Andrew Bostom Islamic history Islamic Myths of Andulas



It’s as believable as Imam Feisal Rauf being spotted at Oktoberfest guzzling down dregs of beer.

The Cordoba House and the Myth of Andalusian “Ecumenism”

by Andrew G. Bostom

Feisal Abdul RaufImam Feisal Rauf, “founder and visionary” of the Cordoba Initiative, [1] apparently sees the construction of a triumphal mosque within the 9/11 World Trade Center attack’s zone of destruction [2] as a fulfillment of his vision for Islam in America. As Rauf stated in his 2004What’s Right with Islam, a work limited to treacly Islamic propaganda: [3]

For many centuries, Islam inspired a civilization that was particularly tolerant and pluralistic. … Great philosophers such as Maimonides were free to create their historic works within the pluralistic culture of Islam.

Rauf envisions this invented past as a model for the future “Sharia-compliant” America he desires. [4]

Cordoba Initiative

The late self-proclaimed “contrarian,” Christopher Hitchens, asserted his distaste for those in charge of the Cordoba Initiative, especially Rauf, characterizing the imam’s utterances about the 9/11 atrocities as “shady and creepy.” [5] Yet even Hitchens upheld the Andalusian myth of Cordoba, calling it: [6]

The site of an astonishing cultural synthesis, best associated with the names of Averroes ibn-Rushd and Moses Maimonides …

Hitchens gleaned this, apparently, from his reading of the pseudo-academic apologetics of María Rosa Menocal’s The Ornament of the World[7] which he insisted was “the finest recent book on the subject.”[8]

Notwithstanding Hitchens’ uninformed praise, Menocal’s superficial hagiography ignores the early to mid-20th century studies of Miguel Asin Palacios, [9] and Evariste Levi-Provencal, [10] Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq’s 1978 study, [11] and more recently, Jane Gerber’s focused 1994 analysis debunking the “Golden Age” myth in Muslim Spain as: [12]

Read it all here a the Gates of Vienna

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