Posted: 19 Jun 2013
Recently,in 2010,Stanley G. Paine,American expert
on Spanish civilization and history,published a
scholarly analysis of Spanish history.
His book was first in Spanish and then
in 2011 published in English as “Spain:
a Unique History”.
Chapter 2 of his book is “Spain and Islam:The Myth of Al-Andalus” and here I cite his conclusions textually so that nobody can say a paraphrase of mine does not represent him.The only modification of mine is that I enumerate some of his statements.
Muslim Spain was a political failure
“The greatest failure of Al-Andalus was political.Generally speaking,there has been little political development in Islamic societies.Since Islam originated:
1.In the commercially sophisticated Middle East,commercial and property law in the sharia (My note:Islamic law) was at first more advanced than that of the West
2.But criminal law remained harsh and primitive,as it stands even in the twenty-first century.
The sharia enshrines traditionalism and the status quo,underwriting a tribal and clan structure of Middle Eastern and Andalusi society,which precluded political evolution.The reinforcement of clan and tribal structures hardened the segmentation of Andalusi society,in which political loyalty was owed primarily to lineages,not to institutions.Classical Islamic thought had little theory of the state or of political development and representation.
To a greater degree than most other systems,Islamic states rest on military and police power.The theory of Islamic society posits a kind of utopia but, as is the norm with utopias,in practice tends to foster despotisms.”
Muslim Spain was full of revolts in its history
“Those who propose a picture of Andalusi society and institutions as “tolerant” and “convivientes” altogether fail to explain why Andalusi history was wracked by revolts of all kinds:
1.By Berbers,by Muwalladun,sometimes even by the Arab elites.
2.Though the Christian mozarabs were generally,but not always,passive,the only sector of this highly divided and segmented society that did not rebel were the Jews,the smallest religious minority,totally lacking in military power.
3.The only periods in which there were no internal revolts were the reigns of the most strongly despotic rulers,who governed with an absolutely iron hand and distracted many of their followers by their numerous attacks against the Christian principalities.”
The despotic nature of the rulers of Muslim Spain
“1.Throughout the history of Al-Andalus rebellions of all kinds were repressed vigorously,often with the utmost violence.
2.Cordoban rulers never hesitated to carry out full-scale massacres of their subjects,without the slightest pretext of judicial procedure.
3.This further explains why,once the central caliphal state collapsed early in the eleventh century,most of Al-Andalus found itself increasingly defenseless,by comparison with the Christian principalities.
4.Under the decentralized,rights-centered,
Spanish Christian rulers also had to quell numerous rebellions,but this was due above all to elite dissidence,not to ethnic segmentation.Their principalities were much more successful in building polities over the long run,with evolving structures of law,social rights,and a certain degree of broader participation and representation.”
About the so-called “Peace” Muslim Spain had with its neighbors
“Despite the persistence of military violence for eight centuries,relations between Spaniards and Andalusis were extremely complex.
1.The entire period was punctuated by numerous official truces,though none lasted for more than a few years.
2.For centuries,Islamic orthodoxy held that there could be no regular peace between the “House of Islam” and the “House of War”,that is,the entire non-Islamic world,which was to remain under assault until it had been forced to submit to Islam(the word Islam itself means “submission”).
3.It was soon deemed appropriate,however,to desist from military operations if an adjoining non-Islamic power was willing to pay some form of tribute.
4.In the Iberian peninsula,whenever practical reasons moved the ruler of the Islamic state(Umayyad,Almoravid or Almohad)to a temporary truce with one or more of the Christian kingdoms,the customary bearing of minor gifts that accompanied any embassy was interpreted by means of a legal fiction as payment of “tribute.”"
Here the author had in mind chapter 9:29 of the Koran
1.Who believe not in Allah and the Last Day
2.And do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger(Note:Muhammad)
3.Such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book(Note:the Book is the Bible,here it is Christians and Jews)
4.Until they pay tribute and have been humbled.”
