Spain and Portugal embrace Jews, but not Arabs

alhambra garden

By Micah D. Halpern The Daily Star, Lebanon

Spain and Portugal are now offering citizenship to the descendants of families expelled from their countries in 1492 and 1493 .

The expulsion from Spain forced hundreds of thousands of Jews to run to and seek refuge in Portugal.

From Portugal, many Jews escaped to North Africa, while the rest scattered around the world. Those who stayed in Spain and Portugal were forced to convert to Christianity.

There were no options for the Jews remaining in Spain or Portugal.

Those identified as still practicing Jews were tortured, even burned at the stake.

This offer to restore citizenship by Spain and Portugal, in 2014, is extremely troubling.

There never was and still is no apology to the Jews by either Spain of Portugal.

The deal is for Jews only; it is not being offered to Muslims who were expelled from Spain in 1609 .

Neither Spain nor Portugal is engaging in any of those steps.

Neither Spain nor Portugal has yet to see the wrong that was done and the horrors that were perpetrated in the name of keeping their countries Christian.

Read more:

(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

27 replies

  1. Spain and Portugal have every reason to reject the Arabs. They were the ones who plundered the two countries and massacred their populations with impunity. Like elsewhere they invaded, Spanish and Portuguese children became slaves while their mothers and other female relatives ended up as comfort women to the marauding Arabs. Such cannot be said of the Jews.
    Rather than dream about reintegration,the Arabs should be made to pay reparation for the Iberian wealth they shamelessly stole to build magnificent structures in Baghdad, Damascus and other cities which had, at one time or the other, served as the capital of the muhammadan invaders.

  2. Namelee, you always seem to have your own strange version of history. I think you might not have heard of the Spanish Inquisition and that for your information was ‘conducted’ by the Christians NOT the Arabs!

    Please get your facts untwisted…

  3. The Arabs gave much relief to the Jews in Spain and Portugal. The Arabs never enslaved any one there. They never harmed any one.
    They set up good schools and libraries where the princes of European countries came for higher studies. It was all peace there for many hundred years until the Christians came around and occupied the place. The Jews suffered along with the Muslims.

    The Christians were very Cruel and ignorant. One example of the Christian Crusaders is well known. When Crusaders entered the holy land (in Jerusalem etc.) they killed many Christians there, not knowing that they were Christians. What a bad show of holy warriors of Europe!

  4. Raziya,
    It is clear that your sense of history of Spain and Portugal is warped.
    I am quite familiar with the inquisitions and the myth woven around them. No Christian is authorized to take the life of another human being. That is why the inquisitions were aberrations and have been condemned by Christians.
    According to the records, the inquisitions lasted about 350 years. During that time 150,000 people were processed out of which between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed. Compare that with what the muhammadans did. In 981, Al-Manzor, after the battle of Zamora, executed 4,000 Christians in just one day. That was child’s play considering what others did. At the battle of Zalaca, Yusuf ibn Tashfun slaughtered 24,000 Christians and, as if that was not gruesome enough, he shipped the severed heads to the major towns of ‘al-Andalusia’ and North Africa. Stories of like minded atrocities in Iberia abound but have been swept under the carpet so as not to offend muhammadan sensibilities.
    The descendants or successors to those who authorized the inquisitions realized the evil that their ancestors committed and apologized. Has there ever been an acknowledgment of wrong doing, let alone an apology, from the muhammadans? NONE WHATSOEVER.

  5. Ghulam Sarwar,
    There is a study which shows that 10% of the population of Iberia descended from the Sephardi Jews who had gone there between 5,000 and 10, 000 years ago. St Paul had the plan of going to Spain from Rome. This shows that even before the sack of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD, the Jews had already settled in Iberia.
    There was peaceful coexistence between the various groups until the muhammadans arrived. The Jews were mercantile by trade. This included financial transactions from which they earned profit. This was not an offense until the muhammadans arrived, classified it as usury and criminalized it. The Jews came under persecution both in N.African and Iberia. Whole communities were wiped out except they converted. Those who refused became dhimmis who paid the jizya tax in “total humiliation”. It was the muhammadans who set the stage for the persecution that came later because, after conquering Iberia, they pitched the Christians and Jews against each other. The objective was to weaken the two communities so that none could rise against muhammadan oppression.
    The Christians did not ‘come around’. Iberia was their home. It was the muhammadans who ‘came around’. That was why they were chased out.
    How was it possible that the muhammadans developed Iberia but left Arabia in the backwaters of underdevelopment?
    You need to acquaint yourself with the history of how the muhammadans raped the Holy Land for almost 500 years before the first Crusade was called by Pope Urban in 1098.

  6. Zia,
    Why would I prefer Karen Armstrong’s write up to the history by early writers like Ishaq and Hisham? The nearer the writer is to the event, the more reliable he/she is. Karen Armstrong has nothing to offer.

