In the course of human history empires are a relatively new phenomenon, spanning only the last 3000 years or so. From the ancients to modern day Britain, empires are born out of violence and domination, spurred on by greedy men with a desire to rule over the earth and all its inhabitants. Empires control resources and dictate cultures. It is for this reason we must acknowledge all empires, for the duration of their rule, if we are to gain an accurate assessment of human development, in the interests of provenance and posterity.
Take the Moors for example. Neglected in the history books for the most part, owing to the Europeans penning said tomes, their contribution to humanity has been effectively erased or minimised because it stands in direct contradiction to the white supremacist’s creed; that savages were to be civilised from the depths of their spiritual ignorance. They burned books, and monuments of cultural significance, much like Isis did in Palmyra, to the shock and dismay of enlightened Europeans who condemned this destruction of world heritage. I wonder whether the world had reacted to similarly to the barbarism of the conquistadors, or if it had in fact reveled in the bloodshed, as it does today whenever there is a terrorist attack committed against Muslims. I imagine they came out with the same excuses then as they did now “Europe for Europeans!” regardless of the rivers of blood trailing down from the bodies of innocents whose only crime was to pray to the one true God via their own cultural lens. The genocide of the Moors was as much about the colour of their skin, if not more, than it was about a Christian God, as we can see in the blackface festivals celebrated by prevaricating bigots from Spain and Britain to the Netherlands.
The reins of their (Moors) horses were as fire, their faces black as pitch, their eyes shone like burning candles, their horses were swift as leopards and the riders fiercer than a wolf in a sheepfold at night . . . The noble Goths [the German rulers of Spain to whom Roderick belonged] were broken in an hour, quicker than tongue can tell. Oh luckless Spain! Quoted in Edward Scobie, The Moors and Portugal’s Global Expansion, in Golden Age of the Moor, ed Ivan Van Sertima, US, Transaction Publishers, 1992, p.336
Sure, the Moors were probably a frightening spectacle when they invaded Spain in the 8th century but as is the way of empires, wealth and security leads to knowledge, and peace, and eventually empathetic non violence. Empires reach their end when the leaders peak in terms of civility, unprepared for savage invading forces, unable to defend themselves against the onslaught of rabid violence. Perhaps this is why Britain can never just sit back and relax, always pre-emptively asserting itself with made up wars.
The world has chosen to focus on the demise of the Moors as a natural conclusion to the decree ordained by the lord almighty. They had provoked God’s wrath with their salacious ways and fallen out of favour. It is this notion that has sustained the skewed version of history from both sides of the conflict. Europe has effectively slut shamed Muslims into submission who cannot respond with a clear conscience because they bought into the propaganda (having suffered such a humiliating defeat) and now conduct themselves with the same terror inspiring zeal of medieval Christian soliders, whom God allegedly favoured, to appease Him.
Without the Moors, there would be no ‘Spanish’ guitar (guitarra morisca). This is what we mean by appropriation; the Moors are not celebrated like the British or Romans or Greeks, despite their many contributions in the advancement of humanity, they have been denied their historical dues by usurping Europeans who took all the credit. Moors pioneered many medical treatments, identifying hemophilia as a condition, inventing anesthesia for the purpose of surgery, and treating hydrocephalus for example. Groundbreaking and lifesaving methods such as how to perform a ligature were first documented in Al Andalus.
The Moors invented watches, a fact all Europeans should remember when they tell the time, especially given they also invented the first sundial to show time in equal measures where previous models varied according to the seasons. Where would we be without this vital innovation? If the Moors had never existed newspapers/books might never have been a thing. They invented a printing device 100 years prior to the ‘invention’ of the printing press. Ibn Firnas invented the metronome in the 9th century, during a time the Europeans referred to as ‘the dark ages’. Where would the human race be without any of these black and brown Muslim visionaries, for whom the dark ages meant a golden age?
