April 29, 2004


AUDIO INTERVIEW: Moor History in Spain (Kojo Nnamdi Show, 4/29/04, WAMU)

Recent news reports mention the Moors in Spain. Find out more about the legacy of the Moors, including a golden century when Jews and Christians lived together in peace under Islamic rule.

Lourdes Maria Alvarez, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Catholic University

Howard D. Miller, assistant professor of history, Jacksonville State University, Alabama

Some of you might more easily recognize him as our friend H.D. Miller at Travelling Shoes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 29, 2004 10:31 PM

a golden century when Jews and Christians lived together in peace under Islamic rule

Is it just me, or does this have more than just a whiff of putting the best face on the inevitable.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 30, 2004 7:41 AM

The interview is funny because she's all "goodness and light" while H.D. is more realistic, pointing out that the Muslims practiced classical toleration.

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 7:55 AM

....which is why, of course, Maimonides ("Rambam") had to flee his home city of Cordoba....

Posted by: Barry Meislin at April 30, 2004 8:13 AM

Hey! It is my name! (Although, I've always published under my initials.)

As for Maimonides, he was so thoroughly Arabized, that his famous commentary on the Torah, "The Guide for the Perplexed", was written in Arabic, not Hebrew.

Also, when you talk about toleration, you have to carefully distinguish the period. Maimonides fled Spain in the mid-12th century, a century-and-a-half after the Caliphate of Cordoba had fallen (the period usually held up as being the most tolerant) and after the arrival of the fundamentalist Almoravids from Morocco.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at April 30, 2004 9:49 AM

I haven't any idea what "classical tolerance" means. The early Muslims were less intolerant than contemporary Christians, but that was a very low standard.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 30, 2004 7:59 PM

Classical tolerance is accepting that others believe nonsense--modern toleration is pretending that beliefs like yours for instance are as valid as ours. Islam was the former, we are too much the latter.

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 8:12 PM

I've been trying to figure out if there's a difference in the distinction, but I cannot find one.

If somebody wants to kill or rob you, it doesn't make much difference why, does it?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at May 2, 2004 6:40 PM


Perhaps you could just stop talking when you can't figure things out?

Posted by: oj at May 2, 2004 7:40 PM