Thursday, 27 October 2011

If Pressburg is right, much of our traditional understanding of ‘Islamic’ history will have to be revised. In particular, the “Muslim conquests” that saw Arab rule extend over an empire stretching from Spain to China would have to be reclassified as “Arab conquests” instead because, in Pressburg’s view, Islam had not yet been invented at the time these military conquests occurred.

For those who have no idea what I am talking about, read the previous posts here and here.

It’s instructive to review Pressburg’s account of the “Muslim conquest” of Spain. In traditional histories, a Spanish nobleman is said to have betrayed Christendom by inviting the moors of North Africa over to Spain to help his side in a dynastic dispute. The Mohammedans then decided to stay and took over parts of the country. If Pressburg is right, the decision to invite the Muslims in becomes much easier to explain. Because they weren’t Muslims. They were Christians. And their Christian heresy, in its rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity, bore strong similarities to the form of Arian Christianity still practised by many Spaniards.

Here are a few translated extracts from the book 'Good Bye Mohammed':
On the non-Arab side there are the Spanish chronicles of 741 and 754 written in Latin. In neither of the two is there any mention of Islam or a religious confrontation with the conquerors. Why would there be? Arian and Arab Christians, as anti-Trinitarians, were closer to one another than to the Byzantine imperial church or to Roman Catholicism. It fits into this picture that the North-Africans and Spanish used the mezquita (seemingly a “mosque” but correctly translated as a “place of worship”) of Seville jointly together for 60 years.

The chronicle of 754 does not once mention what the French consider to be the fateful battle of Tours and Poitiers (732) in a religious connection, in which Charles Martel is supposed to have gloriously saved Europe from Islam.

…Nothing, nothing at all of the facts, artefacts or unambiguously dateable contemporaneous written material substantiates an Islamic conquest. More precisely, no one makes this claim either – other than later, often much later, secondary sources, and later historians who treat secondary sources from the broad Arabic entertainment literature as primary sources.

…So there was no Tariq [Tariq ibn Ziyad, supposed leader of the ‘Muslim’ armies], who looked yearningly from Africa at the rocks on the other side, burning with a wish to make the country behind them Islamic. According to the latest knowledge, the most likely explanation for the events of the early 8th century in Spain is that a Berber tribe took sides in a succession dispute involving the Gothic royal family. The opposing party called for help from the other side of the straits. Thus Arian Christians from North Africa supported their fellow Arian believers in Spain in a succession dispute with their Catholic ruler. So although there may have been a religious aspect to the events, it wasn’t an Islamic one.

In a later post, I will talk about Pressburg's account of 'Muslim' rule in Spain and translate some relevant extracts from his book.


T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper (tm) said...

History is a fertile field for grand theorists who sweep away accepted history with a wave of their hand. Before swallowing that, master the accepted facts in your browser free with the Historyscoper at your own speed, and see what they're trying to sweep away and if you can swallow it:

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

The book has been recommended by the leading group of Islamic origins scholars in the world - the Inarah association. It is, to a large extent, a popularisation of their work. That means it's not just some daft theory. At the very least, it deserves to be examined seriously. If it's wrong, we should be able to say why it's wrong.

If you have compelling evidence that decisively refutes the claims made, let's hear it.

Later I will make a post listing arguments for and against the hypothesis. If you have any worthwhile points to make, I will include them.

Anonymous said...

problem is Visigoths had already converted to Catholicism centuries before the muhammedan or "arian" invasion

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

Only the elites converted. Many ordinary people remained attached to the old ways. This is part of what created a gulf between people and rulers, which facilitated the invasion.

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