Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Cordoba House and the Myth of Andalusian “Ecumenism”

In response to yesterday’s video about the “Andalusian Spring”, Andy Bostom sends the following article adapted from his forthcoming book Sharia Versus Freedom — The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism.

The Cordoba House and the Myth of Andalusian “Ecumenism”
by Andrew G. Bostom

Feisal Abdul RaufImam Feisal Rauf, “founder and visionary” of the Cordoba Initiative, [1] apparently sees the construction of a triumphal mosque within the 9/11 World Trade Center attack’s zone of destruction [2] as a fulfillment of his vision for Islam in America. As Rauf stated in his 2004 What’s Right with Islam, a work limited to treacly Islamic propaganda: [3]

For many centuries, Islam inspired a civilization that was particularly tolerant and pluralistic. … Great philosophers such as Maimonides were free to create their historic works within the pluralistic culture of Islam.

Rauf envisions this invented past as a model for the future “Sharia-compliant” America he desires. [4]

Cordoba Initiative

The late self-proclaimed “contrarian,” Christopher Hitchens, asserted his distaste for those in charge of the Cordoba Initiative, especially Rauf, characterizing the imam’s utterances about the 9/11 atrocities as “shady and creepy.” [5] Yet even Hitchens upheld the Andalusian myth of Cordoba, calling it: [6]

The site of an astonishing cultural synthesis, best associated with the names of Averroes ibn-Rushd and Moses Maimonides …

Hitchens gleaned this, apparently, from his reading of the pseudo-academic apologetics of María Rosa Menocal’s The Ornament of the World, [7] which he insisted was “the finest recent book on the subject.” [8]

Notwithstanding Hitchens’ uninformed praise, Menocal’s superficial hagiography ignores the early to mid-20th century studies of Miguel Asin Palacios, [9] and Evariste Levi-Provencal, [10] Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq’s 1978 study, [11] and more recently, Jane Gerber’s focused 1994 analysis debunking the “Golden Age” myth in Muslim Spain as: [12]

[The] aristocratic bearing of a select class of courtiers and poets, [which consisted only of] garishly packaged … gilded moments.

Al-Andalus Map

Whitney Bodman, associate professor of comparative religion at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has provided the most egregious misrepresentation of “Cordoban ecumenism.” [13] He invoked it specifically to defend Imam Rauf’s GZM project and to condemn its opponents –who now represent 70% of both the U.S. [14] and New York [15] populations — for failing to understand “ … the difference between the Muslims of al-Qaeda and the Muslims of Cordoba.” [16] Professor Bodman’s warped narrative was punctuated by the utterly ahistorical claim that the purported idyllic interfaith relations and glorious cultural symbiosis of Cordoba were abruptly terminated by the Spanish Catholic Inquisition: [17]

The name “Cordoba House” is significant. It is named after the famed medieval Spanish city of Cordoba where philosophers, mystics, artisans and poets — Muslim, Christian, and Jewish — lived and shared together. … Its libraries were vast, and the translations of Arabic works into Latin changed Europe and Christianity forever. Among the resident luminaries were Maimonides, a noted Jewish intellectual, the poet Ibn Hazm, and Averroes, the Muslim philosopher and mystic. … With the coming of the Inquisition and Christian exclusivism, the brilliance of Cordoba faded, but its significance endures as a vibrant, inter-religious community.

Reinhart Dozy (1820-1883), the eminent Orientalist scholar and Islamophile, wrote a four volume magnum opus (published in 1861 and translated into English by Francis Griffin Stokes in 1913) titled Histoire des Musselmans d’Espagne (A History of the Muslims in Spain). [18] Here is Dozy’s historical account of the mid-8th century “conversion” of a Cordoban cathedral to a mosque: [19]

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

Evariste Levi-Provencal (1894-1956) was the greatest modern scholar of Muslim Spain, whose Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane remains a defining work. [20] Levi-Provencal emphasized 75 years ago a salient feature of “Andalusia” conveniently ignored by its modern hagiographers and apologists of all ilks: the vast extent of jihad slavery, including the aptly named “hideous trade” of eunuch slavery, whose “manufacture” was required to oversee the large numbers of non-Muslim women enslaved in Muslim Spain’s harems. [21]

