Wednesday, 15 January 2014

I'll be leaving Cordoba soon and I'm going to take a break from blogging for a while to prepare for that. During that time, I'll reflect on whether I want to continue with this blog. It has become clear to me now that the problem is much deeper than I first realised, and that the Counterjihad movement, or rather CounterJewhad movement, is just another aspect of the problem rather than its solution. Many Europeans have latched on to it as a seemingly more acceptable way for them to articulate the instinctive distress they feel about what is happening to their countries. But they have been deceived. It is controlled by people who have no inherent interest in the survival of the European peoples and, in many cases, are even actively hostile to it. The name of the blog no longer seems appropriate given the totality of my concerns. So I may start a new blog, continue with this one or stop blogging altogether to focus on the book I've been working on, but which hasn't progressed as quickly as I would have liked. In this book or perhaps series of books, I intend to do the following:

Establish that what is now happening to the peoples of Europe constitutes the crime of genocide

Explain how the European Genocide came about

Explain how the European Genocide can be stopped through policies that could be proposed and implemented by a political party

Make a general argument that nationalism - defined as a people living in its own land under its own governmental authority - is the optimal principle for organising the world; and that multiculturalism - defined as different peoples living in the same land - is the source of most of the world's problems, both historically and in the present day

Expose the false claims about multicultural convivencia in Muslim-ruled Spain

Show how diaspora Jews have harmed the peoples whose countries they have lived in and that antagonism to them - what is called antisemitism - was therefore justified, being grounded in Jewish behaviour, not some mystical, irrational hatred

I'm not sure whether I should try and cover all these topics in one giant magnum opus or break it down into a number of smaller books. That's another of the things I'm going to reflect on. I'm inclining to the view that I could make a more useful contribution to the cause of saving the European peoples by setting out my thinking systematically in book form rather than haphazardly through daily blogging.

For now, I'll leave you with an extract from the book The Arabs and Medieval Europe by Norman Daniel. It describes the now largely forgotten Cordoba Martyrs Movement.

In our days, the supposed convivencia that existed between Christians, Muslims and Jews in Muslim-ruled Spain is constantly hailed as an example for the modern world to follow. As I have noted before, this is pure mythology. There was great bitterness between all three communities. The Jews collaborated with the Muslims during their invasion, and may well have instigated it in the first place. One of the clearest refutations of the multicult lie is the Cordoba Martyrs Movement. No doubt for that reason, it has largely been erased from the history books. Even in Cordoba itself, I have only ever seen one brief reference to it in one of the texts in the city's archaeological museum, although the name of one of the most famous of the martyrs, Eulogio, is memorialised in the names of some places, churches and institutions.

The Martyrs Movement is fascinating because it involved people consciously embracing their own extinction. Essentially, the martyrs would go up to Muslims and tell them their religion was wicked, false and absurd. They knew, of course, that this would lead to their execution, which it did. In some ways, their courageous defiance of Islam could be said to prefigure the modern anti-Islam resistance movement.

When reading this, bear in mind that the historian, Norman Daniel, is noted for his pro-Islamic sympathies. So, for example, here he joins the Muslims in essentially blaming the Christians for simply articulating their opinions. In another prefiguring of the modern multicult mindset (the book was written in the 1970s), he portrays Muslims as the victims even though they are murdering people for what they think and say. I only quote Daniel's text here because it is the most thorough account of the Cordoba Martyrs Movement I have yet come across. You should assimilate the facts he presents, while disregarding his commentary.
There has often been ill-feeling between Christendom and Islam, but there has never perhaps been greater hatred than that which those Christians who supported the martyrs’ movement felt in Cordova in the ninth century. In the form of odium theologicum many kinds of discontent were concentrated, the hatred of the unprivileged for the privileged, of the once-privileged for their successors, of a minority for their surroundings, of one cultural tradition for another, of the users of one language for the users of another. It was further complicated by the strange psychology in which it was expressed. The extreme ascetic Christian ideal which we have already considered found in this movement its logical fulfilment. The bare facts are astonishing enough. They are illustrated by the stories of the earliest of the martyrs, which I will tell in a little detail. The movement was stimulated by two victims whose attitudes led them accidentally into conflicts with the Muslims. In that, they were untypical of their successors who more deliberately sought their own destruction. Perfectus, the protomartyr, was a monk who used to do the shopping for his House in a market in Cordova. A group of Muslims in the market were curious or mischievous enough to ask him what Catholics thought of Christ and of Muhammad. No doubt this was in Arabic; some of the martyrs bear names that are certainly of Latin origin, others, like ‘Servus-Dei’, which can only, and very thinly, mask ‘Abdalla’, seem to have had Arabic names.

