Rorate Caeli

Celebrating the Muslim invasions

1300 years ago, the great Muslim invasion of Europe began as Arab armies led by Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed what was then still known as the Pillars of Hercules and would thenceforth be known as the Straits of Gibraltar (Jabal Tariq).

As darkness rapidly engulfed the Catholic Visigothic territories of the Iberian Peninsula, Christians would begin a journey of between a few decades and 750 years (depending on the region in which they lived in Hispania) of bloodshed, continuous humiliation, and repression.

Not for the Virginia Military Institute (thanks to Spanish daily ABC for alerting us to this), which celebrates with a conference the mostly horrendous years of Arab domination in the Iberian peninsula, and describes it thus:
Join academic, political, and cultural leaders to address topics vital to our future: how to transform education, promote tolerance, inspire political reform, and advance human development so that we can build on the spirit and historical successes at those times when Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived side by side in Western Europe, forging a society that lit the Dark Ages.
Right... "Lit" the Dark Ages in a bonfire of blood, sharia, and dhimmitude, right? Living as a dhimmi can be quite peaceful and spiritually inspirational - though it is not exactly living side by side with one's Muslim superiors... In our modest opinion,  as an institution dedicated to military matters, they should get ready to study the underlying inner strength which ignited a relentless crusade of seven centuries, from the revolt of Pelagius of Asturias in Covadonga (the Cave of Our Lady), in 718, and the great victory of Charles Martel in Tours-Poitiers, in 732, to the final extinction of Arab domination in the peninsula in Granada, in the significant year of 1492. 

What else do Muslims need to do in our own days so that scholars can stop romanticizing an inexistent peaceful and joyful Al-Andalus? 


  1. With Gaddhafi describing the intervention as a crusade...if only it were a proper crusade.

    Distribute, translate and comment the book of Sylvain Gougenheim, Aristote au Mont-St-Michel.

  2. Once there were about 700 bishops across North Africa. By the time the "religion of peace" had finished with its invasion/ethnic cleansing etc. there were virtually none. It is sad that history is no longer studied. And here we are doing the dirty work in Libya, replacing one gang of terrorists with another...

  3. Anonymous12:37 PM

    +UIOGD That should put a shiver down every American soul, when our military schools begin to buy the propaganda, one day they will convince our men not to carry arms against a viable and aggressive enemy. Ecumenism is alive and well, God have mercy! Margaret

  4. Anonymous2:05 PM

    Americans, and anglosaxons in general, are rather infected by the Américo Castro's theories, proven false by Eugenio Asensio in his masterpiece "La España imaginada de Américo Castro".
    Jews did help Muslims at the beginning of their invasion, partially enraged because the treatment they received under the Visigoths was not fair. Afterwards they had to flee to Christian lands as they were fiercely persecuted by the Muslims, particularly by the 2nd and 3rd waves of mohammedans. Christians and Muslims did not get along very well. Christians under muslim rule (mozárabes) had a hard time because the Koran indicates how Muslims have to deal with non-Muslims and they did. Muslims under Christian rule (mudéjares)were finally expelled by Philip II as they helped the Turks to nearly re-invade Spain. In the meantime those mudéjares killed thousands of Christians.
    With the exception of a few decades in Córdoba, when the Muslims became lax, and in some scholar institutions such as the Escuela de Traductores de Toledo, created by Alphonse X the Wise, there was not a good relationship amongst the three religions.
    Could the ignorants, please, stop the rubbish about the "myth of the three cultures"?

    Rafael Castela Santos

  5. The myth of the 3 cultures reflects, alas, the acceptance by many of the 'People of the Book' myth-an error, in fact.

    Christianity is not a religion of the book or Book. Except for the Protestant Heretics.

    And then with book? That fabrication of legends, fables, misquotes, called Alcoran?

  6. Anonymous3:29 PM

    Let's guess who might be funding this, or in other ways paying off the hosts.
    The Cordoba stuff is so tiresome - a single dynasty, with frequent uprisings and repressions overlooked.
    It is time for at least an intellectual Reconquest.

  7. Anonymous10:03 PM

    Moderns see terms like "Catholic" or "Muslim" as mere adjectives, describing some attribute of an individual or culture more fundamentally grounded in race, culture or economic status. Thus they say "Catholic Irish", not "Irish Catholic" and "Muslim American" rather than "American Muslim". In liberal thinking, people who disagree as Catholic or Muslim can get together on the more "fundamental" ground of American or middle-class or whatever.

