5 things you didn’t know about Islam and Europe

 Source: The Wandering Musulman

We are all just distant relatives. Why not share this with some Europeans or Muslim friends of yours and watch the bridging of that fictionalized ‘gap’ between us?

1. LATIN ARABIC   Malta, the most southern country of Europe, where we find the Islamic legacy not in a book, ruin or even a tale, but on the lips of the natives. Just ask a Maltese to count to ten and you will hear everything you need to, for the Maltese numbers are virtually the same as the Arabic. Something my astonished daughter discovered when I made her ask for ‘tnej’n’ (two) apples at a market and she was promptly handed two apples by a smiling old man.   Despite it’s proximity to north Africa, where Arabic is widely spoken, it is the little Italian Island at the foot of Italy that Malta has to thank for this. Maltese in its modern form is the only remaining example of Siculo-Arabic, the Sicilian form of Arabic that developed during the Fatimid and later Norman Arab period (Maltese also contains Italian, French and to a lesser extent, English).

1

The Island of Gozo, part of Malta, where Arabs will hear a familiar phrase or two.

Siculo-Arabic actually died out in Sicily and was replaced by Italian Sicilian making Malta and Maltese people the possessors of the only living legacy of that ‘golden’ Islamic period of Sicily we mentioned before. In fact such is the dominance of Siculo-Arabic on the Malteselingua franca – between 32% and 40% – that it has the proud claim of being the only Semitic language written in Latin Script!

So there you have it. First hand evidence of how in truth, we are all just distant relatives. Why not share this with some Europeans or Muslim friends of yours and watch the bridging of that fictionalised ‘gap’ between us?

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1 reply

  1. Thanks for the post MT,

    If readers liked this, please check out the other articles that discuss lesser known facts about Islam in the West at http://www.thewanderingmusulman.wordpress.com, such as my latest piece on the anniversary of Muslims entering Spain, which uses stunning photography and teh words of important westerners to tell the story of how Spanish Islamic culture was the real Renaissance of Europe

    To stay informed about my future pieces
    like: http://www.facebook.com/TharikHussainUK
    Follow: @_TharikHussain

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