Perfectus is likely to be one of these-al-Kamil. Perfectus (our Latin sources tell us) immediately confessed the divinity of Christ, but excused himself from speaking of the Prophet. (Our source says vates, a soothsayer, not propheta.) The group talking to him may have been just amusing themselves at his expense, but in any case they continued to press him, and he finally responded by a scurrilous attack upon the Prophet, following the citation of the Gospel, “many false prophets shall come in my name.” He cannot have expected that this would not bring him into trouble, but the sources accuse his interlocutors of bad faith. In fact it is more surprising that apparently they recognized their own faults in this, and let him go. The next time he came to market, the same people called out that he was the rash fool who cursed the Prophet (may God bless him and save him)—the source breaks off to explain this invocation. Then the whole mob in the market rose against him, like bees disturbed in the hive, and hurried him off to the judge. The monk was frightened, and tried to deny the facts. He was sent to prison, where he “began to attack their whole religion.” It seems that he alternated between a very natural and even commendable prudence, and a rash itch for destruction. In the end he was executed, publicly among the holiday crowds at the Id al-Fitr, at the end of Ramadan, in the Christian year 850; he used the opportunity to abuse the Prophet again and to threaten his hearers with hell. A pleasure boat capsized in the river, drowning two of its occupants; a judgement on the Muslims, some of the Christians considered. They were allowed to take away the body, and this began a considerable trade in the relics of the martyrs. Though often frustrated by official precautions, this gruesome salvage was successful to the point that later two monks came from as far as France, to look for relics which it was said were now easily obtainable in Cordova. The second episode concerned a merchant called John (Yahya? Yuhanna?), who used to swear by the name of the Prophet, when he was selling his goods, no doubt to attract the good-will of the Muslim customers. In any case he attracted the ill-will of Muslim rivals, who said that he so often swore by the Prophet that he represented himself as Muslim. This is so reasonable that the sources concentrated on the disproportionate punishment, rather than on the offence itself. John was now understood to curse anyone who pronounced the name of the Prophet; the crowd got angry, and he too was hurried off to the Cadi. Again, the simile of angry bees is used. The heart of the accusation against the merchant seems to have been that he was a “particularly subtle scoffer” who took the name of the Prophet lightly, and pronounced it in derision. The alternative must be that he had a serious intention of becoming Muslim; a much worse accusation, if untrue, because he would then become a formal apostate from Islam if he insisted he were still Christian; and that would be a capital offence. He denied that he derided the Prophet, and pleaded that he was accused by rivals in trade. The Cadi compromised by ordering him four hundred lashes, and having him paraded round the town on a donkey with a town crier calling out that “this is what anyone must suffer who derogates the Prophet of God.” It seems that he was given the chance of escaping punishment by declaring himself Muslim; in the circumstances of the crime, logical enough. The punishment was hard, but normal by standards then universally accepted. It seems to have helped to arouse the consciences of lapsed Christians in the town. It was at this point that the true martyrs’ movement erupted, in the person of a man called Ishaq—Isaac—a remarkable personality in his own right. He was “born of wealthy parents” and of noble stock; as he grew, “he lived softly amid wealth and good things;” and “as he was accomplished and learned in the Arabic language, he held the office of exceptor reipublicae,” a katib, or secretary, in government. From his comfort and the good prospects of a worldly career the young man suddenly revolted; he was seized by spiritual ardour and became a monk. The monastery in the mountains to which he retired was a family concern; it was maintained by his wealthy uncle and aunt, and her brother was the abbot. It is possible that we should infer a different attitude on the part of his parents, who had apprenticed him to service in a Muslim government, and had indeed given him one of those names which are equally suitable for a Christian or a Muslim (or, of course, a Jew). After three years of ascetic discipline Ishaq was again suddenly inspired, this time to return to Cordova, and to go to the court, where he told the Cadi that he wanted to “become an active member” of his religion, if he would just kindly expound its “order and reason”. Our Christian source describes the Cadi’s exposition, with an attempt at fair representation. Ishaq replied, “You have lied,” and, after first abusing Islam himself, invited the Cadi to become Christian. The Cadi was “confused by so great a shock” and slapped Ishaq on the face. There was some commotion, and Ishaq, evidently in a state of elation, said, “How dare you strike a countenance like to the image of God?” The jurisprudents present disapproved of the Cadi’s irregular behaviour; the latter justified himself, supposing that Ishaq must be drunk. This the “intrepid monk” denied; he was just burning with zeal, and only waiting to extend his neck to the executioner. The Cadi did not in fact order execution; Ishaq was committed to prison, but the amir insisted on the death sentence, and had the body cremated, in order to prevent its use as a relic. Ishaq’s story suggests emotional and perhaps mental unbalance, the sudden rejection of a good career for the monastery, and of the monastery for deliberate martyrdom. We must imagine Ishaq brooding in his government office upon worldliness, brooding again in his fasts and vigils upon the fate of Perfectus/Kamil and John. His example proved infectious. The abbot-uncle and five other monks followed Ishaq’s example; we must again suppose an atmosphere of religious enthusiasm in the monastery. These people were all great seers of visions; one announced that the sacrifice of Ishaq had been accepted as Abraham’s of the first Isaac, and immediately a messenger arrived from town to announce the fresh martyrdoms of the uncle and his companions. Our intimate knowledge of this and the other individual cases derives from the exceptionally interesting Christian sources, all apologetic, written rather as a party manifesto, for the benefit of moderate Christians who disapproved the self-immolation, than for outside consumption. The two writers concerned were friends; one a layman, Alvaro, a writer with some classical pretensions, who contributed an apologetic work, the Indiculus Luminosus and a hagiographical account of his fellow-apologist, Eulogio. Eulogio was a priest, and ultimately, when elected archbishop of Toledo and primate of Spain, himself one of the martyrs. He wrote a number of accounts of the martyrs and exhortations to two of them; but he was in no hurry to become a martyr himself, and Alvaro, so far as we know, was never martyred at all. Both recognized that Ishaq was the prototype of the movement: the first of “those who came really of their own accord,” said Eulogio; the first of “our spontaneous martyrs,” said Alvaro. Executions deliberately forced upon a reluctant government constituted a kind of violence that was hard to defeat, because it was turned upon itself. This was the course of action that these two writers defended, and in the course of so doing they epitomized the polemic of western Europe against Islam. We gain a clearer picture of Eulogio by looking closely at one more of the martyrs, the best, however, because of the attachment Eulogio felt for her, the virgin Flora (also a name with an obvious Arabic counterpart); we learn more of him than of her. Initially she was a courageous victim who did not create unnecessary trouble, but in the end she was seized with the real martyr fury. She was the product of a mixed marriage. There seem to have been three children of this marriage, two girls and a boy. The Arab father came from the south and died young, and Flora was brought up in this Muslim household under the sole influence of her Christian mother. Her brother was a practising Muslim, as keenly religious as his sister, but, as she followed their mother, so did he their father. As Eulogio tells it, he was just a persecutor, and we do not know his motives; he may have interfered with her less from religious zeal than from a sense of family duty or of public duty, or under pressure from the neighbours. Alone in the family Flora and her brother shared this feeling for religion; of her mother we hear nothing more than that she imparted her Christian preference; Flora’s sister was evidently attached to her, and willing to accompany her and live with her as a Christian, but not to the point of martyrdom. Before the division in the household became open, Flora used to meditate on the text, “He that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father,” and so she decided, without consulting her mother, to leave the house and live among open Christians. She must have already made her brother suspicious, because he went looking for her when she disappeared, disturbing convents and getting clerics arrested; and so, to spare the Christian community further embarrassment, she returned home, but publicly as a Christian, defying her brother. He tried to change her mind, by kind words, by threats and beatings, and then took her in front of the Cadi. Giving witness, he said that she was the youngest of the family; “together with me she always showed a proper compliance with the worship of our religion.” Flora denied this, claiming to have always been a Christian, but other evidence from Eulogio shows that this was a prevarication at best. The punishment for apostasy from Islam was death, and prevarication was natural; at this stage Flora was not seeking martyrdom. Flora’s apostasy being unproven, she was held by the officers of the court and whipped till the bone of her neck was laid bare, says Eulogio, and so taken home half-dead; left in the charge of the women of the house, she felt well enough after a few days to escape over the roof and into the darkness. She blundered into a Christian house, and so found shelter. There Eulogio first met her: “I, that sinner rich in iniquity, with both my hands I touched the scars of her most worshipful and delicate neck;” so he wrote after her death; and while she was in prison he wrote to her to recall this time: “I gazed upon the skin of your holy neck, torn by the blows of the whip, and the wound from which your beautiful hair had been bared, and which you condescended to show me…I touched the wounds with gentle hand, because I did not believe that I ought to caress them with kisses.” He went away, and “for a long time sighed and meditated deeply within myself.” Later, Flora’s sister joined her and they lived for a while quietly in the country. At the next stage of the story all Flora’s family, even the sister who went away with her, disappear. Instead, by accident she encounters in a church a like-minded girl called Mary, sister of one of the six monks who immolated themselves in imitation of Ishaq. This girl was deeply attached to her brother and wished above all to share his death. To Eulogio she is “blessed” where the incomparable Flora is “sanctissima”. These two went back to the Cadi to denounce themselves. Flora asserted that it was she who had been so terribly beaten to make her deny Christ, adding that she “was born of Arab stock”; perhaps this means that she now admitted to having been brought up as a Muslim. Mary proclaimed herself her brother’s sister and united herself with him in denouncing Islamic worship as the “figments of demons”. Eulogio, himself then in prison, where he wrote his Documentum Martyriale to confirm their resolution, says that the Cadi was enraged and consigned them to “the squalor of prison and to the brothel.” That they were seriously threatened with prostitution does not seem likely and would certainly have been extra-legal; a threat of enslavement, carrying with it a danger of concubinage, is more likely; or the phrase may just belong in that ambience of virginal sexuality and a taste for pain with which Eulogio invested their story. The Song of Solomon provides the text: “Enter into the bridal bed of your spouse, whom you have so loved that you feared not to die for him. ‘For winter is now passed, the rain is over and gone.’ ” There was a further court examination and further threats. Flora told Eulogio afterwards that, when the Cadi challenged her to explain how she could be a Christian if her brother were Muslim, she finally admitted that she had once been “possessed by the darkness of ignorance”, practising her father’s religion, and “a slave to the errors of the Arabs”. Pressed to say if she were firm in apostasy, she attacked the Prophet “with abstruse arguments” in the court; the two women were ordered to execution and decapitated. The bodies were partly destroyed by dogs and birds, then thrown in the river; parts of Mary’s body were found, and served the cult of relics then still so popular. Eulogio did not rush into the bridal bed of the spouse as insistently as he recommended to his followers; he and other Christians then in prison were released. It would be excessive to recount many of the martyrdoms; but the last of which we have a full account is Eulogio’s own, and of this I must say something. In 859 Eulogio was elected archbishop by the Christians of Toledo, but, before he could be consecrated to the see of the Primate of Spain, circumstances brought him to martyrdom. A girl who was the daughter of Muslim parents, but who had Christian connections, was converted by a nun, a relative. The girl was baptized Leocritia. She ran away from home, found lodgings and sought instruction from Eulogio, and became friendly with one of his sisters. Staying late one night, she thought it safer to stay ontill the following evening, but a spy reported her presence, and in the morning all the household were arrested. Interrogated, Eulogio said that it was his duty to instruct a neophyte, “as I would gladly do for you also,” he added to the Cadi, who sent for rods. Eulogio asked him what he intended these for, and the Cadi said that he meant to educate Eulogio with them. “Sharpen your sword,” said Eulogio, “so that you can return my soul, freed from the chains of the body, to Him who gave it. Do not think that you can tear my limbs with the lash.” The account is given by Eulogio’s friend, Alvaro, who says that “when he reproached the untruth of their Prophet and their religion with clear invective and sufficient eloquence” he was hurried to the palace of the amir and dragged in front of the Council. One of its members was intimate with Eulogio, and tried to talk him out of the course of action on which he was embarked. “If fools and idiots are carried away into this deplorable and fatal self-destruction, whereas you are endowed with suitable wisdom and are renowned for your way of life, what madness has compelled you to risk a fatal misfortune and to forget the natural love of life? I beg you to listen to me and I ask you not to destroy yourself as a result of something you have not properly considered. Just say one word in your hour of need, and afterwards you can enjoy your faith wherever you can. We promise never to examine any further.” These terms are obscure; if we understand that Eulogio was offered his life on condition of withdrawing his attack upon Islam, he reacted with the fervour he had preached to others; if he was being asked to apostasize publicly, but not privately, he took the only course open to a Christian. He died courageously on the fifth before the Ides of March, on Saturday at the ninth hour; Leocritia followed him four days later. The Christians tried to keep the birds away from his exposed body; at night a heavenly choir was seen to hang above it; both head and body were recovered, as was the body of Leocritia, after it was thrown in the river. Eulogio had celebrated the stories of forty-eight martyrs; he and Leocritia bring the total to fifty. Eulogio’s death is not typical of the movement; he died in doing his duty, not as the result of going out of his way to attack Islam. He did this only when he was going to be humiliated by public beating. It is clear that none of the leading men of the amirate was aware that he had been for long the champion of the martyrs’ movement; on the contrary, the notables knew him as an influence for moderation. Even using only the evidence of men who believed in this fanatical attitude, and who hated such fellowChristians as wanted to live in peace and quiet, again and again we note the reluctance of the Cadi to condemn the accused, until they leave him no choice; in one case they provoke the whole assembly of Muslims at prayer in the mosque, and the Cadi’s authority alone saves them from being torn to pieces. The authorities do not know how to check the movement; they can even hardly control the trade in the relics they are forced to create. They assume that Eulogio, who, with his friend Alvaro, has done most to stimulate fanaticism, is an influence for moderation; and our witness is this same Alvaro, who celebrates his friend’s triumphant entry into the glorious army of martyrs. The inconsistency is inexplicable, but it throws into clear relief the hatred for Islam which a quiet, unobtrusive exterior habitually masked. This was an attitude inevitable in a religious minority which constituted a social grouping without privilege.