About alliances between Muslims and Christians
“The frontier between the two civilizations was hostile and violent,but also highly permeable.
Spanish Christians developed a kind of familiarity of both military and political relations with the Muslims unknown beyond the Pyrenees.Rules of war often thus obtained surprised,even shocked,European Christians.When the latter helped the Aragonese to seize Barbastro in 1063,they proposed to subject the Muslim inhabiants to violent extorsion,rape,slavery and even death,but were restrained by the Aragonese,who told them that was simply not the way things were done.Roughly speaking,Spanish Christians seemed to have accepted Koranic rules of warfare,which allowed for such practices only if a city refused to agree to terms.
1.In times of truce both Christian and Muslim rulers,as well as opposition factions on both sides.did not hesitate to enter political deals and even cross-cultural alliances.
2.On occasion,Christian rulers sought and obtained Muslim military assistance against either internal rebels or rival princes in other kingdoms,as did dynastic or aristocratic factions who rebelled against them.
3.Andalusi rulers employed Christian mercenaries in their semiprofessional armed forces and also made use of Christian rebels against the northern kingdoms.By the eleventh century,as the Cordoba caliphate weakened,Muslim rulers or rebel factions sought and obtained Christian military intervention on their own behalf.
4.Although cross-cultural political and military alliance was not the norm,neither was it frequent,but simply one feature of a long and complex relationship that was always ultimately adversarial,but part of the time was peaceful and occasionally might even be complementary,rarely even intimate.”
Was it a unique situation?
1.Nothing uniquely Spanish about all this,for such practices have existed at times in every region in which Christian and Muslim states lived in conditions of at least relative equilibrium.
2.Even crusader states in Syria and Palestine sometimes formed such alliances
3.As much later did European governments with the Ottoman empire.
4.None of that meant that either the Crusaders or the European states ever modify their primary identity,or were involved in any marked “cultural hybridity”.”
He also states:
“It is calculated that during the early modern period as many as 150,000 Spaniards were taken prisoner by Muslim pirates”
Note:Here the author refers to the period after 1492 and cites as his source:
Martinez Torres,”Prisioneros de los infieles:Vida y rescate de los cautivos cristianos en el mediterraneo musulman(siglos XVI-XVII)/Prisoners of the infidels:Life and rescue of Christian captives in the Muslim Mediterranean(16th-17th centuries)“(2007)
About Christian reaction to Muslim intolerance
“Spanish society has been:
1.Criticized for not fully reciprocating Islamic “tolerance”,but that in fact is exactly what it did.
2.The Spanish did not respond to the fanatical intolerance of Almoravids and Almohads in equivalent terms,but throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries,and after that,maintained the traditional system of discriminatory toleration.
3.In that period they were more,not less,tolerant than the Muslims,and occasionally even allowed public prayers from Mudejar minarets.
4.In Castilian law,oaths sworn by members of all three religions at one time had equal legal value,and in early Castilian law the death penalty for killing a Jew was equivalent to that for killing a Christian,even though the long-term trend was for increasing judicial discrimination.It was precisely this situation of having maintained the system of partial toleration that placed Spanish society in a historically unparalleled situation.”
But there is the even more extraordinary case of the Jews in Poland
“The Golden Age of the Jews in Poland,from 1334-1795,about 450 Years”
The Bibliography at the end of Chapter 2 (Spain and Islam:The Myth of Al-Andalus)of Stanley G. Paine’s “Spain:a Unique History”(2011)
1.E. Karsh,”Islamic Imperialism:A History”(2006)
2.P. Fregosi,”Jihad in the West:Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries”(1998)
3.P.Damian Cano,”El Islam y los pueblos ibericos/Islam and the Iberian peoples”(2004)
4.C.Vidal Manzanares,”Espana frente al Islam:De Mahoma a Ben Laden/Spain face to face with Islam:from Muhammad to Ben Laden”(2004)
5.I.V.Gaiduk,”The Great Confrontation:Europe and Islam through the Centuries”(2003)
6.M.Bonner,”Jihad in Islamic History:Doctrines and Practice”(2006)
7.R.Collins,”The Arab Conquest of Spain,710-797″(1989).