The population of Caliphate Spain and other Muslim countries in the same period…included a rather large proportion of slaves, both male and female, white and black, of European or Sudanese origin, furnished from several different sources—razzias [jihadist raids] against Christian Spain, the black slave trade, maritime [jihad] piracy, and merchants specialized in the slave trade… Men of servile condition were certainly less numerous in the cities than female slaves. But they were not rare in the countryside, where they led a painful life… They were mainly made captive in Spain itself during [jihadist] expeditions against the Christian kingdoms, especially at the time of al-Mansur, and who couldn’t be bought back by their relatives, either because they had lost race of them or lacked the necessary resources. But it could also happen that these captives were from regions of al-Andalus pacified last, thus at the time of the revolt of Ibn Hafsun, were sold as slaves in Cordoba a significant number of people of free condition, apparently Christians…Muslim Spain was not only a strong domestic market for this trade but also a collection and transit site to other Muslim countries in the Mediterranean basin notably for white slaves and eunuchs. On the latter, about which al-Muqaddasi described in detail the way in which they were castrated…

Levi-Provencal’s additional discussion of Andalusian eunuch slaves, “procured” from captured Slavic populations, notes how extensive their numbers were by the close of Abd al-Rahman III’s Cordoban reign in 961: [21a]

Their number soon became very large. According to [the Muslim historian] al-Makkari [d. 1632], in the reign of Abd al-Rahman III [ending in 961], successive censuses of them in the capital [Cordoba] gave the figures 3750, 6087, and 13,750

Al-Muqaddasi was an Arab Muslim geographer, also alluded to by Levi-Provencal, and believed to have lived from ~945 to 1000 A.D., whose esteemed , “The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions,” first appeared in 988 A.D. His extensive travels took him from northwest Africa to Sind (now a province in Pakistan). Although al-Muqaddasi did not reach the Iberian peninsula, he included, nonetheless, a description of the district of Cordoba, “…because of the many informants who spoke to [him] about it, and gave [him] a very clear account of its character.” [22] Al- Muqaddasi’s account of the main source for the manufacture of white eunuchs in southeastern Spain (“beyond Pechina,” presently a town in Almeria Province)—captured Slavic non-Muslims (Saqaliba)—provides unsparing details of the human gelding procedure itself. [23] A surviving eunuch, whom Al- Muqaddasi interviewed, and referred to as a “learned and truthful man,” apparently experienced the two-stage gelding procedure, described below: [24]

There was disagreement among my informants about how the castration was done. According to some of them, the penis and scrotum are cut off at the same time. Others asserted that the scrotum is cut and the testicles removed, after which a stick is inserted under the penis which is then cut off at the base…When the castration is done, a little pencil of lead is placed in the urinary opening; this is removed during urination, and [is replaced] until the wound heals, so that the hole will not close.

Nine centuries later, circa 1875-1885, A. B. Wylde, “roving consul”, and son of the Head of the Slave Trade Department of the British Foreign Office, provided the following apposite assessment of Islam’s uniquely expansive, and persistent application of eunuch slavery, inflicted, exclusively, upon non-Muslims—perhaps even more “humanely” than it was practiced in the Andalusian “paradise”: [24a]

