Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fitzgerald: breve resumo da expulsão dos judeus e dos mouros de Espanha

Breve e magnífico.
Hugh Fitzgerald propõe-se contrariar uma ideia que alguns apologistas do islão pretendem difundir: que os mouros e os judeus foram expulsos de Espanha em 1492. Nesse processo, redigiu um brilhante resumo da história da expulsão de uns e de outros - bem distintas nas suas cronologias, nos processos, nas causas -, referindo ainda uma série de aspectos da actuação dos muçulmanos não apenas na Península, mas em toda a Europa, mormente no Mediterrâneo.
Excelente como introdução à funesta história do islão na Europa Ocidental.
«(...) [What] happened in 1492 in Spain was the expulsion of the Jews, who were given only a short time to end their presence (a presence that went back to long before the time of the Visigoths), and to leave Spain forever. They were expelled not because they had once ruled over Spain and remained a potential threat, but in the main because they could be expelled, and because the fanaticism of the Inquisition had transformed anti-Judaism into racial antisemitism, perhaps because the Christians of Spain had become more ferocious during the Reconquista. The influence of fighting the Reconquista might also explain the particular ferocity of Spanish treatment of the indigenous inhabitants of the New World by some - not all - of the conquistadores and their men. The Leyenda Negra, consisting of an uninterrupted narrative of Spanish atrocities, has been subject to withering criticism by historians.

But the Moors were not expelled in 1492 along with the Jews.

With the conquest of Granada, the Spanish rulers Ferdinand and Isabella now had within their dominion large numbers of Muslims, unwilling to be forcibly converted, and still a potential source of trouble, unsettlement, and revolt. The wisest policy would be to take that into account, rid Catholic Spain of the other alien element - as the Reyes Catolicos saw it -- that was understood to be too weak to resist, that is, the Jews, simply because they could be expelled without trouble, and because that might serve as a warning to the Muslims as to what might happen if they didn't behave.

As to the Moors, the Catholic kings would bide their time. In the terms of the Capitulation and treaties, the Muslims of Granada were permitted to continue to practice their religion. But in 1499, Cardinal Ximenes (he of the celebrated Complutensian Polyglot), insisted that the Muslims should not be allowed to remain, as practicing Muslims, in Spain. They began to leave, not all at once, and not overnight. And many stayed, stayed and practiced Islam openly (where the Spanish government's writ did not completely run) or covertly, as secret Muslims. They were not reconciled to their defeat, and they harbored -- how could they not, given what Islam taught? - revanchist dreams. It was only in 1568, however, under Philip II, that the Muslims of Spain, the so-called "Moros," were given the command to leave. And even then many stayed, and it was not until the reign of Philip III, in 1609, after a century of intermittent troubles and uprisings, that the definitive expulsion of the Moors took place.

Why does any of this matter? Why make a big deal of this, given that in the end both the Jews and the Moors were expelled? Why worry about that phrase "the Jews and the Moors were expelled in 1492"?

Well, because it is indeed used by Muslim propagandists, and also by those in the West who want so eagerly to believe that Muslims have been the victims of Europe, of European "colonialism" and European "racism." And in that false narrative, the phrase "the Spanish expelled the Jews and the Moors in 1492" is valuable. Those who use such a phrase, and efface the difference between the two groups, allow themselves, and those who listen to them, to ignore the fact that the Jews had been inoffensive, had contributed greatly to Spanish culture and development, had never ruled over the Christians, not in Spain and not anywhere else, and had no designs to do so, whereas the Muslim armies had arrived in the eighth century, and had conquered almost all of the Iberian Peninsula save a strip in the far north. Some - Maria Rosa Menocal being only the latest - have sung the praises of a "convivencia" of whose existence they are convinced and make much of, but apparently the people who lived through that "conviviencia" were not quite so convinced. For Maimonides wrote, in his famous Epistle to the Yemen, to other Jews telling them that the treatment of Jews by Muslims in Spain was horrifying, and as for the Christians of Spain, apparently they did not agree that "convivencia" really existed either, because they spent half-a-millennium trying to push out the Muslim (Arab and Berber) invaders.

The Jews were expelled in 1492 not because they were constituted a real threat, but because they were largely helpless. The Muslims were expelled only over time, because time after time they were given chances to prove that they would not harbor revanchist plans of re-conquest of what they had lost, and over the next century, they proved that they could not be trusted.

And now, more than 500 years later, we have Muslim propagandists telling us that "Muslims are the new Jews." They want us not to find out that for many centuries, right up until the 18th century, Muslims raided up and down the coasts of Western Europe, seizing property, killing many, kidnapping others - men, women and children - and bringing them back to Muslim lands where they were enslaved. They went as far as Ireland, and even once to Iceland. The people of the coasts of Europe were well aware, for centuries, of the Muslim threat from the south. And when Europeans became military more powerful, so they could defend those coasts, the Muslims continued to attack Christian shipping in the Mediterranean, seizing cargoes and ships, and kidnapping Christian seamen and enslaving them. Only the reaction of the Americans against the Barbary Pirates, and then the final exasperated seizure of Algeria by the French in 1830, put an end to those attacks. And in Eastern Europe, too, and in the Caucasus, other Muslims enslaved south Slavs - took them as slaves - and raided, too, especially for Christian women who were brought back for harems from Georgia and Circassia.

Yet we are not to understand that the Jihad never let up, that is, never let up until the Western world managed to become militarily stronger and fight back successfully. There was not, then, any foolish because vain attempt to win Muslim hearts and minds. It was understood by everyone who had anything to do with the matter - John Quincy Adams, as a diplomat, or General Gorchakov, as a military man - that Muslim mendacity and duplicity and enmity toward the Infidels was permanent and only other measures would succeed in protecting the non-Muslims from Muslim depredations. Of course no one in his right mind, for the past 1400 years, in the Western world, would ever have contemplated allowing Muslims to settle deep within their own, non-Muslim, midst - that is, no one until the last few decades, when in a collective act of criminal negligence, the political and media elites of the Western world, forgetting all of their own history, allowed exactly that settlement deep within by Muslims, that is, by those who regarded their Infidel lands as a still-to-be-conquered Dar al-Harb.

Part of the criminal negligence was based on extraordinary forgetfulness about their own history. And part of that forgetfulness is expressed in that phrase that is so misleading, the one with which I started this little essay, about how in 1492, "the Jews and the Moors" were expelled from Spain.

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