Monday, August 16, 2010
Cordoba was the home of the caliphate that rule Andalusia before the conquest by Christianity.
For many Muslims and Jews, the Andalusian Era in Spain Cordoba, has become a mythical golden age. From that age , we have great teachers .. Maimonides, Halevy, Abravanel, ... the Kabala and much of modern medicine began in this tolerant society. The Ground Zero Islamic center was named for a period in Spanish-Muslim history that some call a golden age of tolerance.
The achievements of that culture are very true, but unlike America, Islam never treated "others" as equals. Jews were repeatedly confined to ghettos or forced to convert. There is a huge difference between the exceptional ism of America, where all peoples are accepted as Americans, and Cordoba where the dominant Islamic proudly tolerated Jews and Christians.
Sadly, the right in America has an idea of tolerance a lot like the ideas of Cordoba. They see America as a tolerant place, a place where they arfe the majority and they tolerate the rest of us.
I recommend that the right read Washington's letter to the synagogue at Newport, RI. The Jews of Rhode Islam had written expressing hope that the new nation would tolerate us. Washington said, no, "we" can not tolerate you because we are all the same.
That is the American view.
I also strongly recommend Mark Tracy's essay on the history of Islamic Tolerance and the name "Cordoba."
Posted by SM Schwartz at 9:33 AM