2. The background An approach to Islam which contributed to the common European tradition grew out of a seed-bed of resentment. The Christians were too many to forget that they had once been the masters. For some individuals the strain of living on the margins between different communities was intolerable. The difference could only draw attention to those aspects of Christian life which were flourishing in other parts of Europe, but which were not shared by the dominant Muslim community—especially monastic asceticism and the cult of relics. These three factors gave Christians their vivid sense of being persecuted, even when nothing could be further from the facts. The Christian who did not attack Islam was sure of being left undisturbed, but he must always know that he was not free to attack: the limit to aggression was the limit to freedom. From Eulogio’s own account we know that this was no sudden growth of resentment. His grandfather, of the same name, had hated the sound of the call to prayer, to which our Eulogio also refers only offensively; the elder Eulogio would make the sign of the cross and pray, “Neither be thou still, O God;” but the younger prayed, “Let them be confounded that adore graven things.” In two generations, so far as this evidence goes, feelings had grown more bitter. Eulogio certainly knew that Muslims do not worship a graven image, but it is also likely that he knew-and if he knew he certainly resented—that Muslims think Christian worship) impure. The stages of this argument were probably from ‘false worship of God’ to ‘worship of false God’ to ‘worship of idol’; if so, he would have seen a theological equivalence which would come to be widely believed in Europe to be the literal truth. We shall have to return to this point later in this book. Here the point is that one God implied one people of God. In days when religion could only be seen as the function of the whole community, the call to prayer was a special provocation of Christian intolerance; it was the public avowal of an insupportable, and even inconceivable, division. Alvaro showed the same hatred of it—beyond all reason—as his friend Eulogio. The Christians seem to have been generally aware of the throng Muslims pressing on them; for example of the mob which picks on Perfectus/Kamil in the market, and again on the merchant John, and the description of the execution of Perfectus on the days of Id al-Fitr, the feast which ends the month’s fast of Ramadan, the holiday crowds and the overturned boat-load of merry-makers who were drowned. Eulogio bears witness to popular hostility at least towards the Christian clergy. “None of our people,” he said, “can go among them safely or cross their quarter without being shamed;” those who are recognized as priests are followed by cries of derision, as imbeciles are, and the small boys shout obscenities at them, and throw stones after them. Eulogio is angry and humiliated; he knows that he disobeys the Gospel, but he cannot help himself; it is not wrong, he argues, to curse those who hate the servants of God. “We are calumniated by them often, incessantly in fact…many of them think us unworthy to touch their clothes…they think it pollution if we mix in their affairs in any way.” He quotes Arnobius: “Act and fight with those who fight.” We may see the whole martyrs’ movement as a violent reaction. In one aspect it may be seen as a sustained effort to break the few links that existed between the two religions. Alvaro wanted to see communication interrupted. He complained that those Christians who worked in government offices (‘palatine office’—the serai, or palace) were openly implicated in Muslim errors by not making a public profession of their religion, by not praying in public, by not making the sign of the cross on their foreheads (as presumably was a Christian custom) when they yawned. We may see in this a lack of sense of proportion, but in any case this movement lacked proportion; it was a total rejection of the Arab World. Moderate Christians, born in the Catholic faith and brought up in the bosom of the Church, if they wanted peace, had turned to the bed of a prostitute. One of the best-known passages in his works is that where he deplores the young Christians who are learned in Arabic, who “avidly discuss the writings of the Chaldeans” (a circumlocution for Arabs); they despise as worthless the rivers of ecclesiastical beauty which flow from Paradise. He complains of Christians who study the schools of philosophers, or, rather, he corrects himself with heavy sarcasm, philocompers, not lovers of wisdom, but of big words, “not in order to prove their errors, but for the sake of their elegant wit and the fluency of their speech;” they even read Arabic poetry. Yet we shall see that it is characteristic of Alvaro and Eulogio, as of Christians throughout the ages, that they too did not even read Arab authors in order to refute them, but preferred to refute errors that no one in fact put forward. Perhaps naturally, they equated the fanaticism of their own attitude with loyalty to the Christian religion. Eulogio resented even “the liberality of the king”, and the patience of Muslims, to which Christians owed their liberty of worship; he preferred to attribute this liberty to divine providence, as if that were an alternative incompatible with Muslim patience. His strong sense of the calling of the martyrs was allied to a feeling of Visigothic superiority and of personal and family pride; the Christians who publicly disagreed with this spiritual élite were vulgar, “chatterers in the market”, a mass without discipline. The Arabizers only half-defend Christianity, Alvaro argued; “and shall we not curse, shall we not detest, Christians who compete for the royal favour, and for commercial rewards and in defence of the Arabs; or shall we instead anathematize and ill-wish religious men who are struggling on behalf of the true God?” He made it very clear that his object was to make a modus vivendi for Christians impossible. There should be no assimilation. A Council of bishops held under Reccafred, Archbishop of Seville, condemned voluntary martyrization, and seems to have created a crisis of confidence among the extreme party. It is understandable that it was hard to maintain morale in defiance of common sense, at least for long. Eulogio was specially angered by Christians who collected the taxes on Christians, and so “daily crucify Christ in his members,” but he saw that some Christians became Muslims “of their own free will.” Occasionally Arabizers might experience revulsion, like the martyr Ishaq who had once been one of the royal secretaries; but the secretary who seemed the very type of the Arabizers was another man who became Muslim at the accession of the amir Muhammad I in 852. Even before that, “he was called a Christian only by name,” said Eulogio, “wicked, inflated, haughty, proud and corrupt;” and after he had “conformed to the sect of perversity,” Eulogio says that he “frequently entered the temple of impiety” (this means the mosque) “as if he was one of the ministers of the devil, expelled from the Temple of the Lord, which, when he was faithful, he used to visit late and reluctantly.” That is, he seemed more religious as a Muslim than he had as a Christian. It is interesting that Eulogio does not seem to imply anything other than that he was genuinely converted, and of course there is no reason why this should not have been the case. The attraction of the dominant culture would be quite sincere; and this was just the reason for the strength of the reaction against it. Two aspects of the cultural reaction are curious. One was a determined Latinism which does not seem to be patristic in sentiment. Both Eulogio and Alvaro use a strangely inappropriate terminology derived from classical antiquity. The example of St Paul may justify the figure of speech which describes the martyrs as ‘athletes’ and ‘soldiers’ of the Lord, or even as actors (agonistae), and the Christian effort in general as a ‘gymnastic competition’ (palaestricum luctamen); it was reasonable to speak even of an Arab state as a commonwealth (respublica); but when we read that churchmen attacked members of the martyrs’ party “in the presence of the Cynics, of the Epicureans even” (that is, before the Cadi) should we understand a reference to the faith and morals of Islam? When Eulogio gives a date as “in the twenty-ninth year of the consulate of Abd ar-Rahman” or speaks of Muhammad’s accession as “the very day that he was adorned with the fasces” we recognize a conventional imagery, perhaps a kind of makebelieve: “They appear before the consuls,” “the fasces are exhibited,” “he spoke to the lictors,” even, more intelligibly, “the satraps.” There are hints of attitudes borrowed from Eusebius and the lives of the martyrs. Latin authors of whom our writers must have disapproved were admired because theirs was the language of the Western church. Eulogio brought back from a visit to Pamplona copies, not only of the City of God and of works of Aldhelm, but also of the Aeneid, Juvenal, Horace and Arrian. He disparaged the style of “milky Livy”, the sweet tongue of Cato, the eager spirit of Demosthenes, the divine eloquence of Cicero and the flowery Quintilian, only in comparison with the writings of his friend Alvaro. Both use the language of Arnobius, ‘nations’ and ‘Gentiles’, not ‘Arabs’ (ethnici and gentiles, with gentilicia, rather than arabes or arabica). A compromise was gens Ismaelitica, at once Roman and scriptural. The rejected Arabic culture becomes ‘Chaldean’. There is a nostalgia for antique forms, and for Roman rulers as types of the persecutor. Alvaro refers obscurely to Donatism. Voluntary martyrdom, of course, was actually condemned at the early fourth-century Council of Elvira (Granada); perhaps there was an unbroken Spanish survival, a minority sentiment authentically classical. With this classical sentiment went also a frustrated feeling for military imagery. I have already mentioned Eulogio’s quotation of Arnobius: “Fight with those that fight;” he thinks naturally of the martyrs as “soldiers of God”. Alvaro speaks of them as “gallant men and warriors” (viri strenui et bellatores). ‘Virile’ is a favourite word of praise with Eulogio also; and the Prophet is not ‘virile’. Images of war as well as of the gymnasium persist in both writers, certamen and praelium and pugna spiritualis. “Bitterly they resist the enemy.” It is crucial that these people were many of them frustrated soldiers, and to remember that their martyrdom was their best or only means of aggression. Psychologists who see asceticism as a death-wish and suicide as an aggression must see in this movement the epitome of their theories. In terms of social origin the membership of the movement is unsurprising