…Besides being used as harem guards, the better looking Galla [East African Oromo people] eunuchs are used for immoral purposes. I will believe the Egyptians and Turks are sincere in their endeavors to put down the slave trade when they cease to allow eunuchs to appear in public, and when they are not the occupants of the carriage boxes when a pasha’s lady takes her afternoon’s drive. All eunuchs ought to be registered, what number exist now known, and any person in future purchasing a eunuch or found with one in his possession under the age of ten be immediately punished, and the eunuch confiscated…If eunuchs are so essential to the life of the higher classes of Egypt and Turkey they ought to have them manufactured from their own sons. Let it be given out that Achmed or Abdullah has renounced the pleasures of this world and has sacrificed himself for the good of his family, and that will hereafter attend on his father’s wives and concubines. The manufacture of eunuchs is the most revolting part of the many horrors of the slave trade, and no one but a few Englishmen seem to stir to denounce it. Our treaties with Turkey are so much waste paper, and the Turkish pasha chuckles at what he does, and buys his eunuch or slave whenever he requires one in spite of all treaties and promises. I have never seen a eunuch among the Eastern Sudan tribesmen, so they do not make the demand. If the Turkish and Egyptian pasha did not buy the eunuch there would be no demand, consequently no supply. How many more years is this to be allowed to continue, and how many lives have there been sacrificed for the eunuchs that are seen on the Shubra [a large district of Cairo] road any Friday afternoon? Every one of them represent at the very least 200 Sudanese done to death to satisfy the requirements of the wealthy class at Cairo and elsewhere. Say there are 500 eunuchs in Cairo today, 100,000 Sudanese have died to procure these eunuchs; there is no exaggeration in what I am saying, and how can any Egyptian official that owns one be sincere when he is partly the cause of this misery?

Also contra the apologetic gloss of Andalusian ecumenism, and inter-confessional “symbiosis,” Palacios has pointed out that the culture of Muslim Spain was based on the culture of the Islamic East without any connection to the culture of Visigothic Spain. [25] Already by the end of the eighth century, the brutal Muslim jihad conquest of North Africa and of Andalusia had imposed rigorous Maliki jurisprudence (one of the four main Sunni schools of Islamic law) as the predominant school of Muslim law. Al-Muqaddasi’s late 10th century chronicle, for example, records: [25a]

The Muslims here declare: We know nothing but the Book of God and the Muwatta [The Beaten Path—a book of legal maxims taken from the Traditions, and the basis of Malik’s system of jurisprudence] of Malik. Should they detect a Hanafite or a Shafiite [two other major schools of Sunni Islamic law] they expel him; but if they light upon a Mutazilite or a Shia or anyone heterodox such as these, they may kill him.

Edward Colbert’s 1962 analysis summarized Palacios’ views of how the imposition of Malikism impacted Muslim Spain, specifically, the emirate of Cordoba. [26]

As a result of ruthless repression Spain became, in the view of [Miguel] Asin [Palacios], the most orthodox of Islamic countries. Heresies current in the East were but faint echoes in Cordoba, where orthodox Malekites [Malikites] held control of the intellectual and religious life. In their intolerance against the introduction of new ideas the Malekites were supported by the state. Theirs was the only school of canon law permitted, and they regarded as heresy attempts to analyze their dogma. They believed that if the emirate of Cordoba was to be preserved the most rigid dogmatic unity was necessary…The intolerance of certain Cordoban rulers and the Malekite sect, which would deter Moslems from the study of Christian culture, should be included as a reason for the lack of a connection between the culture of Visigothic Spain and that of Moslem Spain.

This earlier assessment (made in 1914) of Palacios, was subsequently confirmed by Levi-Provencal, who wrote, in summary: [27]

[W]e should already note that the early establishment of the Malikite doctrine in Spain and the total acceptance by the whole Muslim population of strict Malikism, which fiercely opposed innovations, would preserve the Umayyad kingdom from the religious quarrels that had already begun to create terrible divisions in the rest of the Muslim world. Certainly al Andalus was not the only place where heterodox movements and offenses against the faith were punished with the latest severity. Nonetheless, in virtue of the dogmatic unity imposed by Malkism on Iberian soil, repression would always be immediate and with no room for discussion. No class of society was spared. Verdicts were based on the implicit approval of the prince who could not falter without inviting at the same time reprobation from religious leaders and from the ignorant masses that were his subjects. The Andalusian Muslim state appears, from its earliest origins, as defender and champion of a jealous orthodoxy, increasingly rigidified in blind respect for an immobile doctrine that suspected and condemned in advance the slightest attempt at rational speculation.

