50 Million by 2020), the Caliphate in Europe is NOT a pipe dream. Worse, the "governing class" of the EU is appeasing and empowering the "smart and very dangerous clerics" and Marginalizing the moderates. There will also be miserable mismanagement by the "governing class" of affairs in the EU (for the native populations) in the coming years. Under such circumstances, there may even be opportunities for people like Anjem Choudary to play the role of "protector of the native (non-muslim) masses from the oppression of the Leftists".

I give two quotes--

"The conquering of Rome, and Italy and Europe, means that Islam will return to Europe. It is necessary to conquer by war? NO! There is a peaceful conquest."

--Yusuf al Qaradawi

"There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe-- without swords, without guns, without conquests. The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.

I am afraid that Gaddafi and Qaradawi have a much larger following than your Ali guy, who had a talent for original thinking.

Please send me more arguments against the Caliphate.

Evanston2 said...

In reference to the original article, the paragraph about "apostolic" succession is a bit distorted. Most Christians believe that faithfulness to the teachings of the apostles, as recorded in the Bible, makes a church "apostolic." The Roman church can argue about geographical "Sees" forever and find no basis whatsoever for the concept in sacred Scripture, or even deuterocanonical works.

Honestly, that paragraph served little purpose other than pro-Roman propaganda. So a few more observations are in order. Mohammed wrote that christians believe in the Father, the Mother, and the Son. I wonder where he got that impression? Certainly not from the Bible but it is perfectly in tune with the teachings of Rome today. As is compromise with Islam. If resistance to Islam is tethered to the "See" in Rome, good luck, Baron.

Baron Bodissey said...

Evanston2 --

If you had have read some of my earlier writings, you'd know that I'm not a Catholic. And if you read the post itself, you'll notice that I didn't write it.

This is an ecumenical blog.

Solkhar said...

Radical clerics if not strong conservative clerics always will demand the unatainable utopia, that all should be followers. Though even the mos peaceful priest still tells anyhone that if he is not a christian of his faith in the end you are not saved. So of course Yusuf al Qaradawi is going to talk about a world Caliphate.

I do not support even the slightest that the various groups in the west let alone out the west can unite and support each other's concepts of Sharia let alone leadership. They can right now support to a degree because they are all believing they are fighting a common enemy (be that correct or not and how much is propganda for its followers). To give the most basic example, the Allies and Stalin's Soviet Union battles side on side against the Axis .... until a certain point and then it was impossible to continue. Sounds dramatic? Jamat-al-Islami or Wahhabists will never accept a Sharia and a leadership that is not from their own policies to the absolute letter and most of the other groups follow haddiths that those two groups have condemned and false and heretical.

You have also avoided the fact that these groups are not supported by any of the countries in the real and existing Muslim World who practice and live their daily lives.

It comes back down to the point that the claims by a few radical groups' leaders does not represent the Muslim world but fringes and not even sure all their followers. Add to that their popularity is amongst the radicals in the West who can capitalize making a noise and I repeat - asking for something that is not acceptabler or tolerated in the actual real Muslim World.

Solkhar said...

I should add one more interesting factor, I agree (only on this point) with the Egyptian President when he talks about the radicals in the west and the small fringes such as in his country. Let them continue in their noise and stupid demands and cross that line so that the real and present Muslim governments will say enough is enough and one night of bloodshed will finish fanaticism once and for all.

I will try and find the quote when I get time tonight.

Zenster said...

Solkhar: Let them continue in their noise and stupid demands and cross that line so that the real and present Muslim governments will say enough is enough and one night of bloodshed will finish fanaticism once and for all. [emphasis added]

How curious that numerous Westerners, Muslim or no, maintain the exact same concept.

So far as I can see, everything still relies upon how, "one night of bloodshed will finish [Islamic] fanaticism once and for all". Maybe just not in the limited way that most Muslims continue to imagine it might happen.

To date the vast majority of Muslims seem far too complacent with respect to any possibility that they will bear resposibility for how "one night of bloodshed will finish fanaticism once and for all". Quite clearly, this will likely prove to be a lasting and rather deep disappointment for most of them.

The finishing of "fanaticism" will most likely be a more permanent affair than many Muslims can imagine because they continue to resist any concept of how FED UP the Western world is with perpetual Islamic atrocities.

Sean O'Brian said...


You have also avoided the fact that these groups are not supported by any of the countries in the real and existing Muslim World who practice and live their daily lives.

