The left-wing Antifa are shaping up to be the new Taliban terrorist squads of the West. Uniformed in black shirts and bandanas these mobs of savages are on a statue-and-monument-destroying binge. Worse. They want to erase history as easily as their patron saint Hillary Clinton erased thousands of classified emails using Bleachbit software to ‘prevent recovery’ of her emails. The last functioning key on their computer is the DELETE button.
The foot soldiers of ISIS are doing just the opposite. While they are destroying other people’s history they are busy remembering and recovering their own Islamic history, as they see it. They are returning to the past with a vengeance, pressing the COPY and PASTE button on history to transfer and impose it on the present.
So it hardly came as a surprise when ISIS claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Barcelona that killed 15 people and nearly succeeded in blowing up the Sagrada Família church.
That Islamic terrorists would target Spain was entirely predictable. In 2015, Spain refused to participate in the allied bombing campaign in Syria, hoping that it would lower the risk of being targeted by ISIS. It was in vain. Much of Islamic terrorism is rooted in history, not in present-day ‘social justice’ issues which leave lefties with their knickers in a twist.
In 2014, the Islamic State released maps showing Spain in black. The maps came with a warranty. ‘We will take Spain back.’ In 2014, Spain had the highest number of concluded court proceedings for terrorist offences in the EU, according to a Europol report. Jihadists produced a video vowing to liberate al-Andalus from non-Muslims and add it to the Islamic Caliphate.
The Spanish-speaking jihadist says it all. ‘I declare: Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.’ Osama bin Laden’s most frequently repeated lament was for the ‘tragedy of Andalusia.’ Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to parts of Spain, Portugal and France that were conquered and ruled by Muslim invaders from 711 to 1492.
The West has forgotten the past, pretending that it can never happen again. Secular Europe sanitises history; religious Muslims sacramentalise history. They know that the present can only be built on the foundations of the past. To sanitise the past you have to deliberately distort history and conform it to the present-day canons of multicultural tolerance.
Before there was fake news, there was fake history. One of the most prevalent distortions of history is the fabrication of the Andalusian paradise where Muslim rulers sang ‘all you need is love’ and strummed lutes in harmony with Christians and Jews. President Barack Obama himself promoted this myth in full fortissimo. ‘Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition.’
The then Prime Minister Tony Blair painted a romantic picture of Islamic tolerance in an allusion to Muslim-governed Spain. ‘The standard-bearers of tolerance in the early Middle Ages were far more likely to be found in Muslim lands than in Christian ones.’ The Wall Street Journal perpetuated this corrosive hagiography by singing the praising of the ‘pan-confessional humanism’ of Andalusian Spain.
Apologists for Islam keep harping on the ‘Golden Age’ of La Convivencia (‘The Coexistence’) that allegedly characterised seven centuries of Muslim rule in Spain under the label of between Muslims, Christians and Jews.
This fairytale of this interfaith Eden has now been roundly debunked by Darío Fernández-Morera in his recent book The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain. Muslim Spain ‘was never an example of peaceful convivencia,’ writes Morera.
On the contrary, the history of Islamic Spain begins with violent conquest. Morera digs up primary sources which ‘chronicle the brutality with which the Muslims subjugated the Catholic populations.’ ‘From then on, the best rulers of al-Andalus were autocrats who through brute force kept the peace in the face of religious, dynastic, racial and other divisions,’ he writes.
Abd al-Rahman I (734-788) demolished the ancient Catholic church of Cordoba and on its ruins built the great mosque. Catholics had their property confiscated and many were enslaved or forced to pay tribute – money that went towards financing the embellishment of Islamic Cordoba. There were mass deportations of Catholics from Malaga and Granada to Morocco and Muslims wiped out the entire Catholic population of Granada in the twelfth century.
Under his successors Abd al-Rahman II and Muhammad I, Catholics in Cordoba were killed for preaching against Islam and newly constructed churches were destroyed. Abd a-lRahman III, the most “tolerant” of the Muslim rulers, took the city to heights of splendour but kept ‘the lid on the boiling cauldron that was multicultural al-Andalus.’ He was succeeded by Al-Mansur who burned down Barcelona in 985, enslaving all those he did not kill.
As far as racial tolerance or slavery goes, the enslavement of black Africans was an intrinsic feature of the culture of Muslim Andalusia. Ibn Battuta, travelling through Africa, claimed that blacks were stupid, ignorant, cowardly and infantile – attitudes that were firmly entrenched all over the Islamic world.
Yes, Jews were favoured to some extent, not because of ‘tolerance’ but because they were strategically useful to the Islamic conquerors and were small in number. Nevertheless, the Jews remained subjugated as dhimmis. In Granada in 1066, rioting Muslim mobs had assassinated the rabbi and destroyed the entire Jewish community, killing thousands. ‘Muslim suspicion of the Jewish community lasted until the end of Islamic rule,’ observes Morera.
A majority of Andalusian Muslims followed the Maliki School of Islamic jurisprudence. A sample of its teachings can be found in the writings of jurist In Abdun (Seville, c.1100). ‘A Muslim must not act as a masseur to a Jew or Christian; he must not clear their rubbish nor clean their latrines. In fact, the Jew and the Christian are more suited for such work.’
Even the cultural achievements of Andalusia Islam is a work of spin doctoring historical genius. ‘Musicians must be suppressed, and, if this cannot be done, at least they must be stopped from playing unless they get permission from the cadi, wrote Ibn Abdun. The so-called Arabic music from Spain turns out to be the music of Catholics under Muslim rule since Catholic could adapt ‘Muslim’ sounds to the music for the Mass – and so create mozarabic music.
So why are multiculturalists desperate to erase real history and replace it with fake history? Morera suggests it might have to do with ‘Spanish self-hatred, the obverse of what once was Spanish self-aggrandizement.’
It is patently absurd for Western multiculturalists to sanitise history on the basis of self-hatred. First, it is fictitious and false. Second, our Islamic enemies refuse to accept our version of fake history or accept it only to further their expansionist purposes. Third, the history of Islamic occupation of Andalusia and other lands conquered by Islam is theologically significant. Islamic theology is rooted in Islamic history.
In classical Islam, all land conquered from the enemy becomes the God-given property of the Muslim community forever. ‘Lands once conquered by Islam, if subsequently lost to non-Muslims, remain holy to Islam, and it is imperative that such lost lands be restored to the rightful rule of the umma by jihad,’ writes Islamic scholar Patrick Sookhdeo in his tour de force Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam.
The new Islamist extremists of Spain and the West can chill out and celebrate. Their history-hating allies on the Left are doing the job for them. Lee Harris begins his book Civilization and its Enemies with the words, ‘The subject of this book is forgetfulness.’ He ends with a question: ‘Can the West overcome the forgetfulness that is the nemesis of every successful civilization?’ The freedom and the future of the West depends on our ability to remember and recall history, not to rewrite and rub it out.