Refutation: Islamic Spain was not Utopia for everyone
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
After some serious academic insight brought about by a 3 minute youtube video, self appointed Christian Scholar and “Biblist” Chessie Edwards has decided to launch an attack on common sense and basic history. This time he focuses his ignorance towards Islamic Spain. So what exactly does he state?
It is said the victors get to write history, well boy who ever said that never lied!
His argument here is that most of the history of Islamic Spain (Al Andalus) comes from Muslims, therefore it is innately biased towards Islam. What he seems to not know, is that the blood thirsty, genocidal barbarian Christian soldiers who invaded Al Andalus destroyed almost all Islamic written literature:
In 1490 a number of Hebrew Bibles and other Jewish books were burned at the behest of the Spanish Inquisition. In 1499 about 5000 Arabic manuscripts were consumed by flames in the public square at Granada on the orders of Ximénez de Cisneros, Archbishop of Toledo. – (The Spanish Inquisition, Henry Kelsea, London, White Lion, 1965, p.98) and (Eastern Wisdome and Learninge. The Study of Arabic in Seventeenth-Century England, G. J. Toomer, Oxford, 1996, p.17)
Which by all means was sanctioned by the Bible:
When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. – Bible : Acts (19) : 17 – 19.
Mr. Edwards goes on to state:
From the “Dawah” camp unsuspecting non-Muslims are bombarded with the wonders of Islamic Spain, and how Islam produced this tolerant advanced super Middle ages Atlantis. This is some how suppose to convince the public that Shariah improves societies it enters(instead of dragging them down to 3rd worldliness), and Islam is the true religion for mankind…see look at its track record. Yea…lets do that let’s look at the track record and see if Islam produced the Utopia the Dawahist claim.
This entire post thus far, has not used a single Islamic source! I’ve used the Bible and a few European authors, yet Mr. Edwards insists that it’s Muslims who wrote the history of Islamic Spain, whereas we can see that after his own brothers in Christian bred intolerance burned Islamic and Jewish books, they themselves recorded the great history of Islamic Spain. So what do Jews say about Christian Spain?
The position of the Jews became even less favorable when King Recared (586-589), for political reasons, abjured the Arian faith before the third Council of Toledo and entered the Catholic Church. In order to confirm the converted Arians in the Catholic faith and to win the clergy over to his side, he endeavored to prevent the Christians from associating with the Jews, who, as the allies of those opposed to his conversion, might have proved dangerous opponents of his religious plans. At the Council of Toledo in 589 he issued an order to the effect that Jews might not acquire or own Christian slaves, nor fill public offices, nor have intercourse with Christian women; the circumcision of a slave or of a Christian was punished with confiscation of property. Recared did not, however, succeed in enforcing his laws. The Arians, recently converted to the Catholic faith, were true allies of the Jews, who were oppressed like themselves; and the Jews were therefore protected by the Arian bishops and by the independent Visigothic nobility. The successors of Recared were, as a rule, better disposed toward the Jews, King Sisebut being the first who endeavored to enforce fully the laws enacted by Recared. He ordered that the Jews, on pain of the loss of their property, should release all their Christian slaves within a short time, and that in the future they might not hold any slaves.
Under the Visigoths.
Sisebut decreed the first persecution of the Jews in Spain. Whether he was influenced by Emperor Heraclius, or whether the clergy brought it about, is unknown, but he ordered that within a year all Jews should either submit to baptism or leave the Visigothic kingdom forever. Many Jews fled; but the greater number, more than 90,000, saved their property and their homes by embracing Christianity, though at heart they remained Jews. On account of this forcible conversion the king was severely criticized by Isidor of Seville, the most learned Spaniard of the time. During the reign of Suintala the fugitives returned to their country and the baptized Jews openly professed Judaism again. Forced to abdicate his throne, Suintala was succeeded by Sisenand. The latter was the tool of the clergy, and at the fourth Toledan Council (633) he ordered that the children of baptized Jews should be taken from their parents and given to Christians or to the cloisters for education. He ordered also that all Jews who had been forcibly baptized and who practised Jewish ceremonies should be given away as slaves.