and corresponds naturally with the ideas that characterize it. Some of the martyrs, like Aurea, daughter of Artemia and sister of Adolf and John, are certainly of Roman or Visigothic ancestry, probably both, and explicitly are ‘noble’; Aurea “held Arab stock in contempt.” A Visigothic name was not a guarantee of pure descent. Mary, Flora’s fellow-martyr, was primarily motivated by her deep attachment to her brother Walabonso, one of the six monks who became martyrs in the wake of Ishaq’s example; her mother, and presumably though not necessarily his, was a Muslim who was converted by her Christian husband. This marriage was contrary to Islamic law, but it seems to have been made possible because the family lived beyond the reach of government, in the mountains around Cordova. Two martyrs called Nunilo and Alodia were the children of a Christian mother and a Muslim father; this was the normal form of mixed marriage. Flora herself, as we saw, belonged to the same pattern of a mixed marriage. Leocritia, Eulogio’s fatal protégée, was an Arab, “noble by birth, more noble by mind, sprung from the dregs of the Arabs,” a curious turn of phrase where “dregs” must be used to mean its opposite, for rhetorical reasons. Yet even she had Christian family connections. Saloman (Sulayman) had adhered to Islam for a time, but we do not know his background. His fellow-martyr Roderick had a Catholic and a Muslim brother (apparently a convert) in whose quarrels he became involved. We have seen that many Latin names are ambiguous, giving reason to suspect Arabic originals, an irresistible conclusion in the case of the two martyrs called Servus-Dei (Abdalla); but names irreproachably Latin may belong to mixed marriages, or represent the baptismal names of converts to Christianity. Aurelius was the son of a Christian mother and a Muslim father, brought up to Christian belief in secret, and, according to our text, by his father’s, not by his mother’s, sister; at the same time he was also brought up to be learned in Arabic literature. He married a girl whose parents were both Muslim, but whose mother, as a widow, had remarried, choosing a man who “retained the faith of Christ in secret.” He persuaded his step-daughter to be baptized in the name of Sabigotho, while still publicly practising Islam. Aurelius had a relation called Felix (another ambiguous name) who had wavered in the matter of religion, had become a Muslim, and then wished too late to return to Christian practice. He married a girl called Liliosa (again the name is culturally ambiguous), who was the child of “secret Christians”; they were an affectionate couple, intimate in mind, “holy, lovable, worthy of respect; as they loved one another in life, so in death they were not divided.” These four were first stimulated to a public confession of faith by the sight of the punishment meted out to the merchant John. For them the martyrs’ urge may have been a need to give public expression to certainty, after years of shifts and deceit. Their state of mind is more easily understood than that of the more wantonly aggressive martyrs. The background of many of these is not clear, but for some of them, too, the seed-ground of their actions may have lain in the indeterminate margin between the two peoples of God, between the Muslim and the Christian communities. The final witness of death resolved uncertainties. This may be a clue to those, like Ishaq, whose family situation was not mixed, but whose cultural allegiance was obscured by a public career. Intermingled with this thread is also that of pride in the purity of family and race and culture of those whose stock was clear and free of Arab intermarriage or of conversions to Islam. There was one case of presumed Frankish stock, a palace guard converted to Islam, a slave whose home town was Albi, who must have been a prisoner of war or, more probably, the victim of slave-traders. Among those of Spanish origin there were few who were themselves converted to Islam, but several who reacted violently from Arabic culture. Another like Ishaq was Argemirus, a senior official in the royal service who retired into monastic life in his later years. He was ‘noble’ by birth as were Emila and Jeremias, young men who were learned both in Latin and in Arabic, the one destined for the church and the other for lay life; their attacks on the Prophet were so much more effective than any others that those which had been uttered before theirs were forgotten. Other young men were the pupils of Eulogio himself and presumably formed intellectually by him. This group forms a certain contrast with the peripheral Christians of the mixed marriages, but they must have felt the same need of assurance. Among them the element of humiliated pride which is so strong in Eulogio himself may have been the characteristic motive. The monastic element, ascetic and (we can hardly escape the word) fanatical, was a strong influence, though probably it was the expression rather than the source of the martyrs’ motivation. Ishaq, whose story is told so graphically, appears periodically manic, as when the Cadi believes he can be so elated only because he is drunk, and perhaps depressive too. He not only threw up his career as a government secretary to become a monk, but also his life as a monk to become a martyr. The monastery was a family affair under the control of his paternal cousin and his wife. The atmosphere was certainly overheated; the example of Ishaq was immediately followed by six others, and there was a history of wonders and visions. A beautiful boy from the East appeared to one monk in the night to announce that Ishaq’s sacrifice was accepted like Abraham’s; Ishaq had spoken from the womb, and when he was seven a virgin saw a ball of light descend on him from heaven. These may admit the influence of Arab legends and even Quranic elements, but it is certain that they represent the effects of constant brooding in fasting conditions. There seem to have been a number of these monasteries, of no great size perhaps, in the hills out of reach of the Capital. They reached back to urban life to find a spectacular death. It was the logic of a monasticism in which stability and obscurity were not admired. “What amazing renunciation of the world,” said Eulogio, O stupenda mundi renuntiatio. The history of Cordovan martyrs would never be exactly repeated, though it has its echoes. Ramon Lull sought the same kind of martyrdom, which the Muslim authorities in North Africa steadily refused him, and which he finally provoked in his old age at the hands of an irritated mob. We shall see in the next few pages how the intellectual base of the movement prefigured, though probably it did not engender, the attitude of Europeans, and especially of the more educated, towards Islam, throughout the Middle Ages, and survived even into the present century. The Cordovan martyrs acted in a situation where they needed to establish for their own assurance a clear communal identity. Some must identify themselves with the Christian community unequivocally because their own position was equivocal. The rest, belonging without doubt to the Christian group, needed nevertheless to assert the group’s identity against that of the dominant Muslim community. Resentment is one of the sentiments at the basis of this attitude. This assertion was not only expressed as death, and by death, and in death. It was expressed also by the total cultural rejection of Islam and of Arabic history and literature. It was expressed also in terms of asceticism and of the virginal sexuality which may accompany some kinds of asceticism. All these elements recur throughout the formative period of European opinion about the Arab World; even martyrdom is the theme of the Crusades, however illogical it may appear that a military aggression should be in the image of martyrdom, in the mind of the aggressor. Yet martyrdom would be more a theme in the thinking of ordinary simple Christians when they were attacking Arabs, than it was in an earlier time when Arabs were chiefly attacking them. The Cordovan martyrs rightly saw themselves as aggressive soldiers of God when they attacked the Prophet so fiercely, so unreasonably and so savagely; but they were most aggressive in compelling their own executions. Where so much importance was attached to acts of renunciation, to a life of abstention and even a total abstention from life itself, it is obvious that there could be no appreciation of the positive virtue of a catholic, a tolerant or a moderate approach. The most sustained invective, the most contrived rhetoric and the most spontaneous contempt are all, in the writings of Eulogio and Alvaro, reserved for those Christians who do not share the martyrs’ frenzy and who look for the means to live ordinarily and quietly; who, above all, in justifying themselves, criticize the martyrs. There were personal qualities or defects in the writers which harmonize with their ideas, and which we suppose must have given rise to them. Was Eulogio just an ambitious cleric who made himself a leader of a party and rose on the bodies of his victims to ecclesiastical preferment? The suggestion seems grotesque when we recall his own death; and yet that contrast between his extravagant partisanship of self-destruction, and his own reluctance until the very end to endanger himself, must find some explanation. There can be few accounts of personal emotions so frank or revealing, at such an early date; Augustine’s work is disingenuous beside Eulogio’s candid descriptions of his times of panic, of his humiliated pride, of his strange yearnings for Flora and his obsession with her physical scars and her hair and his fantasies of the heavenly bridegroom and the earthly brothel. It is also evident that Eulogio was brave and humble and charitable and chaste. There seem fewer contradictions in the character of Alvaro, the more professional writer, the more accomplished, much the more reserved of the two; also, as he realized himself, the less attractive. Yet in him too is the painful contrast of a careful man who exhorts others so eloquently to martyrdom. He had a contempt for marriage, and for his own marriage, which is exactly described by the sense which English writers of the last century gave to the word ‘monkish’. “I am made up of the mud of lust and desire; earthly, I am suddenly carried to this point.” Not having been gifted with continence, he could see no virtue in the alternative of marriage. In both writers there is a tension. Alvaro must have accepted that he would never be a martyr himself, in much the same terms as he accepted that he would never be a monk. Both the martyrs’ movement and its literary expression were born in psychological and social tension. Out of this tension came a characteristic approach to Islam.