It is the second volume of the multivolume “Blackwell’s History of Spain”,edited by John Lynch.
8.P.Chalmeta,”Invasion e islamizacion:La sumision de Hispania y la formacion de Al-Andalus”(2003)
9.T.F.Glick,”Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages:Comparative Perspectives on Social and Cultural Formation”(1979)
10.P.Guichard,”De la expansion arabe a la Reconquista:Esplendor y fragilidad de Al-Andalus”(2002)
It shows the complete predominance of oriental culture and forms.
12.A.G.Chejne,”MuslimSpain:Its History and Culture”(1974)
13.M.G.S.Hodgson,”The Venture of Islam:Conscience and History in a World Civilization”,3 volumes(1974)
14.M.G.S.Hodgson,”Rethinking World History:Essays on Europe,Islam and World History“(1993)
15.J.Van Ess,”The Flowering of Muslim Theology”(2006)
16.S.Gouguenheim,”Aristoteles y el Islam:Las raices griegas de la Europa cristiana/Aristotle and Islam:the Greek Roots of Christian Europe” (2009)
17.J.Vernet,”El Islam y Europa“(1982)
18.R.Segal,”Islam’s Black Slaves:The Other Black Diaspora“(2001)
19.J.H.Sweet,”The Iberian Roots of American Racist Thought”
It is about the influence and example of Islam in the early development of slavery among the Spanish and Portuguese.
20.R.C.Davis,”Christian Slaves,Muslim Masters:White Slavery in the Mediterranean,the Barbary Coast and Italy,1500-1800″(2003)
21.E.G.Friedman,”Spanish Captives in North Africa in the Early Modern Age“(1983)
22.M.A.Garces,”Cervantes in Algiers:A Captive’s Tale“(2002)
23.B.Lewis,”Race and Slavery in the a Middle East:An Historical Inquiry“(1992)
24.B.Vincent,”La cultura morisca”,Historia 16 18(October 1977),pages 78-95.
25.L.Cardaillac,”Moriscos y Cristianos:Un Enfrentamiento polemico/a polemical confrontation(1492-1640)”(
26.E.K.Neunoven,”Los arabismos del espanol en el siglo XIII/Arabisms in Spanish in the 13th century”(1941)
27.E.Alfonso,”La construccion de la identidad judia en el Al-Andalus en la Edad Media/The contrstruction of Jewish Identity in Al-Andalus in the Middle Ages“,El Olivo 23.49(1999),pages 5-24.
28.Martinez Torres,”Prisioneros de los infieles:Vida y rescate de los cautivos cristianos en el mediterraneo musulman(siglos XVI-XVII)/Prisoners of the infidels:Life and rescue of Christian captives in the Muslim Mediterranean(16th-17th centuries)“(2007)
29.A.Torrecillas Velasco,”Dos(Two) civilizaciones en conflicto:Espana en el Africa musulmana:Historia de una guerra(war) de 400 anos(years)(1497-1927)(2006)
30.M.Arribas Palau,”La relaciones hispano magrebies en el siglo XVIII”(2007)
31.S.Fanjul,”Al-Andalus contre Espana:La forja del mito/Al-Andalus against Spain:the Making of a Myth”(2000)
31.S.Fanjul,”La quimera de Al-Andalus/The Al-Andalus Chimera”(2004)
Video where David Wood argues against Shabir Ally’s(the Best Muslim Debater) Claims that Jesus was Crucified but Survived
Posted: 19 Jun 2013
Shabir AllyDavid Wood is a Christian,ex-atheist,who has a blog critical of Islam,it is answeringmuslims.org:
Muslims have to believe that,whether Jesus was crucified or it was an illusion,he still never died.It is because the Koran says so:
“And because of their saying:
“We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger.”
They killed him not nor crucified him,
but it appeared so to them;
and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt; they have no knowledge save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain”.
Here is the program