30 August 2006

Act I: The Religion of Peace in the Iberian Peninsula, The Early Years

Ibn al-Athir, translated by Edmond Fagan, English trans. in Bat Ye'or The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam.

In 177 (17 April 793 AD), Hisham, prince of Spain, sent a large army commanded by Abd al-Malik b. Abd al-Wahid b. Mugith into enemy territory, and which made forays as far as Narbonne and Jaranda. This general first attacked Jaranda where there was an elite Frank garrison; he killed the bravest, destroyed the walls and towers of the town, and almost managed to seize it. He then marched on to Narbonne, where he repeated the same actions, then pushing forward, he trampled underfoot the land of the Cerdagne [district of La Cerdana region around Puigcerda, near Andorra]. For several months he traversed this land in every direction, raping women, killing warriors, destroying fortresses, burning and pillaging everything, driving back the enemy, who fled in disorder. He returned safe and sound, dragging behind him God alone knows how much booty. This is one of the most famous expeditions of the Muslims of Spain.
In 210 (23 April 825), Abd ar-Rahman b. al-Hakam sent a strong troop of cavalry commanded by Ubayd Allah--known by he name of Ibn al-Balansi--into Frank territory. This officer led razzias in all directions, embarked on murder and pillage, and took prisoners. In Rebi I (June-July 825), an encounter which took place against the troops of the infidels ended in the rout of the latter, who lost many people; our men won an important victory there.
In 223 (2 December 837), Abd ar-Rahman b. Al-Hakam, sovereign of Spain, sent an army against Alava; it camped near Hisn al-Gharat, which it besieged; it seized the booty that was found there, killed the inhabitants and withdrew, carrying off women and children as captives.
In 231 (6 September 845), a Muslim army advanced into Galicia on the territory of the infidels, where it pillaged and massacred everyone. It advanced as far as the town of Leon, which it besieged with catapaults. The terrified inhabitants fled, abandoning the town and what it contained, so that the Muslims plundered it as they pleased, then reduced what was left to ruins. But they withdrew without having been able to destroy the walls, because they were seventeen cubits wide, and they could do no more than open many breaches in them.
In 246 (27 March 860), Muhammad b. Abd ar-Rahman advanced with many troops and a large military apparatus against the region of Pamplona. He reduced, ruined, and ravaged this territory, where he pillaged and sowed death.


Anonymous cmad said...

When I read about folks getting medieval on others' ass, like the history you quote, or, for that matter that little story, my knee hurts. Feels like wounded, or something.

It makes one truly appreciate that events like this one are considered a tragedy these days, not just a statistic.

Civilization has advanced, after all.

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Montieth said...

Civilization has advanced because the Civilized have been willing and able to defend it from the uncivilized. When the civilized can no longer defend it or worse, will not defend it, then it is only a matter of time until the uncivilized will pull down civilization.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous cmad said...


8:18 AM  
Anonymous auxdarastrix said...

About the rape in Iraq: The sad truth is, that in any large enough group, it is a statistical guarantee that you are going to have your immoral criminals who commit atrocities. In the US Army, however, when they get caught they are put on trial. Rape and murder is contradictory to our laws, our regulations, our training, and our predominate values. It is also worth noting that our media and our civilian populace respond quite poorly to it. In other words, the atrocities are the exception to the rule.

For groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and the various insurgents in Iraq, atrocities are the rule.

1:09 AM  

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