The Wahabbists get funding from Saudi princes do they not? I realise the Saudi Royal family do not want the Wahabbists to gain power in Saudi Arabia but overseas countries are a different story.

Also, as far as you know do the fundamentalists twist the meaning of the Koran (in your opinion) or do they rely solely on the hadiths to radicalise their followers?

-Sean (formerly io'p)

Solkhar said...


Wahhabists are dwindling in support as the Saudi Government is trying to get rid of them.

Recently the last Wahhabist Sharia judge was removed and as you might be aware there are now two female ministers appointed the day after that - showing the symbolic change. They complained of course and were ignored.

There are certain distant members of the Saudi elite - still refered to as princes - but that is also changing - who are linked to their funding but most of their money comes from their own investments, some from illegal activities (counterfeit productions and money laundering) but they are certainly not getting money from the State either in country or out.

There are already a number of "princes" serving time for illegal financing.

FYI, unless on a list of direct royal family, all these princes are no longer allowed to produce new "princes" and so the 2100 princes are a dying group.

Evanston2 said...

Uh, I noticed that you didn't write the article. Couldn't help it after scanning all the back-and-forth comments.

I'm grateful for your reply to me, and recognize that you have better things to do. Still, I consider your point that this blog is "ecumenical" to be an easy out. You routinely provide some sort of editorial comment or amplification (example: the recent "Jackal" subject). You exercise editorial decisions all the time. And if religion didn't have consequences, this blog wouldn't exist. An assertion that the Roman church has a special leadership status in general, and against Islam in particular, is not a casual matter. So the bottom line is that a few paragraphs could have been cut from the original, or you could have qualified the article somehow. Once you post it, it's "yours" because you're the gatekeeper.

You know all this, far better than I. How you communicate is how you lead.

Baron Bodissey said...

Evanston2 --

With all due respect, sir, your remarks are jejune and unnecessary.

I don’t need instructions on how to run my blog, thank you very much. And I am well aware that the blog’s owners are responsible for its posted content.

I have my problems with the Catholic Church, but I don’t share your antipathy to it. That’s your opinion, to which you’re entitled.

The ecumenism which you so airily dismiss is not an “easy out”. It’s a core principle at Gates of Vienna.

This blog, as I have said over and over again, hosts a variety of points of view. I don’t have to agree with a particular post in order to find it pertinent and worthy of inclusion.

I don’t enforce orthodoxy, and I have a broad range of opinion that I find acceptable to publish here. The more ideas that are exposed to view, the more likely it is that something useful and worthwhile will emerge. Most of our readers are intelligent enough to make up their own minds about the value of what they read.

If I were interested in enforcing purity of doctrine and uniformity of thought, I wouldn’t even bother to have a blog. I’d just hang out at Little Green Footballs.

Evanston2 said...

Like I said, "You know all this, far better than I."
I'd also like to repeat that "I'm grateful for your reply to me."

I've read this blog for years, can't recall how long but definitely prior to serving in Iraq in 2004. I minored in Arabic at UVA in the 1980s and always read with interest when Charlottesville was mentioned here. I also took nearly every Arab history and religion class in the syllabus (did not take the Shia Islam class).

I served 22 years in the USMC and retired as a LtCol. I do not mention these things to substantiate my prior comments -- they should stand or fall on their own. You're the expert on blogging, your general purpose, and what you find tolerable or repugnant. So, when you introduced the AMDG article by saying here are "Some excerpts" you obviously know what excerpts you find worthy of publishing.

That said, I do not lack experience or maturity. I'm not trying to snipe at you here, I've benefited from your blog. I tried to give you some (unwelcome) advice on what to leave out.

I quite evidently failed to establish the relevance of the "apostolic" issue as it relates to the current've attributed it to anti-catholic antipathy. Oh well, can't say I'm a fan of Romanism, but I thought my comments were pertinent. Rome's agenda (take the 4th Crusade, for example) can be counterproductive. Still, my comments were ineffective so it was poor writing on my part.

If you read this, there's no need for you to waste further time responding. I'll return to my usual mode of reading articles and moving on.

Evanston2 said...

(This may be a duplicate post: sorry!) Correction: I was in Iraq in 2005. I also smoked dope in the 70s and sometimes it shows.

Amillennialist said...

Luther was neither naive nor malicious; he was pointing out the fact that Christians are not allowed to engage in revenge individually and that the state is responsible for protecting its citizens (Two Kingdoms).