For example, the contemporary scholar J.M. Safran discusses an early codification of the rules of the marketplace (where Muslims and non-Muslims would be most likely to interact) written by al-Kinani (d. 901), a student of the Cordovan jurist Ibn Habib (d. 853) — “known as the scholar of Spain par excellence,” who was also one of the most ardent proponents of Maliki doctrine in Muslim Spain: [28]

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

Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq provides these concrete illustrations of the resulting religious and legal discriminations dhimmis suffered, and the accompanying incentives for them to convert to Islam: [28a]

A learned Moslem jurist of Hispanic Christian descent who lived around the year 1000, Ahmed ibn Said ibn Hazm (father of the famous mid-eleventh-century author Ibn Hazm) gives glimpses, in several of his juridical consultations, of how the freedom of the “infidels” was constantly at risk. Non-payment of the head-tax by a dhimmi made him liable to all the Islamic penalties for debtors who did not repay their creditors; the offender could be sold into slavery or even put to death. In addition, non-payment of the head-tax by one or several dhimmis – especially if it was fraudulent – allowed the Moslem authority, at its discretion, to put an end to the autonomy of the community to which the guilty party or parties belonged. Thus, from one day to the next, all the Christians [or Jews] in a city could lose their status as a protected people through the fault of just one of them. Everything could be called into question, including their personal liberty… Furthermore, non-payment of the legal tribute was not the only reason for abrogating the status of the “People of the Book”; another was “public outrage against the Islamic faith”, for example, leaving exposed, for Moslems to see, a cross or wine or even pigs.

…by converting [to Islam], one would no longer have to be confined to a given district, or be the victim of discriminatory measures or suffer humiliations…Furthermore, the entire Islamic law tended to favor conversions. When an “infidel” became a Moslem, he immediately benefited from a complete amnesty for all of his earlier crimes, even if he had been sentenced to the death penalty, even if it was for having insulted the Prophet or blasphemed against the Word of God: his conversion acquitted him of all his faults, of all his previous sins. A legal opinion given by a mufti from al-Andalus in the ninth century is very instructive: a Christian dhimmi kidnapped and violated a Moslem woman; when he was arrested and condemned to death, he immediately converted to Islam; he was automatically pardoned, while being constrained to marry the woman and to provide for her a dowry in keeping with her status. The mufti who was consulted about the affair, perhaps by a brother of the woman, found that the court decision was perfectly legal, but specified that if that convert did not become a Moslem in good faith and secretly remained a Christian, he should be flogged, slaughtered and crucified…

But the major event in the 9th century history of the Cordoban emirate, and as Edward Colbert argues, “…perhaps the most critical event in the history of Moslem rule in Spain…”, was the brutal persecution of Cordoba’s Christians underway by 850 during Abd al-Rahman III’s reign, and continuing through the initial part of the reign of Muhammad I. [29] Noting that the Muslim empire of Cordoba was not firmly established until after the reign of al-Hakam I (796-822), Colbert summarized the salient, enduring features of this oppressive era, and why it merits examination: [30]

[B]ringing into the open a fundamentally irreconcilable incompatibility between Moslem rule and Spanish Christian subjects…[t]he persecution began about 850, and the revolts that sprang up through the realm immediately thereafter were superseded only by continual warfare against the Christian forces of Leon and Navarre in the tenth century. Despite exploits of military prowess and works of culture produced in eras of strength or peace after the ninth century, the empire of the caliphate of Cordoba was disintegrating for many years before it came to an end. In such a light, the persecution in which the Mohammedan rulers shed the blood of their Christian subjects before the eyes of their Christian brothers living in religious freedom in the north deserves attentive investigation.

Notwithstanding Professor Bodman’s allusion, [31] Ibn Hazm (d. 1064) was hardly just a Muslim “poet,” nor was he a paragon of ecumenism. He was a viciously antisemitic Muslim theologian whose inflammatory writings helped incite the massive pogrom against the Jews of Granada which killed 4000, destroying the entire community in 1066. [32] And Averroes — despite his “philosophical studies” — was also a traditionally bigoted Maliki jurist who rendered strong anti-infidel Sharia rulings and endorsed classical jihadism for the very same Almohad ruler (Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur) who banished him for several years (albeit reinstating Averroes as a court physician shortly before the jurist’s death in 1198). [33] Moreover, what Maimonides escaped in the 12th century — disguised as a Muslim — was nothing less than a full-blown Muslim Inquisition under the Muslim Almohads. [34]

The jihad depredations of the Almohads (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations in Spain and North Africa. This devastation — massacre, captivity, and forced conversion — was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, Muslim “inquisitors” (antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries) removed the children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators.