  7. Namelee you never fail to misread, when it comes to anything positive for Islam and Muslims.

    I am not preferring Karen Armstrong over Ibn Hishaam.

    Incidentally, the prophet Muhammad’s, may peace be on him, stance about wars was always in favor of defensive warfare, as a last resort.

    I was quoting Karen Armstrong to give you a chance at introspection and understanding Christian psychology of Crusades, which were not grounded in any principles, but, jealousy of the Muslims and political expediency.

    You can read part of her thesis quoted in the following article:

    Tear Down the Spanish Wall.

  8. Rafiq,
    The nefarious activities of the muhammadans denied the post Crusade Palestine of stability. There were terrorists like Hassan i-Sabbah aka ‘The Old Man Of The Mountain’ who killed pilgrims and made assassination attempts on the lives of the kings of Palestine.
    Then there was the Kurd, ‘Saladin’, who was not satisfied with taking the reigns of power in Egypt. His prize was all of Palestine. Emulating his exploits, the Kurds would lead the vanguard of those who succeeded, to a large extent, in annihilating the Armenian and Assyrian Christians of Turkey and Palestine in the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries.
    They and their fellow travelers heaped terror on the Holy Land. Their descendants continue to do so.

    • Namelee, you are amazing. When Saladin took over the Crusader castle of Karak (now in Jordan) he gave free passage to all Christian crusaders who were in it. When Saladin entered Jerusalem again he did not slaughter the Christian occupiers (after all foreign conquerors who had no roots here). Did the Christian crusaders do the same when they arrived? No! They were in such a killing spree that they did not even let the local Christians live! Your version of history is so tainted that it is in fact very interesting. It proves that you have a twisted mind, consequently your religious arguments with brother Zia should be judged similar to your twisting of the history

  9. Zia,
    As I have already said, Karen Armstrong has nothing to offer. I tried reading one of her books and the first few pages were so nauseating that I could not go beyond page five. Her ‘scholarship’ has a tainted complexion and is a market strategy aimed at reaping from the 1.6 billion(according to you) muhammadans. If she makes a dollar on every sold copy, it will bring her a handsome yield given the number of books she has churned out. Writing as an outsider heightens her esteem before her targeted readership.
    Zia, I am introspective so there is no need for me to consult Karen Armstrong. You need introspection because relying on your ‘scholar’ robs you of any objectivity. All your articles and even those you copy and paste aim at smearing Christianity. Nothing will please you more than the demise of Christianity. It was also the wish of both Muhammad and Hitler.
    Each time I read your venomous attack on Christianity, I am reminded of a plant called ‘mistletoe’. Being tropical, you may not be familiar with it. The mistletoe grows on another plant and like all parasites, it kills the host and itself.
    Just in the unlikely event of your fantasy coming true, where would you, as an Ahmadi, be? Would the death of Christianity change the attitude of the Sunnis and Shiites about the Ahmadis? Will it not spell doom for you? It would be better if you knew the ramifications of what you wish. Presently, your situation in muhammadan countries is equally as tenuous as that of the Christians you despise but whose abused benevolence in their country is making you thrive.
    From the history of Muhammad now on display, it will require a lot of convincing to prove that Muhamamd’s wars were defensive. Was it when he started to attack the Meccans and their caravans only two years after settling in Medina?
    The Crusaders had only a limited objective which was to liberate the Holy Land from the invaders. They had no expansionist desires even though most of Arabia had been Christian before then. Was it the backwardness of the muhammadans, or their greed, or expansionism, or lack of human feelings that the Christians were jealous of? None of those is an attribute of civilized people.
    Quite in keeping with your character, I do not expect this comment to be posted. In spite of that, I still feel happy that by reading it the point would have been driven home.

  10. Namelee, I am afraid your comment is based on many false assumptions.

    I have for example, no desire to smear Christianity. I love all Christians and share the main part of my theology, with Unitarian Christians.

    For example the Holy Quran says:

    Say, ‘O People of the Book! come to a word equal between us and you — that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not others for Lords beside Allah.’ But if they turn away, then say, ‘Bear witness that we have submitted to God.’ (Al Quran 3:65)


    And thou (Muhammad) shalt assuredly find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ to be the nearest of them in love to the believers. That is because amongst them are savants and monks and because they are not proud. (Al Quran 5:83)

    As regards your concern about Sunnis and Shiites, I believe that a continued peaceful dialogue among the Abrahamic faiths and others, will create a peaceful and pluralistic, Global village, which is mine and the Muslim Times’ main objective.

