This is the great house of tolerance from whence the Cordoba Initiative derives it’s name.
I’m sure it is a great source of pride for Muslims. It’s an affront to any Christian, Jew and non-Muslims in general.
He may as well call it the Andalusia Initiative.
Andalusia, also known as al Andalus, was the name of that part of Spain conquered by the Muslims. A piece of the old World of Christians and the West forcibly taken by Islamic Warriors and later retaken by the Spanish. Cordoba was the greatest of the Cities of Andalusia. Al Andulus was under Muslim rule from about 711 until 1492.
Why would a tolerant and peace loving Sufi name his initiative after this era of history. An era of Muslim domination of Christians and southern Spain. It seems that he is reliant upon the ignorance of the masses to not understand the slight of his name selection.
although Professor Ormsby does offer some muted criticism of Abdul Rauf’s hagiography of Muslim Spain, once again, this critique grossly understates the historical reality and the alarming depth of the distortion:
For example, he heads up a venture called the Cordoba Initiative, inspired by a rose-colored view of medieval Islamic Spain. Of Muslim Cordoba, a city of great and subtle culture but one also riven by ethnic and tribal rivalries, he writes: “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.” He sees this as a model for the future but fails to note that Maimonides, the great Jewish philosopher who wrote in Arabic, had to escape Cordoba with his family when a mere teenager because of the intolerance of the Almohad Dynasty, moving first to Fez and finally settling in Cairo.
From the two greatest modern historians of Muslim Spain, Evariste Levi-Provencal8 and Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq,9 we learn the following, all of which occurred before (and thus in addition to) the 12th century Almohad persecutions alluded to by Professor Ormsby:
Iberia (Spain) was conquered in 710-716 AD by Arab tribes originating from northern, central and southern Arabia. Massive Berber and Arab immigration, and the colonization of the Iberian peninsula, followed the conquest. Most churches were converted into mosques. Although the conquest had been planned and conducted jointly with a faction of Iberian Christian dissidents, including a bishop, it proceeded as a classical jihad with massive pillages, enslavements, deportations and killings. Toledo, which had first submitted to the Arabs in 711 or 712, revolted in 713. The town was punished by pillage and all the notables had their throats cut. In 730, the Cerdagne (in Septimania, near Barcelona) was ravaged and a bishop burned alive. In the regions under stable Islamic control, Jews and Christians were tolerated as dhimmis – like elsewhere in other Islamic lands – and could not build new churches or synagogues nor restore the old ones. Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discriminatory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, the Christian peasantry formed a servile class attached to the Arab domains; many abandoned their land and fled to the towns. Harsh reprisals with mutilations and crucifixions would sanction the Mozarab (Christian dhimmis) calls for help from the Christian kings. Moreover, if one dhimmi harmed a Muslim, the whole community would lose its status of protection, leaving it open to pillage, enslavement and arbitrary killing.
By the end of the eighth century, the rulers of North Africa and of Andalusia had introduced rigorous Maliki jurisprudence as the predominant school of Muslim law. Three quarters of a century ago, at a time when political correctness was not dominating historical publication and discourse, Lévi-Provençal, wrote:
The Muslim Andalusian state thus appears from its earliest origins as the defender and champion of a jealous orthodoxy, more and more ossified in a blind respect for a rigid doctrine, suspecting and condemning in advance the least effort of rational speculation.10
Al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year, sometimes twice a year, raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts, even as far as the Aegean Islands, looting and burning as they went. Many thousands of non-Muslim captives were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousand of Christian slaves, brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women. Society was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the mullawadun converts and, at the very bottom, the dhimmi Christians and Jews.
The Andalusian Maliki jurist Ibn Abdun (d. 1134) offered these telling legal opinions regarding Jews and Christians in Seville around 1100 A.D.:
No…Jew or Christian may be allowed to wear the dress of an aristocrat, nor of a jurist, nor of a wealthy individual; on the contrary they must be detested and avoided. It is forbidden to [greet] them with the [expression], “Peace be upon you’. In effect, ‘Satan has gained possession of them, and caused them to forget God’s warning. They are the confederates of Satan’s party; Satan’s confederates will surely be the losers!” (Qur’an 58:19 [modern Dawood translation]). A distinctive sign must be imposed upon them in order that they may be recognized and this will be for them a form of disgrace.11
Ibn Abdun also forbade the selling of scientific books to dhimmis under the pretext that they translated them and attributed them to their co-religionists and bishops. In fact, plagiarism is difficult to prove since whole Jewish and Christian libraries were looted and destroyed. Another prominent Andalusian jurist, Ibn Hazm of Cordoba (d. 1064), wrote that Allah has established the infidels’ ownership of their property merely to provide booty for Muslims.12