Ibn Aqnin (1150-1220), a renowned philosopher and commentator born in Barcelona, also fled the Almohad persecutions with his family. He escaped, like Maimonides, to Fez. Living there as a crypto-Jew, he met Maimonides, and recorded his own poignant writings about the sufferings of the Jews under Almohad rule.

Ibn Aqnin wrote during the reign of Abu Yusuf al-Mansur (r. 1184-1199), four decades after the onset of the Almohad persecutions in 1140. Thus the Jews forcibly converted to Islam were already third-generation Muslims. Despite this, al-Mansur continued to impose restrictions upon them, which Ibn Aqnin chronicles. [35]

Expanding upon Jane Gerber’s thesis about the “garish” myth of a “Golden Age,” [36] the late Richard Fletcher (in his Moorish Spain) offered a fair assessment of interfaith relationships in Muslim Spain and his view of additional contemporary currents responsible for obfuscating that history: [37]

The witness of those who lived through the horrors of the Berber conquest, of the Andalusian fitnah in the early eleventh century, of the Almoravid invasion — to mention only a few disruptive episodes — must give it [i.e., the roseate view of Muslim Spain] the lie. The simple and verifiable historical truth is that Moorish Spain was more often a land of turmoil than it was of tranquility. … Tolerance? Ask the Jews of Granada who were massacred in 1066, or the Christians who were deported by the Almoravids to Morocco in 1126 (like the Moriscos five centuries later). … In the second half of the twentieth century a new agent of obfuscation makes its appearance: the guilt of the liberal conscience, which sees the evils of colonialism — assumed rather than demonstrated — foreshadowed in the Christian conquest of al-Andalus and the persecution of the Moriscos (but not, oddly, in the Moorish conquest and colonization). Stir the mix well together and issue it free to credulous academics and media persons throughout the western world. Then pour it generously over the truth … in the cultural conditions that prevail in the west today the past has to be marketed, and to be successfully marketed it has to be attractively packaged. Medieval Spain in a state of nature lacks wide appeal. Self-indulgent fantasies of glamour … do wonders for sharpening up its image. But Moorish Spain was not a tolerant and enlightened society even in its most cultivated epoch.

But far more alarming than the corrosive apologetics about medieval Muslim Spain are the expressed ideas and tangible behaviors of “moderate” Muslims actively promoting modern Spain’s re-Islamization. For example, events surrounding the completion of the new Granada mosque were marked by celebratory announcements on July 10, 2003, of a “return of Islam to Spain.” [38] At a conference entitled “Islam in Europe” that accompanied the opening of the mosque, disconcerting statements were made by European Muslim leaders. Specifically, the keynote speaker at this conference, Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, a Spanish Muslim leader, encouraged Muslims to cause an economic collapse of Western economies (by ceasing to use Western currencies and switching to gold dinars). The German Muslim leader Abu Bakr Rieger told Muslim attendees to avoid adapting their Islamic religious practices to accommodate European (i.e., Western Enlightenment?) values. [39]

Writing in the immediate aftermath of the Madrid 2004 train bombings, Middle East Studies scholar Mordechai Nisan discussed the contention by the “moderate” founder of the Institute of Islamic Education, M. Amir Ali, that medieval Spain had actually been “liberated” by Muslim forces, who “deposed its tyrants.” [40] Nisan extrapolated this ahistorical narrative line, and pondered: [41]

Reflecting on March 11 [2004] as Muslim terrorism killed 200 and wounded 1,400 in Madrid, one wonders whether one day this event will also not be commemorated as a liberating moment.

