David Nirenberg Of Violence Thesis

David Nirenberg Of Violence Thesis-59
The existence of oppressive institutions, such as slavery and the social stratification of Andalusi society also underscores this point.

The existence of oppressive institutions, such as slavery and the social stratification of Andalusi society also underscores this point.

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.

The example of the promotion of Saladin as an exemplary model of tolerance is a case in point.

While it is mentioned that he was “tolerant” (a better word would be chivalrous) towards his enemies, there are some key aspects of his career which are omitted by the promoters of the “Muslim Golden Age” paradigm.

However, these facts are problematic for many Muslims who seek to further the “Golden Age” perspective because it undermines their emphasis on an Islamic exceptionalism, which Saladin is seen as representing.“Tolerance” (defined strictly in the medieval context of accepting the existence, but not the legitimacy, of “the other”) can therefore be found on either side of the civilizational divide in the Middle Ages.

It had both champions and opponents in Christendom and the Islamic world. It is therefore baseless to try and claim that Christendom (not confined to Europe) or Muslim civilization was inherently more tolerant (or intolerant).

Like many other concepts that shape our understanding of medieval history, the idea of a “Muslim Golden Age” is a historiographical construct.

It promotes the notion that, until at least the early thirteenth century, the Muslim world experienced an era of unprecedented stability, prosperity, and cultural production.

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.

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