El HuffPost, which is what the Spanish language version of the hard-Left propaganda outfit the Huffington Post calls itself, on Wednesday tweeted a statement from Isabel Franco, a far-Left politician who is currently Vice President of the Region of Murcia and Regional Minister of Women, Equality, LGTBI, Families and Social Policy: “In Al-Ándalus three cultures coexisted. It was the Spanish monarchy that caused an enormous invasion, genocide and concealment.”
Well, of course. What else would you expect? What would have been surprising would have been Franco praising the Spanish monarchy and denigrating Islamic al-Andalus. But a Leftist politician of the twenty-first century praising an Islamic regime and denigrating Christian rulers is par for the course these days. Anything else would be “racist,” “bigoted,” “Islamophobic,” “xenophobic” and probably anti-trans or something as well.
If, however, Isabel Franco (pictured above) had been inclined to be honest, she would have plenty to apologize for. The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS, the first and only comprehensive history of the 1,400-year jihad phenomenon worldwide in the English language, shows that Muslim Spain was anything but a model of multiculturalism and coexistence. In fact, it was miserable to live as a Christian there. Christians could never be sure that they would not be harassed. One contemporary account tells of priests being “pelted with rocks and dung” by Muslims while on the way to a cemetery. The dhimmis suffered severe economic hardship: Paul Alvarus, a ninth century Christian in Córdoba, complained about the “unbearable tax” that Muslims levied on Christians.
Nor could Christians say anything about their situation, because that situation was mandated by Islamic law, and criticizing Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur’an in any manner was a death-penalty offense.
In 850, Perfectus, a Christian priest, engaged a group of Muslims in conversation about Islam; his opinion of the conquerors’ religion was not positive. For this, Perfectus was arrested and put to death. Not long thereafter, Joannes, a Christian merchant, was said to have invoked Muhammad’s name in his sales pitch. He was lashed and given a lengthy prison sentence. Christian and Muslim sources contain numerous records of similar incidents in the early part of the tenth century. Around 910, in one of many such episodes, a woman was executed for proclaiming that “Jesus was God and that Muhammad had lied to his followers.”
Far from being a paradise of tolerance, Umayyad Spain became a center of the Islamic slave trade. Muslim buyers could purchase sex-slave girls as young as eleven years old, as well as slave boys for sex as well, or slave boys raised to become slave soldiers. Also for sale were eunuchs, useful for guarding harems. Blonde slaves seized in jihad raids on Christian nations north of al-Andalus were especially prized, and fetched high prices. Slave traders would use makeup to whiten the faces and dye to lighten the hair of darker slaves, so that they could get more money for them.
A 12th century witness of the sale of sex slaves described the market:
The merchant tells the slave girls to act in a coquettish manner with the old men and with the timid men among the potential buyers to make them crazy with desire. The merchant paints red the tips of the fingers of a white slave; he paints in gold those of a black slave; and he dresses them all in transparent clothes, the white female slaves in pink and the black ones in yellow and red.
If the girls did not cooperate, of course, they would be beaten or killed.
The primary market for slaves among Muslims was for non-Muslims, as enslaving fellow Muslims was considered a violation of the Qur’an’s requirement to be “merciful to one another” (48:29); hence Muslim slave traders had to look to non-Muslim communities for merchandise.
Isabel Franco will never tell you any of that, and likely doesn’t know it herself. because if the public knew those facts and others, they wouldn’t favor the policies she and her fellow Leftists want Spain, and the West in general, to adopt. The truth that she doesn’t want you to know is in The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS – truths she and her allies have been working actively suppress. As her statements last week demonstrate, history has today become a weapon to influence current public policy.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.