Al-Andalus Redux?


Earlier today, I blogged an interesting London Telegraph article about bin Laden's possible fixation with Spain's 15th-century banishment of the Moors.

On the topic of the Islamic experience in Spain, here's a piece that Reason's Charles Paul Freund wrote in December. Addressed to Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the ostensible mastermind of Al Qaeda's terrorist activities, it is a blistering reminder of who really undermined the glories of Moorish Spain:

But then the attempted destruction of comparatively successful Muslim societies by a lunatic fringe is an old story, isn't it? Osama bin Laden's very first words directed to the West, as the Taliban were being overthrown, evoked lost Islamic Spain. But the glories of Spain's Umayyads were destroyed not by European Inquisitors; they were ruined by armies of North African proto-Islamists who were as angry and as destructive and as crazy as you are. Cordoba and Toledo and Granada achieved their golden ages not through the efforts of people like you, but despite them. In the course of the struggle between an Islam of achievement and grace, and an Islam engulfed by righteous futility, have you never noticed that even Muslims prefer to forget people like you and to remember the other side? Even you and Osama, it seems, attempt to co-opt precisely the Islamic history you are attempting to negate.

Read the whole piece here.