Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Islam in Spain

Ferdinand and Isabella at the Gates of Granada
From Yahoo:
When the ominous maps first appeared two years ago, residents of Barcelona scoffed, if they noticed the tabloid news about their home at all. Drawn by ISIS, the maps showed Spain and Portugal in black, signifying territory controlled by the jihadi terror group. And the maps came with a promise: “We will take Spain back” — by 2020, ISIS said.

The threat centered on the long-ago empire of al-Andalus — the Islamic caliphate that began when Muslim warriors from North Africa, known as Moors, arrived on Spanish soil in the early eighth century, quickly running out the ruling Visigoths and extending Muslim rule across the Iberian peninsula, including Barcelona, on the Mediterranean coast close to present-day France.

Historians are enamored of Moorish culture and art, but for many Spaniards, the al-Andalus era is the nadir of their country’s history. The caliphate’s influence in southern Spain, Andalusia, where it lasted nearly eight centuries, is evidenced in both the region’s name and in stunning Islamic architecture such as Granada’s Alhambra palace. But the eighth-century Muslim occupation in the Northeast region of Catalonia lasted but 80 years and is nearly as forgotten as the chilling ISIS maps.

The maps suddenly seemed relevant again on Thursday, when, on one of Barcelona’s most-photographed and tourist-traveled sites, the wide pedestrian way called La Rambla, a white rental van jumped the curb and raced along the median walkway, swerving back and forth on a lethal ride that created a stampede of terrified tourists. Thirteen people were killed and scores injured in the attack, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.

Not long after, five suspected jihadis were killed by Spanish police in Cambrils, some 75 miles to the southwest, after they drove into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring seven. The attackers reportedly wore explosive belts, and police believe the original plan for La Rambla may have included explosives as well. Even with three alleged perpetrators arrested — the suspected van driver, 18-year-old Moussa Oukabir, whose Facebook page is said to have expressed a desire to “kill the unbelievers,” was still being sought Friday morning — the Rambla rampage raises troubling questions. How can authorities secure a pedestrian-friendly city famous for fiestas in huge squares and for streets like La Rambla, flanked by flower stalls and terraces serving up pitchers of sangria, where at any given moment, thousands of tourists can be found strolling along the tree-lined median of land that leads to the famous statue of Columbus pointing over the sea? (Read more.)
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2 comments:

julygirl said...

I have found it interesting how terrorists single out people who are unarmed. Cowardice of the highest order! ...and they consider themselves brave worriers of Allah.

Helen Davis said...

Read the Myth of the Andalusian Paradise.

I address the Myth of the Muslim,paradise in my upcoming alternate history Isabella Unashamed with my co author Carolina Casas.