3. The polemic


We must complete our little survey of this extraordinary episode in the history of the relations of Arabs and Europeans by a short look at the conscious ideas about the Arabs and their religion which Eulogio and Alvaro express. There are ideas which we shall see recur through the centuries. We can recognize two ways in which their writings cast their shadow before. There are certain assertions and arguments which will be unchanged or little changed in form. There are others which do not appear again in the same form, but which methodologically resemble later polemic, and reveal logical faults which would be often repeated.

Eulogio, as might be expected, was polemically the most straightforward. In his longest sustained passage about Islam he applies the words of Saints Paul and Peter to the Prophet and to those who accept him reverently—“although they knew God, they did not honour him as God”—“men who by their wickedness suppress the truth”—“no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man”—“and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.” It is interesting that in applying these texts to Islam he finds it necessary or useful to adduce the support of “many of the most expert” opinions, as well as that of the Gospel: “Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.” We should probably be right to infer that the application of these texts to Islam was questioned in Christian circles. Eulogio bases himself on the authority of the Apostles, to question the Muslim claim to follow reason, or worship in truth. His method is to attack the authority of the Prophet to teach, as it would be the method of most later Christian attacks on Islam. He tells us that when he travelled to Pamplona he looked through the “unknown books” in the monastery, and found a short anonymous history of the Prophet. This life is directly ancestral to most of the subsequent attacks on the Prophet, and even begins with the same words as many of them do, a precise (though slightly inaccurate) dating, tempore Heraclii imperatoris, putting the rise of Muhammad in 618 (AD—Eulogio actually uses the aera date in Spanish style) and citing his Spanish contemporaries, notably Isidore.
The book includes supposed events of the Prophet’s life which we may place in three categories. The first covers the misrepresentation of actual facts, for example, of his relations with Khadija, his first wife, or with Zayd, or with Christians (the latter based presumably on the Islamic apocrypha about Bahira). The second category includes total misstatements, as about the Prophet’s capture of Damascus. Even if we allow for the inference that Muhammad’s history has simply been run on into that of his successors, there is the most confused account of how the Muslims killed “the brother of the emperor of that land.” In the third category we find misrepresentations—equally fictitious—of the teaching of the Prophet. The idea, for example, that the Prophet expected to be resurrected must be compounded of a supposition that Muslims conceived him to be a kind of Christ, and a dim knowledge of the dismay which the death of the Prophet did indeed cause, until Abu Bakr reminded the faithful that Muhammad had always taught that he was a man like other men. This same ‘little history’ argued that the Prophet taught an incorporeal God as a kind of trick to deceive men into accepting other dogmas which were not true. There is ridicule of the Quran which could be applied with equal unfairness to the Bible. “He made up a story of spiders and mousetraps to catch flies” seems to represent sura 29: “The likeness of those who take other patrons besides God is as the likeness of the spider, which maketh to herself a house: but the weakest of all houses surely is the house of the spider.” The real interest in these passages is that in type, and often letter for letter, they foreshadow the arguments of the twelfth- and thirteenth-century polemists.
The martyrs, as Eulogio describes their acts of defiance, either attack the life and person of the Prophet, or stress Christology and the unity or Trinity of God. Eulogio himself gives an account of Muslim belief about Jesus which is sympathetic.
“He taught that Christ is the Word of God, and his Spirit, and indeed a great prophet, but with no power of Deity, like Adam, not equal to the Father; who was filled with the Holy Spirit on account of his merits, by the power of God was renowned for miracles and distinguished by signs and portents, prevailing nothing by his own majesty or Godhead, but adhering to God like a just man, he deserved to accomplish many things from the Almighty by humble prayers.”

There is no misrepresentation here, and little bitterness. Again, however, it foreshadows a future when Christians would puzzle over the high regard of Muslims for the Messiah, and the Quranic praise of Jesus. The Quranic praises, of course, extend to the mother of Jesus, and it is the more curious that Eulogio writes that he will say nothing about the horrible sacrilege about Mary, queen of he world and mother of the Saviour. Here Eulogio perhaps confused Muslim beliefs with stories from the Talmud; later mediaeval writers did not follow him here, but knew that the Quranic revelation was wholly reverent towards Mary. Eulogio also inveighs bitterly against the building of mosques and particularly against the call to prayer. It seems illogical that he should object more to the public worship of Islam than to Islamic rule itself, and yet this hatred showed itself again and again in later ages.
Ideas that would have a long history appear also in Alvaro; for example, that Islam is a conglomeration of heresies—that is the idea that parallels, while it reverses, the Muslim concept of Christianity as a falling away from the truth of Islam. Another example is the argument that the truthful element in Islam introduces the untruthful, the ‘sugared poison’, a concept, as we have seen, also in Eulogio. The Quran is a deliberate “weaving of stories together” and “in a false style”. The approach most characteristic of Alvaro is that which argues on the basis of what the writer believes Islam must really be; and, of course, he puts into their mouths intentions that they never had. He decides, for example, that he knows better than the Arabs what the muezzin (muadhdhin, the man who calls to prayer, or utters the adhan) really is. He expounds the Old Testament prophet Daniel: in the Vulgate, “He shall worship the god Maozim in his place” (AV—“shall he honour the god of forces”)… “and he shall do this to fortify Maozim with a strange god.” This refers actually to Antiochus Epiphanes, and the god of fortresses, perhaps, to Jupiter Capitolinus, for whom Antiochus, while a hostage in Rome, acquired a devotion. To Alvaro it prophesied Islam. Since ‘maozim’ means strong, Alvaro can say, “Maozim whom they call Cobar”—cobar is kabir, or, since he refers to the call to prayer, akbar, ‘God is great.’ “With the ritual of wild animals, their lips apart and their throats wide open, they cry out as if they had the stomach-ache, and make their announcement bawling like madmen.” As a description of the muezzin, this is grotesque, and the argument that Arabic has changed the form ‘Maozim’ to ‘almozem’ (i.e. muezzin), which he seems to take for a name of God, hardly less so. All this absurd speculation could easily have been corrected by reference to any Arab, or even perhaps an Arabic-speaking Christian with no axe to grind. It was one of the characteristic polemic positions that Christians believed they knew the real facts which Muslims sought to obscure. Both Alvaro and Eulogio, however, translate correctly a phrase which in later centuries would be exploited polemically against Islam. It can be translated by the literal-minded as “May God pray over Muhammad;” our authors say, “Lord, have mercy on our prophet” or “May God celebrate and save him” (psallat Deus super eum et salvet eum). Thus happily they let slip the opportunity for a very superficial polemic advantage; meantime it became clear that both had access to, or had early acquired, accurate information about religious phrases in Arabic. They had not cut themselves off from their surroundings as completely as they pretended.
For Alvaro and Eulogio the Islamic revelation had been contrived to an end, and that end was self-indulgence of all kinds, but mostly of the sexual kind. In our own world, both Christianity and Islam are condemned for setting limits to the use of sexuality and other pleasures; it must seem the more unaccountable that Christians once set so high a store on sexual abstention as to attack Islam violently for its laxity. Yet such is the case. Alvaro followed the same general lines as his friend, but in his own way. He took as his text Ezekiel: “And she was mad with lust…” and Jeremiah, “They are become as amorous stallions.” For both our writers the confirmation of their arguments by Old Testament prophecy was important, though the texts in which they find what they seek are often more obscure than those in the Quran that they attack. Alvaro’s attack is directed against plural marriage and the legality of concubinage in the status of slavery. (Christianity forbade concubinage, at least in theory, but not, of course, slavery.) Probably he also refers to divorce in the phrase “all are made adulterers” but his meaning is often obscure. He even attacks Islam for “uncleanest delight… and an incestuous bed”, and there is no slightest colouring for such criticism. He also speaks of encouraging things to be done with women “usurping the natural law and seeking new ways of desire;” perhaps this refers only to sexual postures. Alvaro’s invective is consistently violent. It is always clear that his objection is to sexual pleasure as such and in any circumstances. He is outraged by a tradition of the Prophet’s sexual prowess, because he cannot associate sanctity and sexuality even in a legitimate context. Sex is “from Venus the ridiculous, the spouse of Vulcan, that is, the wife of fire, who, because of the foamy liquid, is also called Afrodin: qui et opus venereum assignatur, alkaufeit idem impudicus nominavit.” The text is corrupt, but the sense is clear, and also the play of words. If there is something of a game in the classical references, biblical citation is wholly serious. Identification of Old Testament meanings as prophetic gives a confidence that can withstand the visible success of Islam in the world around. “Behold Behemoth”—Islam lacks true religion; “he eateth grass”-not wheat; hay stands for theempty people Behemoth devours. The images become tortuous: “Finding them empty he devoured them and tied them to him by everlasting chains.” Job’s “His strength is in his loins, and his force in the navel of his belly” Alvaro refers to the boast of the Prophet’s sexual power. All the strands of his thought run together; on “The sinews of his testicles are wrapped together” he comments, “running with desires and satiated with germination.” On “His bones are like pipes of brass” he says, “All his uncouth people make the admirable style of Arabic into something senseless… Like metal, they have the style of speaking well, without the sense…”
The same thoughts pass through every subject he considers. The Arabs fight against other nations “as if it were the command of God,” but the psalmist says, “Scatter thou the nations that delight in war”. Christians observed the day of the Lord, but Islam dedicates Friday to “the stomach and to lust”, when it ought to be given to sadness and fasting. Christ taught frugality and fasting, Islam “jollity and the allurements of feasting… it applies no legal brake for the repression of shamelessness.” Christ restrained the natural motions by his laws, Islam encourages licence; Christ ordained abstention even from the connubial bed in the time of fast, but Muslims at such times especially consecrate themselves to “venereal reward”. This is a fair indication of the purely rhetorical quality of what is being said: Islam in fact is strict in requiring total abstention during the hours of fast. Eulogio describes the Id following the fast as given over to “the debauchery of gluttony and the flow of wantonness,” a severe and depressing, but not necessarily a false, description of much human celebration. His comment illustrates another characteristic polemic trick: to contrast Muslim practice with Christian ideal. Practice for practice there would be no such contrast. Alvaro sums up the whole of Christian criticism in his interpretation of Job, when he applies the verse, “or speak soft words to thee”. The words of the Quran are “soft”, easy, pleasant: verba sunt mollia. Eulogio has a genuine gift for description, and in one of his martyrdom accounts he tries to present the Muslim case as the cadi stated it. It begins fairly enough, and slips finally into the usual Christian image of Islam, soft and sexual. “The cadi preached Mahom the author of this sect, who, illuminated by the teaching of the angel Gabriel, received the word of prophecy from the Most High to announce to the nations, established a law, treated of paradise and taught the kingdom of heaven, full of feasts and streams of women.”
Eulogio and Alvaro were not direct sources of later mediaeval polemic. This whole extraordinary episode of the Cordovan martyrs seems to have been generally forgotten; yet all that they say falls within the main pattern of the later polemic, and much that they say would reappear later, unchanged in detail. We can even claim that the substance of later Christian polemic against Islam is contained in the Cordovan corpus; but we have no ground to suppose it the original invention of the two friends. We know that their teacher was the abbot Hope-in-God, and that he had written a little book against Islam, from which Eulogio quotes a passage (“non erit paradisus sed lupanar”). The monks, clerics and laymen of Cordova had the same schools and education, and the monks seem to have been unstable by Benedictine standards of stabilitas. We infer a variety of cenobitical ways of life, both in the town and outside it; in the mountains, a prompt awareness of what was happening in the town, but, in the town, a solid ignorance of what was happening among Muslim fellow-townsmen. Perhaps the real division was not between the clergy and the laity, but between those Christians who renounced and those who accepted Arabization. In the nature of things, the renouncers were destined to disappear from the Spanish scene, but they had received and passed on a tradition. We may recall the “old book” of Pamplona which Eulogio quoted at length. If this was not his own invention (and it is not probable that it was), this manuscript, with its genuine if imperfect knowledge of Islam, savagely twisted by malice, is not likely to have come from a French or other European source. In any case, the sources of Eulogio’s knowledge were Spanish. Everything points to the existence of a continuous Spanish Christian tradition which existed before our authors, on which they drew, and which survived long after them. Almost certainly, there was a common stock of half-knowledge about Islam, repetitions at third hand, misinterpretation of things seen and misrepresentation of things heard. Above all, there was a well of resentment, constantly replenished.

