02 September 2006

Act II: The Interfaith Utopia in al-Anadalus

"The dhimmi, as these covenanted peoples were called, were granted religious freedom, not forced to convert to Islam. They could continue to be Jews and Christians, and, as it turned out, they could share in much of Muslim social and economic life. In return for this freedom of religious conscience the Peoples of the Book (pagans had no such privilege) were required to pay a special tax — no Muslims paid taxes — and to observe a number of restrictive regulations: Christians and Jews were prohibited from attempting to proselytize Muslims, from building new places of worship, from displaying crosses or ringing bells. In sum, they were forbidden most public displays of their religious rituals. "
--Maria Rosa Menocal, in her extended whitewash of Muslim Spain called The Ornament of the World

"...the Arabs have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us...Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they..."

"Bring them [the Jews] down to their place and Return them to the most abject station. Thjey used to roam around us in tatters Covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn. They used to rummage amongst the dungheaps for a bit of a filthy rag To serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in...Do not consider that killing them is treachery. Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing."
--Muslim Jurist, inciting the massacre in 1066 of the Jews in Grenada

"No...Jew or Christian may be allowed to wear the dress of an aristorcrat, nor of a jurist, nor of a wealthy individual; on the contrary they must be detested and avoided. It is forbidden to accost them with the greeting, 'Peace be upon you'.. In effect, 'Satan has gained possession of them, and caused them to forget God's warning. They are the confederates of Satan's path; Satan's confederates will surely be the losers! (Quran 58:19). A distinct sign must be imposed upon them in order that they may be recongnized aand this will be for them a form of disgrace."
--Ibn Abdun of Seville

“Aside from such cultic restrictions most of the laws were simply designed to underscore the position of the dimmîs as second-class citizens."
--Kenneth Baxter Wolf



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