We must also ponder whether Imam Feisal Rauf, whose 2004 What’s Right with Islam was published and marketed in Muslim Malaysia as Seruan Azan Dari Puing WTC: Dakwah Islam di Jantung Amerika Pasca 9/11 (“The Call of Azan from the Rubble of the World Trade Center: Islamic Da’wa in the Heart of America Post-9/11”), [42] considers the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11 a similarly “liberating” occasion.


1. “The Cordoba Initiative”
2. Frank Gaffney. “AP Gets its ‘Facts’ Wrong: Fact Checking Agenda Journalists”, Big, August 19, 2010
3. Feisal Abdul Rauf. What’s Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West, New York, 2005, p. 2
4. Andrew Bostom. “Imam Feisal Rauf—Sharia Uber Alles!”, The American Thinker, September 6, 2010
5. Christopher Hitchens. “Mau-Mauing the Mosque”,, August 9, 2010
6. Ibid.
7. Maria Rosa Menocal. The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain, New York, 2002; See also, Andrew Bostom, “False Impressions”, The National Review Online, July 25, 2002
8. Hitchens, “Mau-Mauing the Mosque”
9. Miguel Asin Palacios. “Ibn Massara yo su escuela, origins de la filosofia hispanomusulmana,” Obras escogidas I, Madrid, 1946, pp. 21ff, cited in Edward P. Colbert, The Martyrs of Cordoba (850-859): A Study of the Sources, Washington, DC, 1962, pp. 390-395
10. Evariste Levi-Provencal. Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane. 3 Volumes, Paris and Leiden, 1950-1952/1967
11. Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq. La Vie Quotidienne dans l’Europe Medievale sous Domination Arabe, Paris, 1978
12. Jane Gerber. “Towards an Understanding of the Term: ‘The Golden Age’ as an Historical Reality”, in The Heritage of the Jews of Spain, edited by Aviva Doron, Tel Aviv, 1994, p. 15
13. Whitney Bodman. “To heal the nation’s wounds, embrace the spirit of Cordoba”,, August 26, 2010 (
14. “Poll: Most Say ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Is Inappropriate”,, August 25, 2010
15. Carl Campanile, Tom Topousis. “70% of NYers demand: Move the GZ mosque!”, The New York Post, September 1, 2010 (
16. Bodman, “To heal the nation’s wounds, embrace the spirit of Cordoba”
17. Ibid.
18. Reinhart Dozy. A History of the Muslims in Spain, translated by Francis Griffin Stokes, London, 1913.
19. Ibid, p. 239
20. Levi-Provencal. Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane. 3 Volumes
21. Ibid, Vol. 3, pp. 208-213 (English translation by Nidra Poller)
21a. Evariste Levi-Provencal. “Sakaliba”, in E.J. Brill’s First Encyclopaedia of Islam, Leiden, 1913-1936, Vol. 7, p. 77
22. Al-Muqaddasi. The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions, translated by Basil Collins, Reading, UK, 2001, pp. xxii-xxiii, 194
23. Ibid, pp. 201-202
24. Ibid, p. 202
24a. Cited in, R.W. Beachey, A Collection of Documents on The Slave Trade, New York, 1976, pp. 66-67; Wylde’s calculation of the horrific mortality associated with this human gelding procedure, with further loss of life when eunuchs were transported under harsh conditions across large swaths of territory to their ultimate destination, comports with scholarly analyses of this “hideous trade.” See the discussion in Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, Amherst, New York, pp. 92-93, regarding the extent, persistence, and mortality associated with eunuch slavery in Islamdom.
25. Palacios, as discussed in Edward P. Colbert, The Martyrs of Cordoba (850-859): A Study of the Sources, pp. 390-391, 393
25a. Al-Muqaddasi, The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions, p. 195
26. Palacios, as discussed in Edward P. Colbert, The Martyrs of Cordoba (850-859): A Study of the Sources, pp. 390-391, 393
27. Levi-Provencal. Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane, Vol. 1, pp. 149-150 (English translation by Nidra Poller)
28. J.M. Safran. “Identity and Differentiation in 9th Century al-Andalus”. Speculum, 2001, Vol. 76, pp. 582-583; At note 38, p. 583. Safran states,

al-Kinani grew up in Cordoba and was a student of Ibn Habib’s before traveling east to pursue his studies in Egypt, Baghdad, and Hejaz. He settled in Qayrawan, where he wrote numerous works…