My own ancestors, the Mughals, were a creative trailblazing peoples I am determined to resurrect. The first sugar rolling mills appeared during the Mughal empire. They invented the first hookah or water pipe, for the purpose of smoking tobacco. According to Wikipedia modern metallurgists “thought it was technically impossible to produce metal globes without any seams” until they were rediscovered in the 1980s, 20 or so seamless celestial globes created during the Mughal empire. I learned very recently that my ancestors had built Lahore fort and Badshahi mosque, not forgetting the Taj Mahal. Ah, that universal symbol of devotion, a wonder of the world, steeped in Mughal history yet neglected for that very fact, denied the care and attention that should be afforded to a world heritage site. India hates Muslims, it is quick to condemn and even kill them, for eating beef, among other things and stripping citizenship from millions yet it reaps the world’s praises for the creation of something it had nothing to do with. The Indian government has let it rot. The Taj Mahal is a painful reminder of the erasure and appropriation of Muslim ingenuity, pinned together by enemies of enemies, whose party line is a collective resistance to the creeping shariah of Islam, despite their own grievances and in-fighting. These relics are stripped of their roots, co-opted by coercive powers and serve as a reminder of how we (Muslims) have been subjugated.
I’ve never liked being a part of a group, I can only be myself one to one. I think group behaviour is terrifying. When groups of likeminded people band together, it no longer matters whether something is right or wrong, the majority has the power to claim up is down. I’ve seen adulterous affairs justified in this way, and sex abuse cover ups. I’ve been groomed in this way, isolated, misrepresented, because I wouldn’t toe the party line. A similar malfeasance has been inflicted on Muslims.
In my almost 40 years of experience on this earth I have learnt the difference between what they say and what they really mean. Christians invading India were shocked at the inhumane practice of sati committed by fanatical Hindus, whereupon the female spouse jumps, or is thrown, onto the funeral pyre, because she cannot exist without her husband. They condemned them as idolaters and savages and appealed to Muslim Indians as they (rightly) believed in the one true God. To the Hindus they condemned the Mughals as occupiers and destroyers of Hindustan, a country for Hindus. In this way they divided and conquered and continue to do so to this very day. Far right Hindutva and their mascot Modi brutalise millions in their quest for a Hindu state, supported by western nations who look the other way when Muslims are being slaughtered, see also the Rohingya in Burma being summarily executed by Buddhist monks (ffs) for an example of one modern day atrocity. Religion of peace they scoff, when mocking Muslims yet Buddhists extinguishing life in cruel and unusual ways has escaped everyone’s attentions. See the Israel/Palestine conflict for another example of white supremacist divide and conquer, effectively polarising Muslims and Jews who have historically fought together against the scourge of Christianity (see Moorish Spain).
Tyrants all over the world look to the British empire for inspiration. Hitler himself was an admirer of the British rule in India, it was what prompted him to enact his own genocide. The holocaust is widely taught and accepted for the most part, because the teachers are white supremacists who exemplify divide and conquer of ‘minorities’ and use it as a tool to silence other ethnic groups. When an African person speaks of King Leopold and his slaughter of 10 million Congolese and questions why this isn’t taught in schools like the holocaust is, they are not denying Jewish history or cheapening it by comparing it (as I was once accused when I warned that current events were a catalyst to holocaust levels of genocide) they are appealing for consistency. When I highlighted the similarities between the targeting of Jews in Germany and modern day Muslims in Britain I was chastised for daring to compare. 11 million Indians were starved to death by Churchill who redirected grain to British forces during the war. Was this not a holocaust too? Not when the history book writers are white, evidently.
In a world where white supremacy holds all the power and writes the narratives, a maleficence of biblical proportions has been committed against believers of the one true God. Christians have employed idolaters to act as their proxies, to protect their global interests, and will shun them when they are no longer effective. Historical allies have been pitted against one another and the flames are fanned periodically to ensure their estrangement. Muslims are caricaturised as uncivilised, barbaric, wanton in their misogyny and to be fair, many of them are, but they weren’t always like this, they weren’t always so broken and reactionary, they were made that way by Christians.
Perhaps if we acknowledged the real truth, the many contributions made by Muslims to the sciences and arts, and the pursuit of pleasure with inventions like chess, poker, and alcohol (how many words do you know prefixed with ‘al’?) such inventions that changed the course for humanity and propelled Europeans to their ‘enlightenment’, Muslims might not be so angry or even perceived as such. Europeans weren’t beamed down to earth by God as naive fledgling angels innocent of all crimes and wrongdoing, hitting every branch of the enlightenment tree on the way down, no, they appropriated the hard work of Muslims and denied the historical truth, leaving those famed rivers of blood in their wake.
The transference of white supremacists must be called out for what it is, the fear of a comeuppance, of the chickens coming home to roost. They keep the conflict alive.