4. Interpretation


The evidence for the existence of this long tradition is important to the historian of opinion, but the writers themselves took it largely for granted; for them, the important: thing was to justify ‘spontaneous’ martyrdom. This to us seems too untypical to be equally important; Spanish perhaps, in the sense of quixotic, but almost unparalleled in the main stream of European history. Alvaro refers obscurely to the uncomfortable precedent of the Donatists. Yet even these arguments are worth some analysis. In the face of all the facts, our authors tried to believe that the martyrdoms were not unprovoked. Somehow they had to show that the martyrs responded to a pre-existing persecution of Christians. Alvaro said that if a Christian denies that there is persecution in Cordova, “either he bears the yoke of slavery asleep and dreaming” or he shares the position of the persecutors. His opponents “say that the martyrs proceeded without any hostile stimulus; I, by declaring what they claimed, will confirm that they were oppressed by the zeal of the Arabs.” He makes his point by describing in detail the cases of Perfectus/Kamil and of the merchant John. By our standards and his enemies’ evidence, the Cadi did everything possible to avoid treating Perfectus severely. John was cruelly beaten, but he was not executed, and his punishment would not have seemed out of the way to a sailor in Nelson’s navy. On the other hand, the same evidence convinces us that the Muslim crowds were often hostile and easily roused to attack Christians. Muslim domination was a ‘persecution’ because it was a domination, not because it was intolerant; we have seen that Christians resented its very tolerance. There was a total opposition of almost Manichaean proportion: nihil quippe veritati nisi falsitas contravenit. “We have used the Gospel against the Gospel, for whoever forbids cursing also orders blessing.” With heavy sarcasm Alvaro portrays the attitude of tolerant Christians: “They (the martyrs) are the persecutors of the Arabs (ethnicorum); we are the persecutors of the worshippers of Christ.” The sense of the word ‘persecute’ becomes clearer. It does not mean more than ‘be in opposition to’; the martyrs were provoked, and the martyrs persecuted, by the existence of Islam and the presence of Muslims. The Arabs are ‘cruel’ but cruelty is wrong only when and because it is used against the church. The Prophet gave the Arabs a sword to kill the people of God, but Islam was instigated by God to winnow the chaff. The chaff are the Christian compromisers. There exist only the truth and the lie.
Eulogio’s arguments are similar but they give us a better picture of what the Christian critics were saying. Their first point is the failure of the relics of the martyrs to work miracles. It is indeed a wonder that this movement of fanatics produced no wonder; perhaps thaumaturgical sanctity presupposes a basis of belief among the masses, whereas this, so far as we can tell, was an elite movement. The same reproach was levelled both by Muslims, who did not believe miracles necessary to true prophecy, but recognized that Christians did, and by Christians who demanded confirmation by miracles before they would accept the holiness of the movement. Eulogio could only say that this was to “distract attention from the intention of our martyrs.” Many of the faithful and even (heu proh dolor!) of the priests did not want the martyrs to be admitted to the catalogues of the saints. These quoted Scripture: “But I say to you, love your enemies;” “Do violence to no man;” “Who, when he was reviled, did not revile;” “nor railers shall possess the kingdom of God.” To these he replied with others such as “a little leaven corrupteth the lump” and they “have turned aside into vain babbling,” “they have laboured to commit iniquity.” We might think that it is the quotations chosen by the critics that are directly to the point, but Eulogio says that such people “are not content to understand the Scriptures in a sane sense, but expound them according as they please.” He complains that the critics “carry their opinions through the market-place” and “desert the line of sane doctrine on election by their own judgement.” Can this mean that they thought salvation possible for Muslims? More probably that they did not confine salvation to an elite. Eulogio returns to the real point when he says that the critics argue that “those who are not dragged violently to martyrdom should not be, or be taken to be, martyrs;” and “they rebuke those who come by their own will, in that they have been in no way molested.” He argues the existence of persecution from the destruction of churches, insults to the clergy, the poll tax on Christians. The soldiers of Christ must confess Christ before the Arabs: it is understood here that confessing Christ means insulting Islam. “For he that shall confess me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also will confess him.” This misquotation is itself revealing. It is a conflation of two parallel passages in the Gospels. Eulogio has naturally preferred the more strongly worded passage, but this actually has “he that shall be ashamed of me… the Son of man also will be ashamed of him.” Put in this correct form, it could by no stretch of imagination have been made to justify the aggressive “confession of Christ”.
Eulogio seems desperately to be hiding his own doubts. “If hell holds those who openly profess holy things,” how much more those who preach the truth in hiding? If it is useless to wrestle in the public gymnasium, it is more so to proclaim the truth in secret. Justice requires a public outcry against the author of crime. Christians owe no obligation to the Muslims; admittedly Christians are “allowed freely to bear the standard of the Christian faith by the followers of the same prophet, as one of the privileges of their rule,” but this must be attributed, not to Muslims’ patience, but to the providence of God. Yet his own arguments may have seemed specious to him. The motives of the martyrs worry him. Can they like dying for its own sake? No, he says, they died to escape the pains of hell, and in doing so went surely to heaven. H[e must always return to the same point; the confession of Christ and the attack on Islam are necessarily involved together. The martyrs’ intentions were good, so their actions must have been right; and their actions were right, and so their intentions good.
It is the presence of Islam that is a ‘persecution’, and Christians must persecute Islam, even by dying in order to denounce it. The new custom of dying to attack Islam disappeared; it could only be the fashion or the mood of a moment of history. The other ideas survived, and came to determine in due course the Christian attitude to Crusade and to Muslim minorities. The martyrs implied a political theory which in less disadvantageous terms affected the lives of thousands; not always obeyed, yet it was preached by the Church for centuries. It was practised when Islam was originally extirpated from Sicily. It was practised by the Crusaders. It was practised in the Reconquista, and found its ultimate expression when the Spanish monarchs expelled the Moriscos. Its logical and legal expression was in the Inquisition. The theory was simple: Christianity cannot exist side by side with any other religion; and the martyrs practised the theory with a logic untempered by common sense. They applied within a community living under Muslim rule the logic which Christians would later apply in Europe from a dominant position, and continue to apply until the imperial age. Applied from a positionof dominance, the theory was very practical, more practical, though less attractive, than the tolerance which Islam still showed to Christians while Europe expelled over its frontiers the few aliens it had not been able totally to absorb.
The over-insistent pursuit of an acceptable orthodoxy, with its resulting tensions, occupied Europe for many centuries, resulting ultimately in a cultural disintegration. This long history did not originate with Eulogio and Alvaro and the Cordovan martyrs whose great renunciation they celebrated. It happens that a small, limited, but extremely interesting literature illuminates one brief episode of Christian resistance to absorption. We should see this literature not as the source of a great tradition, but as the illustration of a phase in its development.
Source: The Arabs and Medieval Europe by Norman Daniel