  11. Rafiq,
    Saladin had no business being where he was given that he was a Kurd. He was more foreign than those you call ‘foreign conquerors who had no roots there’. In fact, the Arabs who came from the desert of Arabia had no roots there. It was the quest for booty which propelled them on that mad rush and still does. They were acting that script in the quran.
    History should tell you that after the sack of Jerusalem, the Christians became articles of trade whose lives were purchased with ransom. It paid Saladin to keep the captives alive than to kill them because that way his treasury was kept oiled.
    So what part of history has been ‘twisted’ or ‘tainted’?
    Is it true or isn’t it that there was a terrorist called ‘the old man of the forest’? If there was, what were his activities? Did the Kurds not play a leading role in the massacres of Christians in the Ottoman empire in the 19th and the early part of the 20th centuries? The Christians were not foreigners. They were indigenous to the areas and had to be annihilated for their land.

    • Well, well, well …. Saladin had no business being in Jerusalem because he was a Kurd. I am feeling bad! I had no business being in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ghana, Nigeria, Antigua, France, England, Switzerland, Kosovo, Jordan, Iraq, Cyprus, Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya …. I should have stayed put in Switzerland!!!!
      The old man of the forest? Yes, the assassin did exist. It is human nature, it seems, that some turn out to be murderers. Like about 500 murders in New York every year or about 27’000 in Mexico in one year. Arab Christians in what is today’s Jordan for instance fought together with the Arab Muslims against the Byzantines around the year 630. The must have had a reason to trust the Muslims more than the Western Christians …

  12. Zia,
    You only have to read your stories again to see whether you besmirch Christianity or not. Any negative news about Christianity vaults your excitement. It is not surprising that you do not see such things as insulting Christianity. To you and all others with similar disposition, it is normal.

  13. Namelee, unlike some I do not think black and white. I have a nuance position, about Christianity.

    I do not approve of Trinity, Original Sin or vicarious atonement.

    But, I love, much of what Jesus said at the time of Sermon of Mount and often quote it as well:

    Jesus said:

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3-10)

    I also love the following passage from the New Testament:

    One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

    “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

    When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. (Mark 12:28-34)

  14. Rafiq,
    Valencia was lost to a combined army of Catholics and Moors who detested the caliph exceedingly. During the Crusades muhammadan sects took turns siding with the Christians against the other. If the Christian Jordanians supporting the muhammadans was a sign of mistrust so the support the muhammadans gave to the Christians was a sign of their mistrust of their coreligionists.
    You arrogate to yourself the right to be anywhere and everywhere. Saladin could be in Jerusalem but others could not because ‘they had no root there’. Saladin was as foreign to the Holy Land as anyone else. If he could be there, other could too.
    You can be wherever you choose but I cannot be in some of those countries you mentioned because the system will not welcome me and I cannot impose myself on it.
    There is a huge difference between criminal behavior and acts done in obedience to divine commands. The murderers in New York and Mexico do not claim they act so because any god commands them to do that. They are simply criminals. That is why the law goes after them. Compare that to institutions being blown up and the authorities tend not not notice depending on who owned the place and where it was done.
    What is even more important is that the murderers in both New York and Mexico do not have a global agenda to dominate and impose their wills on the rest of the world. The same cannot be said of some ‘holy warriors’ fighting to enthrone a particular course. The old man of the forest was the leader of a religious sect which still exists today.

  15. Part two of the following debate, starts with the presentation of the non-Trinitarian Christian, who still believes Jesus to be God, but makes an excellent presentation against Trinity based on the life history of Michael Servetus:

  16. Zia,
    ‘Some’ believe in a variety of colors but still believe that black is different from white. I have no reason to believe in Muhammad or anything he said.
    However, there are some quotations I have found in his book which might be of interest to the readers and which can be quoted if the need arises.

  17. Namlee, having had a glance at your comments you seem to assume that somehow Muslims hate Christians and their faith.

    Let this be clear that Muslims (particularly Ahmadi Muslims) LOVE Jesus, the founder of your faith, and his teachings. If you doubt this then read the next sentence. Particularly, we believe that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was the very reflection of Jesus who came in the image and power of Jesus. How could we then possibly be Christian-haters as you seem to imply? To us he was a very special Prophet of God. How could we in any way hate his very children, the Christians?

    On the other hand, I struggle to see any positive comment from you about ‘muhammadans’….Is it just me or do I see zero objectivity from this very remark.

  18. Anon,
    There is the saying that equity follows the law. I have made it repeatedly clear that I react to what is posted here. I acknowledge positive contributions where they exist. But will not do so where there is none. This website does nothing but denigrate Christianity and if you fail to see that then the question of objectivity looms large.
    You don’t need to go far but just look around and you will see what I mean. After Zia had denied attacking Christianity, he posted a video link which was originally captioned ‘CHRISTIANITY DRIPS WITH BLOOD’. It seems to have been changed now. The two videos links are still on.
    I must say that such is a strange display of affection.

  19. Rafic,
    Can you remind us of when this ‘untainted’ blogger ever condemned the atrocities of the jihadists which prompted the Crusades? I do not remember a single one because there has and will never be any.To you whatever was done by the marauders was awe inspiring having been divinely ordained.

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