Sunday, 30 October 2011

Below are translated extracts from the book "Good Bye Mohammed" by Norbert G. Pressburg.

In summary, he thinks the Arabs were originally heretical Christians and that Islam only evolved as a separate religion in the mid 9th century. It then took about another century to achieve ascendancy in Spain and elsewhere. Once it had done so, its intolerance provoked violent resistance that blew the Muslim empire in Spain apart around one century later, leaving only miniature Muslim kingdoms which the Christians were able to grind down and gobble up.

See previous posts here, here and here if this is mystifying to you.
In 839 Abd er-Rahman II convoked a Synod [in Cordoba] because he, like the bishops, was concerned about the proliferation of religious sects. According to the Acts of the Council, the “Casiani” were condemned, reproached with all possible failings: Manichaeism, cave-dwelling, rejecting the veneration of saints, polygamy, unusual fasting rules and much more. They had commonalities with the Arab and Roman religious traditions, but also differences. For that reason neither the easterners nor the Catholics knew how to classify them.

But they were clearly “Acephalians”, that is believers who would submit to no earthly authority, only God, and therefore they were intolerable to all of the established parties.

As becomes clear from the Acts of the Council, in Al-Andalus in the year 839 nothing was known of a founder of a religion called Muhammad. Why else would bishops discuss every possible topic except the religion that threatened them? That must have changed first in 850, as it is then we have the first written proof of Islam in Spain.

The Acts of the Council also mention the “Arures”. In the Arabic literature they are known as “Haruris”, inhabitants of Harura in Syria, where caves abound and where, according to the Koran, the dead will crawl from the earth after the Last Judgement. These Haruri are clearly Muslims.

…The Arab invaders had been Christian Ibadites. But in the middle of the 9th century we are in a period of upheaval, a transition zone if you like between Christianity and Islam. In other words: in the middle of the 9th century Islam began to take on the characteristics of a separate religion. The conquerors arrived as Christians and transformed into Muslims.

This corresponds with the historical development in the East, to which Marwanid Spain was closely connected. In the second half of the 9th century the hadith literature arrived in Spain. This led to major disputes in the emirate as the powerful Maliki legal tradition rejected the hadith. Muhamad I. (852 – 886), placed himself on the side of the “Sunna”. He imported the main Meccan strain of Islam that was establishing itself. It is from the time of Muhammad I. that we know of the first reports of unequal treatment and harassment of people of different faiths.

The comprehensive establishment in Al-Andalus of what today we call Islam must only have been completed around the time the caliphate was introduced in 929.

To draw a dividing line between Christendom and Islam prior to the 9th century does not correspond with the facts and is completely unhistorical.

Thus the “Ummayad” caliphate was granted only 100 years. As in the East, there was a revolution against the “Ummayads”. The different ethnic groups may have had problems with one another, but the spiritual divisions were even greater. This and the original population’s increasing experience of occupation and religious compulsion caused the Arab-Islam dominated part of Spain – three quarters of the Iberian peninsula - to explode, the official year for this being 1031, when the caliphate was dissolved.

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