36 comments:

Matamoros said...

I found several articles on the Martyrs of Cordoba that you may be interested in:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_of_Córdoba
http://libro.uca.edu/martyrs/cm2.htm
http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2010/02/martyrs-of-cordoba.html
http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/08/20/the-christian-martyrs-of-cordoba/

While the witness of these martyrs is important, more important are those lay, religious and military-religious who drove them out of Spain by their unceasing prayers and actions.

Roni said...

Cheradenine
Despite your attitude against Jews, it will be a great lost if you will stop. The main reason I can name here is : many Europeans have no access to what is happening right now in France and Spain. Most Europeans do not master the French and Spanish language. The Scandinavians, Dutch, Germans know mostly their own language, English and German. The East Europeans know their own language, English and Russian. My knowledge of French is not good enough to read a French newspaper and blogs. ‘Islam vs Europe’ is, in this aspect, enriching our knowledge and give us tools to handle the matter. Especially against policy makers, politicians and media who are hostile against their own population the way Dr. Bazooka depicts the French elite. They and EU institution are doing their best to conceal the ‘smell of rotten fish’ by “Social Engineering”; a scientific branch of Sociology consisting of disinformation, brainwashing and propaganda. (could easily come out of the brain of Jozef Göbbels). Fight for your rights can be done only by knowing the facts. You are for many people an excellent source of facts: Especially when you have also a man like Nicolai Sennels at your side who is supplying the blog with news from Scandinavian countries. I have a whole archive with your articles.

Anonymous said...

http://quenelleberlinoise.com/

"I am of course against censorship and freedom of expression. On this subject, the eternal question: What is the limit that we can bring to the freedom of expression? I am on this point in favor of U.S. jurisdiction or neo-Nazis and kukluxklan can express. In the United States, the limit is the call to murder."

Anonymous said...

One wonders at the martyrs of Cordoba, both for their bravery in Christ and for their blatant foolishness in staying in a country ruled by muslims.

There were christian states to the north and northwest. Why not go there and help them survive and fight islam? Why remain among an increasingly arabized-islamized-bastardized population? Did not the Lord tell his church not to offer pearls to swine?? Now if they had nowhere to go I could fully understand them, but to the north Pelayo had established a christian kingdom, I think they should have gone there, instead of dying under the whip and boot of the enemy.

And by the way, I think you should keep blogging! Of course you should not burn out on it or give up a book-project to do it, yet I do think your blog does a lot of good!

isntlam said...

The behavior of Jews... I have Jewish relatives. One is a very successful businessman. He gave forty-two million dollars to a hospital to build a cancer wing.

Anonymous said...

Please, if you do stop blogging will you allow someone else to carry on the work of this site. These pages have been an enormous reservoir of information that many of us would otherwise have no way of accessing. It is important work that you do, far too important to lose. Please think again, we the ethnic European people need you and the information that you gather

Anonymous said...

"The behavior of Jews... He gave forty-two million dollars to a hospital to build a cancer wing."

And this too.

Anonymous said...

"These pages have been an enormous reservoir of information that many of us would otherwise have no way of accessing."

+1

Anonymous said...

"Why not go there and help them survive and fight islam?"

As if the muslims would allow any exodus of slaves. I'll bet it was tougher to leave muslim occupied Spain than it was to escape East Germany.

Andrew Anglin said...

Hey, love the site, and will support you whatever you choose to do.

You are the only anti-Jihad blog that matters, as far as I'm concerned. The kosher ones all act as if these Muslims are just showing up out of nowhere, which makes absolutely zero sense. If you try to bring up the Jews, they freak out - that guy who runs "the Muslim Issue" literally told me that it was an Arab conspiracy theory that Jews run the media, and that it is secretly run by Arabs. Even though every CEO is admittedly a Jew.

I repost a lot of your stuff over at my site, Daily Stormer, and would love to have you as a regular contributor, if that fits into whatever your next move is. I am not sure that the tone of the site fits with your style completely, but it is likely where you would get the most exposure.

And when you get a book together, I will certainly promote it. If things go as planned, I might even be able to help you publish it, if you want to do physical copies.

I look forward to whatever it is you do next.

Andrew Anglin

Anonymous said...

Well it's all about opinions but I thank CZ for bringing us (some) news from around Europe, that many English speaking people would never have known.

I also welcome the admission that the 'Islam versus Europe' title for the blog is largely redundant. Why? I've read/skimmed through this blog for 3-4 years now & have witnessed it 'do exactly what it says' with the title - to gradually at one point or another - criticise pretty much anyone that isn't white European. The majority of the content now is often more like 'Judaism versus Europe'.

There's been stories & articles about non-Muslims simply because they're mixed-race or black. It all mixes together & the observer can be forgiven for thinking that the blog is anti-everything white (& now it's all the fault of the Jews).

CZ talks at times about defending Christianity/Christian culture - but that is only extended to people that are ethnically White Europeans. Somewhat hypocritical imo regarding the Christian faith.

Well I'm right-wing myself, Christian & 100% anti-Islam myself & get called labels myself. But the 'Jew-baiting' has been absurd imo & I could have constructed a counter argument against most of what I've read here - I just didn't want to waste any time/energy with people who have a fixed mindset.

'Factual evidence' has at times included misleading info, false info & cherry picking 'facts' to construct a conspiracy theory around a preconceived idea. Well that's 'fine' to an extent, but I believe most people aren't interested in that & it's open to ridicule. Some will be interested though so it's a niche market I guess?

Importantly the main target of f***ing up Europe imo is largely ignored on this blog, therefore white liberals. Any Jewish representation is, imo, totally negligible compared to what leftists & socialists have done/are doing.

Well like I said it's all about opinions, but I hope if CZ reads this he takes this criticism as being in the 'constructive' manner it is intended. Just conflicting views that's all!

I value what this blog has done for the anti-Islam stuff, if not the more recent widening of the net. CZ, if you're taking your 'brand' of counter-jihad away from Islam & then it moves it away to other areas ... Probably more like white supremacism or the very far extreme right. Some from those circles will applaud & lap it all up, but that's a relatively small fringe.

Anyway, all the best for the news service!

parisclaims said...

I hope you keep the blog going, it's one of the few I visit every day. A quick word on the Jewish question....there is no doubt in my mind that Jews are massively overrepresented within the group of people who force mass immigration and multiculturism down our throats. Whether its organized or what the motives are I have no idea.

Direita said...

16 January 2014 12:01

"Well I'm right-wing myself"

nop.you don't are. you are only a zionist

Anonymous said...

"I am of course against censorship and freedom of expression. On this subject, the eternal question: What is the limit that we can bring to the freedom of expression? I am on this point in favor of U.S. jurisdiction or neo-Nazis and kukluxklan can express. In the United States, the limit is the call to murder."



the kkk was formed to stop blacks from raping, looting and doing things blacks love to do throughout the south.Fact.

When is the last time the KKK did anything to a negro?


Serious, question, I hear negro's going out killing white peoples every freaking day of the week.

Even Abraham Lincoln, as a young man, was a victim of an attack by multiple Blacks and this was during the time of slavery!