For a discussion of Ibn Habib, see A. Huici-Miranda, “Ibn Habib, Abu Marwan ‘Abd al-Malik b. Habib al-Sulami”, Encyclopedia of Islam, Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs, Brill, 2006/2007.
28a. Dufourcq, La Vie Quotidienne dans l’Europe Medievale sous Domination Arabe, pp. 50, 194,196. English translation by Michael J. Miller in Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, Amherst, NY, 2005/2008, pp. 56-57.
29. Colbert, The Martyrs of Cordoba (850-859): A Study of the Sources, p. 167
30. Ibid.
31. Bodman, “To heal the nation’s wounds, embrace the spirit of Cordoba”
32. Andrew Bostom. The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, Amherst, NY, 2008, pp. 100-101, 335-339
33. Roger Arnaldez. “Ibn Rushd, Abu ‘l-Walid Muammad b. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Rushd, al-Hafid.” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman; , Th. Bianquis; , C.E. Bosworth; , E. van Donzel; and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2011. Brill Online. Brown University, November 8, 2011; See Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, pp. 147-160, and 253 for illustrative examples the writings of Ibn Rushd/Averroes on jihad; and from Dufourcq’s, La Vie Quotidienne Dans L’Europe Medievale Sous Domination Arabe, pp, 206-207 (English translation by Michael J. Miller), see this example of a ruling by Ibn Rushd/Averroes recommending harsh punishment of a Christian neo-convert to Islam who appeared to have reverted, clandestinely, to his original faith:

A record has been preserved to the present day, describing a house in twelfth-century al-Andalus that was denounced by authentic Muslim as a den for clandestine Christian worship: it belonged to a mouladi [a neo-convert to Islam] who seems to have been a Muslim only officially. One of the rooms extended in a sort of rotunda or arched recess that faced East and in which an oil lamp was suspended; moreover, no “bench” was found in this alcove, which proves that it did not serve as a “bedroom”; finally and most importantly, “the remains of melted candles” were found there, along with a pole that ended in a cross, and on the other hand still-unused candles, a four-foot-high lectern, books in Latin and “little round, flat wafers of dry bread bearing the imprint of a seal”. When this discovery was made, the famous Hispano-Arab philosopher Averroes was consulted; he declared that it was fitting to inflict severe corporal punishments on the master of that house, who was guilty of “great indiscretions”, but he added that nothing more could be done to this mouladi; the death penalty could not be pronounced unless some believers testified that they had seen him participating in Christian worship… The dreadful thing would be for such a situation to become known.
34. Bostom. The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, pp. 102-104, 507-515
35. Ibid.
36. Gerber, “Towards an Understanding of the Term: ‘The Golden Age’ as an Historical Reality”, pp. 20-2
37. Richard Fletcher. Moorish Spain, Berkeley, CA, 1993, pp. 171-173.
38. Mark McCallum. “Muslim call to thwart capitalism”, BBC, July 12, 2003
39. Ibid.
40. M. Amir Ali. “Jihad Explained”, # 18, The Institute of Islamic Information & Education
41. Mordechai Nisan. “The ethos of Islam”, The Jerusalem Post, April 12, 2004. Public access version available here:
42. “One Book, Two Titles: Imam Faisal Abd Al-Rauf’s Book Acquires New Title In Indonesian Translation”, The Middle East Media Research Institute, August 23, 2010


wheatington said...

“The nation of Ishmael persecutes us severely and devises ways to harm us and to debase us. None has been able to reduce us as they have. We have done as our sages instructed us, bearing the lies and absurdities of Ishmael. We listen but remain silent. In spite of all this, we are not spared from the ferocity of their wickedness and their outbursts at any time. On the contrary, the more we suffer and choose to conciliate them, the more they choose to act belligerently toward us.”