The council called at Toledo by Chintila not only confirmed all the previously enacted anti-Jewish laws, but it ordained that no Jew might remain in the country, and that in the future every king at his accession should promise on oath to proceed with the greatest severity against all relapsing baptized Jews. The pseudo-Christians presented to the king a written statement declaring that they would live as good Catholics; but under Chindaswind they openly returned to the fold of Judaism. King Receswind was more severe than any of his predecessors. He ordered that Jews who practised the rites of their faith should be beheaded, burned, or stoned to death. The Jews of Toledo promised (653) to observe the Church regulations, including that ordering them not to abstain from eating pork. Nevertheless, they continued to observe the Jewish festivals and to ignore the Christian, so that the clergy at length insisted upon their celebrating the Christian holy days under the supervision of the Church authorities.
The severe measures taken by the Visigothic civil officers as well as by the councils were mainly directed against the secret Jews, whom the clergy considered more dangerous than the unbaptized ones; the latter were, therefore, left in peace. Erwig, however, attempted to force these to accept baptism, threatening them with the confiscation of their property or with expulsion if they refused; he pronounced the severest punishments for the reading of anti-Christian writings and for practising the rite of circumcision. All the anti-Jewish laws proposed by this king were accepted by the twelfth Toledan Council, presided over by Archbishop Julian of Toledo, who had published several writings against the Jews, although he was himself of Jewish origin and kept a Jewish servant.
Egica, the son-in-law and successor of Erwig, in the beginning of his reign showed himself mild toward the Jews. When, however, they allied themselves with the Arabs, who threatened the kingdom (which already was suffering from internal disturbances), the king confiscated all their property, and, in order to render them harmless for all time, declared all Jews, baptized or not, to be slaves and distibuted them as gifts among Christians. Jewish children over seven years of age were taken from their parents and similarly dealt with (end of 694).
The Arrival of the Moors.
Witiza, the son of Egica, is described sometimes as a paragon of virtue and sometimes as a veritable fiend; the latter description of him is the one generally given by ecclesiastical writers. Lucas de Tuy, Archbishop Rodrigo, Ambrosio de Morales, Juan do Mariana, and other Spanish historians hold that this king, to further heretical ends, misused the previous decisions of the councils, that he recalled the exiled Jews, granted them privileges, and even entrusted them with public offices. Whether this be true, or whether, as is more probable, he oppressed them as his predecessors had done, it remains a fact that the Jews, either directly or through their coreligionists in Africa, encouraged the Mohammedans to conquer Spain and that they greeted them as their deliverers. After the battle of Jerez (711), in which African Jews fought bravely under Kaula al-Yahudi, and in which the last Gothic king, Rodrigo, and his nobles were slain, the conquerors Musa and Ṭariḳ were everywhere victorious. The conquered cities Cordova, Malaga, Granada, Seville, and Toledo were placed in charge of the Jewish inhabitants, who had been armed by the Arabs. The victors removed the disabilities which had oppressed the Jews so heavily, and granted them full religious liberty, requiring them to pay only the tribute of one golden dinar per capita (Adolf do Castro, “Historia de los Judios en España,” pp. 33 et seq.; Rios, “Hist.” i. 106 et seq.; G. van Vlooten, “Recherches sur la Domination Arabe,” Amsterdam, 1894).
Chilling isn’t it? The praise of the Muslims by the Jews, whereas the crimes of the Christians are recorded in Jewish history, not Islamic. What does Mr. Edwards have to say to this? We leave him in his ignorance, but we leave our readers, not with a 3 minute YouTube video, appealing to the fallacy of, “appeal to emotion”. We’re going to leave you with a full length documentary on Islamic Spain by actual academia:
It was not a Utopia for everyone, under Christian theocratic genocide.
wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]