“In the autobiography, he also spoke of a previous trip to New Orleans. With regard to this trip, he said nothing about slaves but did refer to *egroes, recalling that he and his own companion ‘were attacked by seven *egroes with intent to kill and rob them’ and were ‘hurt some in the melee, but succeeded in driving the *egroes from the boat.’”

Lynching most of the time had nothing to do with racism. Whites, Blacks, Jews, Men and Women were all lynched, if you committed crime that outraged the local community you were lynched, simple as that really.

Only the Blacks and Liberals turn lynching into a race issue.


In the State of Arizona, for example, in the period 1882 to 1968 contained that 31 whites were lynched ,and no black
.
Photos of lynchings (including white):

Dr Bazooka said...

I enjoy reading your blog for two main reasons.
1. You bring news from Scandinavia, which is a "black hole" for the French public –often exploited by the medias for presenting Sweden as the model to follow. (As they did before with the multiculturalism in the UK or in the Netherlands.)
2. Your blog is the only one in English that I read, because it is devoid of the bias I have always noticed: the Counterjihad's narrative (i.e.: Anglo-Saxon anti-Islamism) isn't centred on European interests.

On the Jewish question, I don't know, however, if the "racialist" or "culturalist" approach you have chosen is pertinent. It's something that I don't master at all. It’s simply not in the French culture.

Redefining the goals of the blog seems to me appropriate. The key-ideas (or the program) you've established make you very close to the core of the "Réacosphère", which is more than a movement against Islam (this second or third rank enemy; this parasite that is a threat only because of our weakness).
First, we need to fight everything that makes us able to welcome all the garbage of the world by recounting that it’s our chance and our future.
We need to fight the preachers of self-hatred, the toxicity of the UE, of the Council of Europe, of “our” “elites” (may they be Jewish or 100% European), the stupidity of the Left, the cupidity of the Right (that will always sacrifice its people for a one dollar bill).

The decay is among us, and in us. It is not the Muslims who opened the doors to the Muslims. And they wouldn’t have been able to invent all the bullshits (sociologic, politic, and historic) that they now use against us: they simply repeat a learned hatred.

What we need is a European Renaissance.

If the power changes in our countries, the Muslim problem can be solved within six months.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

LAND ART – Yesterday, a guy discharged 20 tons of manure in front of the National Assembly (Paris). He was calling to eject all our politicians.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BeF9NR8CYAA1xZw.jpg:large

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

About the myth of Al Andalous, an historian to discover: Serafin Fanjul.

Anonymous said...

Time for the anti-Semitic web site to morph into another false flag operation. Here comes the new boss, just like the old boss.

Anonymous said...

Florida, USA - Anti-civilization mohammedans are destroying European culture right in front of your eyes. The Qua-ran states, "strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and pagans". CZ pretends to care about preserving European culture (known as Christendom), but devotes his time to demonizing Jews. The Jews in Israel are on the front line fighting against the in-bred moron blood-thirsty moon worshipers known as moslems. What is happening there will soon be in your neighborhood. I am a Christian who says the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and I stand with the Jews against a common enemy. New International Version Bible, Luke 19:9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham."

hoosier said...

Where are we supposed to get decent europe news now?

Anonymous said...

Indeed, CZ youre vieuws will be missed here. Do i am very pleased you are writing a book.
Hope you do wel and let us know when its finished :).

Anonymous said...

Source of informative historical material for Islam in Spain and the Martyrs of Cordoba is Charles Reginald Haines' book - Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-11031). My first visit to your blog, and I have not read around it, so this may already be old news to you.
Publisher: Forgotten Books (21 July 2012)
ISBN-10: 1451007523
ISBN-13: 978-1451007527

Anonymous said...

I hope you keep blogging, CZ. Although I don't agree with everything you write, you make a very valuable contribution. Much of your information I never would have access to without your blog. It has taught me much and if you quit I will miss it sorely.

Anonymous said...

You have your opinions. We may or may not agree with them, but you are at least open and free minded enough to air opposing opinions. Perhaps we would all agree on the fact that peoples relate better to each other from the security of their own cultural norms, i.e. their own homogenous nation with their own rules and culture. As regards antisemitism - this may be justifiable to a certain in that the jewish intelligencia are very well represented and opinion forming in constituting the liberal, immigration and multiculturism favouring and the financial backers behind such. I bear no ill will to any other peoples - my problem is not with them - It is with the fact that I want to live in my own social group, living by our own established culture - and not have this usurped by any underhand immivasion.

Anonymous said...

Parasites attach themselves to an host and then enjoy a comfortable profitable existence at the expense of the hosts body, sometimes the parasite throw the host a bone to keep it docile and compliant

Anonymous said...

The most dangerous of all ideologies is the belief of the people, who have not viewed the world.

Anonymous said...

oO

Anonymous said...

@Forida USA
Jews in Israel spit on Christians in the street - really common and no one in Israel talks about it.
If ancient Christian artefacts or perhaps the remains of a church or anything else of Christian originor pertaining to Christianity is discovered during the course of building or road works more often than not these are concealed or destroyed very very common.
l dont care what Jews do in Israel however it is rather amusing that many Christians are completely duped by the Jews - you included. If you found out what they really think of you you woudnt be happy. Ask Sara Silverman what she thinks of you ))

Anonymous said...

To all those crypto Jews and so called anti-jihadis who claim Jewish influence and control of the West is a nonsense there is an extraordinarily large body of evidence to the contrary. Hell even Hollande is YKW as was the previous incumbent Sarkosaurus.
Be assured if the Jewish elites that control the West didnt want the mass non-White immigration it wouldnt be happening - absolutely no way would it be happening.
To suggest that Jews dont control the West is laughable - no intelligent human being havinng looked into the matter would propose that.

Anonymous said...

Straight out of the horses mouth - when the jews openly admit they control the media you can take it as a given that they control the financial world and Western governments

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jews-do-control-the-media/

Heck sometimes their leaders even admit they control the West!
Ariel Sharon October 3, 2001
“Every time we do something you tell me Americans will do this and will do that. I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.”

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/01/11/burying-sharon/

Anonymous said...

We certainly have to do something about the negative influence and negative policies the Jewish (and others ) have on the West, especially with regards to mass immigration.

If some or many of these people are happy to oversee our demise then we have to deal with it & them, we don't need to kill or anything like WW2, we just need to lessen their influence and render their ideologies and actions impotent.

Anonymous said...

When I google "Islam in Europe" your blog is in the top 5, which is impressive. It takes a lot of work with a new blog to get in the spotlight again. If you finish your book, it would be a place to generate interest for the book as well, or for your new blog.
.
If I were you, I would allow others to post translations of newsitems on it, and keep it going.

Anonymous said...

Florida, USA - Sara Silverman is representative of Jews, like Obama is representative of Christians. As a Christian, I believe the Bible.
King James Version
Genesis 12:3
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
It is not too late for you to let go of the hate you have for Jesus Christ's brethren.

Anonymous said...

Sara Silverman doesn't typify a religious jew but she is broadly representative of liberal irreligious jews.and her antagonism toward christians is common in both types of jews.
The old testament isn't christian and does not contain Christs message,, even Jews don't read it - they read the talmud..lf there ever was a covenant between God and the jews that was broken when Christ was murdered by the jewish ruling elite- the scribes and pharisees. Jesus stated that initially he came only for the jews but appears to have changed his mind about this during the course of his pastoral work.

Anonymous said...

Florida, USA - Thanks for your thoughtful reply, but I disagree. It may be true that the old testament does not contain Christ's message, but it does foreshadow Christ's sacrifice. Examples are when Moses was instructed to hang a brass serpent on a cross in the desert to cure snake bit Israelites. Another example is the blood of the passover lamb causing the death angel to passover the homes of the Israelies in Egypt. Also I disagree about the second part, God did not change his mind. Here are some passages to make my point: Psalm 105:11 "Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance"
Romans 9:4 "Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises"
Romans 11:1 " I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin."
When Jesus walked the earth he proved his divinity by performing miracles. Today he proves his divinity by fulfilled prophecy. All the puzzle pieces of the Book of Revelation are falling into place now. The countries in the end time prophecies are in the newspaper headlines everyday; Syria, Egypt, Libya, Persia, Turkey, Israel, Russia. Peace to you.

Anonymous said...

The End

Zimri said...

"If ancient Christian artefacts or perhaps the remains of a church or anything else of Christian originor pertaining to Christianity is discovered during the course of building or road works more often than not these are concealed or destroyed very very common. "

This is actually a, er, lie.

http://www.livescience.com/42761-ancient-church-mosaics-uncovered-israel.html

Anonymous said...

@Zimri: I read that article to which you linked and it states clearly that the Christian Byzantine mosaic will be removed from the 'site' (an ancient Christian church) for display in a local museum and that, afterwards, the 'site' will be covered up; also the commenters on that article expressed their disapproval of simply covering up, and building over, this Christian church.

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