Yeah, it sounds as if he enjoyed the tolerance of Islamic tule.

Anonymous said...

"Averroes ibn-Rushd and Moses Maimonides..."

What apologetic fools!
Maimonides was jewish and had to flee spain because of the islamic intolerance (his "Epistle to Jemen", deals with the Jews there who were persecuted by Shia Muslims).
And Ibn-Rushd (as Averroes known to the West) may had some merrits but he also was a warmonger against all Nonmuslims in the name of Jihad.
A fact that gets usually blended out.

Darayvus said...

One aspect of Umayyad Spanish history I've been alerted to, is that we have so little contemporary data on how it started. Imam Malik was a Madinese and his Muwatta - in Laythi's recension - didn't even arrive in Spain until the early 200s / 800s.

What, exactly, was "Islamic law" in Spain from 722-822 AD? (Did this even have a meaning back in Iraq and Arabia?) Was it just Awza'ism transported from Syria?

Why did the local Christians, Basques excepted, not rebel?

All the Arabic and Hispano-Latin books written in that century - where are they? Where are the Qur'anic commentaries? Where are the lawbooks? Why are they so hard to find?

I suspect that the Malikites had a big book cookout...

Anonymous said...

Yep Islamic Spain was a hell hole for non-believers. Yet it's not the Muslims pushing this much among Europeans and Americans, it's educated, secular, Leftists who are pushing the absurd lie of Islamic Spain being some sort of paradise.

Without the Left both here in the U.S. and in Europe, there would be no Islamic threat. The Left opened our collective borders to these savages over the course of four decades and will fight to keep them open. They are the ones that write and enforce the laws to protect them and fight those who oppose them.

As for Rauf, he would be a nobody if weren't for the secular liberal elite of New York and Washington D.C. along with the MSM who have feted and fawned over him and his agenda.

bewick said...

I'm no historian but I find the article totally fascinating and it rings seriously true - insofar as one can trust the "historical" accounts written during the last 1400 years. Hell I can no longer even trust "historical" accounts of recent events because I see crap being written about events I actually experienced.
Last year I watched a "documentary" on Channel 4, about the "golden age" of Islam in Spain.
It was presented by a female Oxbridge history graduate, possibly a professor, who glorified the achievements of Islam in Spain. The "tolerance" of the musselmen was particularly emphasised. Only the Muslims suffered when they were expelled by those nasty ungrateful Christians. Jews and Christians had only had their lives enhanced by muslim rule for 700 years.
She wasn’t indigenous English but probably not a muslim given her “inappropriate” dress. (for muslims that is). Her accent was “cut glass” English so probably born here to a rich family.
The beauty of the architecture shown was spectacular and I cannot deny that - but at what human cost one wonders?
I've never visited Spain, or studied history, but what she was saying, and interviewed Spanish professors were saying , simply didn't ring true.
I was able to seize on one statement which I knew could not be true. That is that it was muslims who brought irrigation to Spain
No, the ROMANS did – as they did throughout most of Europe. Where I live I can actually see that by driving 5 miles. The Spanish had unfortunately allowed the roman irrigation systems to fall into disuse since the 5th Century. The Muslims restored them for their own benefit and seriously taxed the indigenous for their use claiming half of crops. She did at least say that but suggested that the indigenous Spanish were still better off as a result.
I made a complaint on that one fact alone.
Guess what? Even the venerable Channel 4 weren’t interested.

Anonymous said...

What happened in the North of Europe at the time of the Cordoba occupation?

I think there is an important detail worth noticing, the battle for Christianity at Stiklestad on 29 July 1030, which was won by Olav Haraldsson, later St Olav.

Anonymous said...

If someone has a special interrest in this, I recommand Paul Fregosis "Jihad in the West".
Many informations about the violent muslim history of Spain and beyond.

And for German speaking readers, Ivo Andric, "Die Entwicklung des geistigen Lebens in Bosnien unter der Einwirkung der türkischen Herrschaft".
This one deals with the Turks on the Balcans

1389 said...

Linked here:

The Re-Islamization of Spain