Sunday, October 30, 2011

Muslims in Spain

Peace be upon you all and the Mercy of God and His Blessings....
I recently attended a wonderful lecture on Muslims In Spain, and it left me with an overload of information and emotion...

You have to understand a few things about me first. I was raised on a farm that was just outside the hustle and bustle of the city. My mother is part Cherokee Indian and Irish; my father is mostly Irish. My father traces his roots back to Daniel Boon, a honorable and decent man who lived in the hills of Kentucky, but it doesn't make him or me who we are, it is just our lineage.... My grandmother on my mothers side was the owner of a private Montessori school, and my mother taught there for over twenty years. I was raised in a family of educators.

So, we can say that I'm American as apple pie and as southern as it gets, and no one can accuse me of being some foreigner whose trying to spread mishap or lies! I am a person that loves my country and cherishes its' constitution, so when I attended this lecture, I was shocked and amazed at some of the historical incorrectness that I was brought up believing.

Before I get into all of the historical and intellectual aspects of this post, I want you to get a sense of who I am and how I was raised...
I accepted Islam in 2003, after a lot of deep soul searching and researching my religious beliefs in depth, with a clear heart. I had been spiritually nourished as a child, with a minimum of 2 days a week in and out of church and church functions. My grandmother insisted on my being baptised as a Catholic, but my mom instilled in me a Non-Denominational belief system. Speaking in tongues was not uncommon in my house. So, it was not out of ignorance or need for a belief that caused me to reform my understanding in God, but rather the clarity and intellectual nature of the Quran. Who can argue with doing as Jesus did and said, "Hear oh Israel! You God is One God! Worship Him with all your heart!", and this is the core Islamic Creed "There is nothing worthy of worship except for God, and He is one and without partner"....

This lecture on Muslims in Spain is something that all non-Muslims should take a peak at, and if you like, look a while longer into the subject. See how it was that the Muslims interacted with the West, ages before what we have been taught. Educate yourself and let not the system of Education educate you! Did you know that the first recorded words spoken, when Christopher Columbus met the first Native American, were As-salamu 'alaykum (Peace be upon you), the Muslim greeting. That to me, as an American and as a Muslim, is quite frankly.... AMAZING!

Didn't hear that one in History class, did you?! Didn't think so, neither did I!

I don't want these series of post to be about Muslims In Spain, so much as I do about the amazing things that we as Americans, who are bombarded with Anti-Islamic propaganda and negative images and ideas about Muslims, should really familiarize ourselves with, in order to see that there is a campaign to place a seal over our eyes, ears and minds, when it comes to who the Muslims really are and what they have donated and are owed, when it comes to so much of what we have.
Let us start with the idea and notion that Muslims are evil people, whose agenda is to take over the world by means of the sword, after all, it is what we are being taught...

"Muslim Conquest of Spain"
"By 700 CE, with famine in the Toledo, strife among the aristocracy and chaos throughout the peninsula, the Visigothic kingdom was falling apart. This paved the way for the Muslim invasion of 711, which set Spain’s destiny quite apart from the rest of Europe.

Following the death of the Prophet (saaw) in 632 CE, the Arabs had spread through the Middle East and North Africa, bringing Islam with them. According to myth, they were ushered onto the Iberian Peninsula by the sexual exploits of the last Visigoth king, Roderick. Ballads and chronicles relate how he had seduced the young Florinda, daughter of Julian, Visigothic governor of Ceuta in north Africa: and how Julian sought revenge by approaching the Muslims with a plan to invade Spain. In dull fact, Julian probably just wanted help in a struggle for the Visigoth throne.
In 711 CE Tariq ibn Ziyad, the governor of Tangiers, landed in Gibraltar with around 10,000 men, mostly Berbers (indigenous North Africans). He had some of Roderick’s Visigoth rivals as allies. In the same or following year in the Cadiz province, Roderick’s army was decimated and he is thought to have drowned as he fled. The Visigothic survivors fled to the north of Spain, and within a few years, the Muslims had taken over the rest of the Iberian Peninsula bar a few areas in the Asturian Mountains bordering France. "

So, it was NOT the desire to kill all the non-believers?!!! Hum, interesting, because that is not how the major news networks and others have portrayed them. It was, in fact, to revenge the rape of a woman, and once there, the Muslims were asked to stay by the Jews and inhabitants of the many cities that lie inside the borders of this vast empire. Once the Muslims had attacked a city and chased away the opposing armies, they armed the citizens, Jews, and others and gave them the keys to the city. What barbarianism these Muslims displayed! After all, they could have been more like the nice Catholics,when they would seize back the Country of Spain a few centuries later, and gave the people these options: 1. Leave and remain Muslim, but you can NOT take you kids! 2. Stay, but you have to convert! No, they gave them weapons and the keys to the city and let them keep their religion! Absolutely amazing!

 I wonder were my high school history teacher is right now? I would like to ask her a few questions about what she had taught me concerning this topic!
You know, the more I look into this whole "Islam was spread by the sword thing", I end up loving the Muslims more and more... A tid bit of info for you history buffs: check out this lecture>

The Crusades- Islamic Perspectives lecture #19

ReleasedMay 25, 2011
Historian Carole Hillenbrand is among the world’s top scholars of the Crusades. Professor Emerita of Islamic History at the University of Edinburgh, her work focuses on the Islamic
In it we learn that the Christian Knights and fighters actually roasted and ate some of the Muslims that were killed, in the recapturing of Jerusalem. Its much less gory than what we are learning about the Muslims, who fought the fighters and left the others in peace......
Did you know that once the land became the Muslims, it became one of the most tolerant societies in history? So much so that they were mentioned in "A Letter Concerning Toleration", by John Locke, in 1689.

 It was also a place of Scholarship. One could go there and acquire vast knowledge on medicine, theology, philosophy, alchemy, poetry, language, engineering, etc.. The list of subjects that one could go and study is quite astounding. This was because of what is known as The Translation Period, where books were gathered from around the world and translated into Arabic, the language that had come to be the language of the world, so many had thought, but it was at least the language that was used by all academia in the east and of the Islamic Empire of that period. So, many scholars and intellects would travel from far and wide to the Muslim lands, and they would team up with other scholars, all speaking Arabic and their native language, and translate the knowledge found from the four corners of the world. This allowed others to come and become students of one subject or another, giving rise to the Renaissance Period that we all know so well.

What is so bad about that! They could have did like the Catholic Popes and banned reading and writing for all, except for the clergy! Whats wrong with those Mozlems!

Part II Coming Soon!
Please feel free to coment!
Yusuf Sneed

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