Absurd Lies about Cordoba (updated)
Readers of the American Thinker have no doubt heard numerous instances of the following disinformation about Cordoba, this version coming from Whitney S. Bowman in the Austin American-Statesman:
"The name 'Cordoba House' is significant. It is named after the famed medieval Spanish city of Cordoba where philosophers, mystics, artisans and poets--Muslim, Christian and Jewish--lived and shared together."Its libraries were vast, and the translations of Arabic works into Latin changed Europe and Christianity forever. Among the resident luminaries were Maimonides, a noted Jewish intellectual, the poet Ibn Hazm, and Averroes, the Muslim philosopher and mystic. A Saxon nun of the time called Cordoba 'the brilliant ornament of the world.' With the coming of the Inquisition and Christian exclusivism, the brilliance of Cordoba faded, but its significance endures as a vibrant, inter-religious community."
Update. Andrew Bostom adds:
All the churches in that city [Cordova] had been destroyed except the cathedral, dedicated to Saint Vincent, but the possession of this fane [church or temple] had been guaranteed by treaty. For several years the treaty was observed; but when the population of Cordova was increased by the arrival of Syrian Arabs [i.e., Muslims], the mosques did not provide sufficient accommodation for the newcomers, and the Syrians considered it would be well for them to adopt the plan which had been carried out at Damascus, Emesa [Homs], and other towns in their own country, of appropriating half of the cathedral and using it as a mosque. The [Muslim] Government having approved of the scheme, the Christians were compelled to hand over half of the edifice. This was clearly an act of spoliation, as well as an infraction of the treaty. Some years later, Abd-er Rahman I requested the Christians to sell him the other half. This they firmly refused to do, pointing out that if they did so they would not possess a single place of worship. Abd-er Rahman, however, insisted, and a bargain was struck by which the Christians ceded their cathedral....
The Muslim Andalusian state thus appears from its earliest origins as the defender and champion of a jealous orthodoxy, more and more ossified in a blind respect for a rigid doctrine, suspecting and condemning in advance the least effort of rational speculation.
...the problem arises of "the Jew or Christian who is discovered trying to blend with the Muslims by not wearing the riqā [cloth patch, which might be required to have an emblem of an ape for a Jew, or a pig for a Christian] or zunnār [belt]." Kinani's insistence that Jews and Christians wear the distinguishing piece of cloth or belt required of them is an instance of a legally defined sartorial differentiation being reconfirmed...His insistence may have had as much to do with concerns for ritual purity and food prohibitions as for the visible representation of social and political hierarchy, and it reinforced limits of intercommunal relations