Traditional Islamic theology holds that any land that has once belonged to the House of Islam belongs to it forever. That is the ultimate impulse behind the efforts to eradicate Israel, and a growing parallel movement in Spain. “Andalusia’s connection,” from the Toronto Star:
At the Jamal Islamiya mosque in this seaside town, a Muslim lament of historic proportions is proclaimed in large letters on a framed poster: “In 1492, we lost everything.”
For the mosque’s leader, and much of the Muslim world, the year marks the traumatic conclusion of Islam’s golden age, a time remembered like a collective wound.
It’s a period when the last piece of Muslim-held territory in Spain fell to Catholic monarchs, ending almost 800 years of Moorish rule on the Iberian peninsula.
Centuries when poetry, science and architecture flourished under Islamic caliphs expired with bonfires of Arabic manuscripts, mass expulsion and extermination in the Inquisition.
To the east, the Muslim empire of the Ottomans would reign for another four centuries. But many would trace its long decline to the fall of Al Andalus, the Moorish name for Andalusia.
The result is a yearning that today makes Spain, more than any other
European country, a battleground in the name of Islam.
“They stole 500 years of history from us,” says Omar Checa Garcia, who heads the Jamal Islamiya mosque and cultural centre. “We want it back, but we don’t want revenge.”
What does it mean to want it back without wanting revenge? Just restore the Islamic state and there will be no reprisals?
Others are not so accommodating. Osama bin Laden uses what he calls the “tragedy of Al Andalus” as a rallying cry for his deadly brand of Islamic jihad against “the crusaders and Jews.”
After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, bin Laden’s chief lieutenant, Ayman al Zawahiri, drew a parallel between the loss of the Iberian peninsula and the struggle of Palestinians.
“We will not accept that the tragedy of Al Andalus be repeated in
Palestine,” he said….
On March 11, 2004, a cell of mainly Moroccan extremists, calling themselves “the brigade situated in Al Andalus,” detonated 10 bombs that killed 191 people on Madrid commuter trains….
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