To Sabotage the Future, Lie about the Past

I am in awe of The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain. Author Dario Fernandez-Morera, a Northwestern University Professor and Harvard PhD, argues that elite scholars are peddling a myth – that Islamic Spain, c. 711 AD -1492 AD, was a paradise. Fernandez-Morera’s job is to expose historical realities. The main text is 240 pages. There are 95 pages of notes, a bibliography and an index. It was published in February, 2016 by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

This book is an intellectual boxing match. The author shreds not just one opponent, but a series of intellectual bigots, prostitutes and manipulators of the common man. Fernandez-Morera’s biceps gleam as his lightning footwork and peerless preparedness dazzle. Our hero risks much, from hate mail to non-person status.

  • I immediately bought this book. Need the intellectual ammunition.

    • Waffle

      I have earmarked this book for future reading. At last, someone has packaged what it took me a couple of years and a few history courses to figure out. For me, the whole thing started with a not-so-simple question: When did Jews become Christians?

      IMHO, too many intellectually lazy Jews have bought the old wive’s tale about the “golden days’ in medieval Spain and think this utopian past that never was can be replicated here,

      I have gone through the gamut of emotions about this painful period in Jewish history (what period wasn’t?) and finally realize that one cannot apply 20-21st sensibilities to what happened more than half a millenia ago. One can only try to understand/

      Extremely simple answer as to why Jews became Christians — it was a matter of convert or die. What we (Jews) leave out of our histories is that the forced conversions of 1391 took place against the backdrop of the reconquista — the taking back of Spain from the Muslim occupiers. Jews occupied a very tenuous position in the relations with both Muslims and Christians. Even generations after their conversion to Christianity, they were still referred to as “conversos” or “New Christians” or in more perjorative terms. Their loyalties were always suspect.

      I have suggested here before that it would be useful to understand what choices the Sephardim made and why.