David Nirenberg Of Violence Thesis

David Nirenberg Of Violence Thesis-26
In other words, the nuances of Muslim history and civilization are completely obscured in the face of broad, sweeping statements geared towards emphasizing not only the uprightness, but even the absolute supremacy of Muslim civilization, as it was believed to have manifested between the ninth century and the eighteenth century.It is at this point where history ceases to be a critical intellectual endeavor and instead becomes polemic and apologetics.

In other words, the nuances of Muslim history and civilization are completely obscured in the face of broad, sweeping statements geared towards emphasizing not only the uprightness, but even the absolute supremacy of Muslim civilization, as it was believed to have manifested between the ninth century and the eighteenth century.It is at this point where history ceases to be a critical intellectual endeavor and instead becomes polemic and apologetics.

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(It is interesting to note here that many Orientalists were not the originators of the decline thesis and many Orientalist scholars themselves played a role in fomenting interest in the so-called “Golden Age.”) The emphasis on a “Muslim Golden Age” is therefore usually not based on any comprehensive engagement with historical sources or a yearning to discover the actual reality of medieval and early modern Muslim history.

In 1066 a Muslim mob murdered nearly 4000 Jews in Granada (the first major pogrom to occur in Europe), while in the twelfth century the Almohad dynasty forced all Jews and Christians in al-Andalus and North Africa to convert to Islam (or choose exile); among the most important of these exiles was the Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides (d. The works of various Muslim philosophers and theologians, including both al-Ghazali (d. 1198), were publicly burned in the courtyard of the Great Mosque of Cordoba.

Other episodes, such as the Martyrs of Cordoba (851-859) and destruction of Santiago de Compostela (999), also show that al-Andalus cannot simply be reduced to a paradise of tolerance.

Although it is certainly true that there was a large degree of coexistence of faiths in medieval Spain and some important examples of toleration, there was also a great deal of intolerance.

In fact, some of the most brutal episodes in Islamic history occurred in al-Andalus.

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