    But if Dawson is right that civilizations are erected to protect religions, those words are properly nouns and represent more fundamental realities that the other terms merely modify. Thus religion is more fundamental than nationality and "Muslim" or "Catholic" more fundamental than "American", "Spanish" or "Irish", and in a conflict, the more fundamental idea will win out over the less fundamental. So the $64 Question becomes: will those Muslims who remain Muslim (and I think there is more conversion to Christianity than we realize or the press concedes) and who happen to live in the West come to think like liberal Westerners or like traditional Muslims?

    If they do become liberal, that's more enemies for us here, but perhaps worse trouble for Islam at home should Western Muslims be a channel for bringing liberalism to the Islamic world. For God never said the gates of Hell would never prevail against Muhammed. He has allowed the enemies of his Chosen Ones to consume each other several times before.


  8. May I take issue with the word "revolt"? Pelayo aka pelagius in Covadonga .Asturias
    If you(impersonal you) win a battle and conquer a kingdom, most of which you continue to hold for 700 years you can probably label" revolt" any and every objection to your unimaginably beneficient rule.If you say so..
    Others, particularly those sketchily in control of the poorer wetter northern mountainous third of the country (Round about uk in area) after a more tiddly battle a bare four years later(long and fascinating story) might and did use different words.
    BTW the wikipedia entry in English on cova donga been dhimmified, The spanish language wiki entry , links and discussion especially WAS ok last time I looked, check it quick and copy fast, it won't last.

  9. Anonymous12:46 AM

    If this deserves to be celebrated, shouldn't we also celebrate the establishment of the Jewish ghettoes? On the other hand, it was considerably easier to live in a Jewish ghetto than it was to be a Christian under Muslim rule, so the comparison might not be terribly adequate.

  10. note to moderator: please feel free to replace "ghettoes" with "ghettos"...that's just one of the many differences between a "ghetto" and a "potato"


  11. Anonymous2:42 AM

    If the West starts a crusade against Islam today, it will be in such names as Locke, Voltaire, and Sanger... not the name of Christ. If it is successful, the world will awake and groan to find itself "enlightened."

    May the Arab smash our armies. It won't matter too much. They serve the devil anyway.

    The Arab world is filled with the demons of Islam. But the West is filled with the demons of the lowest regions of Hell.

    There is NO hope in earthly armies or earth's nations. None serve God any longer.

    The only valid hope is in Christ and His Church.


  12. Anonymous3:14 AM

    check out the ICC audio file on Reconquista

  13. Anonymous8:37 AM

    Qadaffi Duck must stay. Without him, there would be no cheap entertainment in North Africa. And I want his wraparound sunglasses. I'll pay anything for them. They are so cool--better than all the tassels and braid on his officers.


  14. xavier Rynne3:09 PM

    There is comical, abysmal ignorance of this period in history in academia and everywhere else. "Side by side" says it all.

  15. Johannes5:52 PM

    Even if there was - and it is doubtful - any period in which Muslim Spain (gained through an unprovoked war) was tolerant and intellectually active, it was heterodox.

    Most shaykhs will deliver a veritable khutbah against the adulteration of Islam that occurred at the hands of the falasifa if you ask them. Muslims today do not read Ibn Sina or Ibn Rushd or al-Farabi. They read Ibn Taymiyyah. They read about and admire and would be Umar ibn Khattab or Khalid ibn Wahlid or Sad ibn Waqaas. It is an insult to Islam deprive it of one it's three main appeals.

    i) It's utter simplicity. One world, one worship or religion or way of life (all encompassed in the single Arabic word "din"), one god. Nothing else beside these. Anymore is kufr and is to be conquered.

    ii)Islam encourages physically fighting evil and imposing what they believe to be the truth by flesh and blood wars.

    iii) Islam alone still tells men that you can kill and by killing be a hero. In the West and Eastern Europe we have just wars. But when they occur we hear of the horror, the shock, the trauma. Islam glorifies it. And this strain lives on in men. This desire to kill and die gloriously for a cause greater than killing or dying. Die well and never be forgotten. This is why the Argives set out for Troas; why Hektor defended it (re-read his last words).

    But that is an aside - if one wishes to know what an actual Muslim state looks like you have Siraat (the biographical compilations concerning Muhammed) and Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Muhammed and his Ummah after him is the standard - not a heterodox isolated incident.

  16. We need look no further in the postmodern church than John Paul II (RIP) for the example of weakness in the face of mahomatenism. Among other things, his cathechism contradicts directy the Tridentine Catechism on this false religion; he emabraced their false scriptures, the Q'uran, in public; he consented to the building of the grand mosque in Rome and he prayed St John The Baptist would protect mahomatenism.

    And you will not publish this because even though these are facts they are too embarrassing for you to admit to on this site. Such is the state of moral cowardice in the effete modern church which is on the verge of beatifying such a man. What an enormous scandal.

  17. LD. Schmidt7:08 AM

    well put, Leon G


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