Of Possible Interest: The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

ZZZ Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

At The Gates of Vienna, I review The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise by Dario Fernandez-Morera.  One of the indispensable resources of advocacy for multiculturalism and diversity is the fairy-story of the Muslim-Spanish utopia, a religiously pluralistic, philosophically open-minded, and creatively rich society that prevailed in the Spanish Peninsula for eight hundred years until the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella completed the Reconquest at the end of the Fifteenth Century.  Fernandez-Morera has appropriated the scholarly equivalent of the main, sixteen-inch, nine-gun battery of an Iowa-class battleship to demolish this fairy tale.  The demolition is a joy to behold.  I urge all readers of The Orthosphere to buy Fernandez-Morera’s book, and indeed to buy multiple copies to distribute to their friends.

I offer an excerpt:

The basic vocabulary of the Andalusian Myth reflects a mendacious agenda, as Fernández-Morera takes care to point out in his opening chapter, on ‘Conquest and Reconquest.’  In modern accounts of Spain under the Muslims, scholars of the departments invariably refer to a geographical entity called Iberia.  In a detailed summary of the historical background to the centuries of Muslim hegemony, Fernández-Morera reminds his readers that the Romans, who were active in the peninsula from the time of the First Punic War, never named it by any other name than Hispania.  That same Hispania became a province of the Roman Empire, providing it with emperors and artists over the centuries, and playing a role within the imperial structure in the west only second to Italy.  When the imperial administrative structure in the west broke down in the Fourth Century, and the Visigoths inherited the Roman mantle south of the Pyrenees, they too still called the region Hispania.  Spain had thus been Spain to its inhabitants for nearly a thousand years before the Muslim invasion.  After the invasion, Spain remained Spain to its Spanish-Christian inhabitants, as Fernández-Morera demonstrates by bringing into evidence documents from the period in question.  The academic use of the term Iberia conveniently deletes these facts, just as it deletes the spiritual resistance of the actual Spaniards (the Spanish-Roman-Christian-Gothic people of Spain) during the relevant centuries to their militant overlords of another religion.  Fernández-Morera therefore prefers the terms ‘Spain, medieval Spain, and Islamic Spain’ to Iberia.  Indeed, Fernández-Morera characterizes both the Muslim attempt, beginning already in the Eighth Century, to replace standing Latin toponyms with Arabic labels and the modern recursion to that replacement-nomenclature as imperialistic gestures.  He writes that medieval Spaniards ‘considered the lands conquered by Islam to be part of Spain, not part of Islam, and therefore they did not use the term Al-Andalus, the Muslim name for the subdued region.

9 thoughts on “Of Possible Interest: The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

  1. Pingback: Of Possible Interest: The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise | Aus-Alt-Right

  2. The Reconquista … a successful campaign of decolonisation by the indigenous peoples of the iberian peninsula against muslim imperialists and colonisers.

  3. Pingback: Of Possible Interest: The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise | Reaction Times

  4. If you live in Andalucía for any amount of time, you realize that the hostility towards Islam as an invading force remains to this day. “Morisco” is still used as an insult, Muslims are viewed with suspicion and the history is taught in schools as a dark time for Spanish people. From contemporary accounts, one of the main reasons pork is so prized and people keep whole hams in the open in their kitchen was as proof they were neither Muslim or Jewish. The locals never got along with the invaders, whatever British and American “historians” claim.

    • The other reviewer writes that Fernandez-Morera “in speaking of the cultural successes of the Spanish Muslims… deprecates their accomplishments as drawing on the native Christian culture and utilizing the Christian scholars and bureaucrats that served the emir or caliph.” he also writes that, in F.M.’s book, “One culture (the Visigoth) is praised for borrowing from its (Roman) hosts, while the other (Islamic) is denigrated for borrowing from its (Christian) hosts.”

      Neither statement is the case. F.M. criticizes the Muslims in Spain for destroying Romano-Spanish-Gothic-Christian civilization; he praises that civilization for being a continuance of Roman-Christian civilization. F.M. also writes that innovations attributed to the Muslims have their origin, in fact, in Romano-Spanish-Gothic-Christian civilization.

      As for organization: The book seemed well-organized to me. These kinds of remarks are typical of academic pettiness. Let the other reviewer write his own book about the topic.


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