Tariq Ramadan and His Name
Ed Jajko says: Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Berber who defeated Visigoth Spain in 711, gave his name to Jabal Tariq, the Mountain of Tariq, i.e. Gibraltar. The contemporary Ramadan seeks to create a new European Muslim identity. Tariq ibn Ziyad had much the same mission. John Heelan says:Richard Fletcher suggests in his book,Moorish Spain (1992) that the Moorish invasion of Spain had a strong Mahgrebi domestic objective. In their conquest of North Africa, the Arab armies met strong resistance from the Berber clans. Fletcher comments, "One way of taming the Berbers, and of simultaneously profiting from their fighting skills, was to encourage or compel their enlistment into Arab-led armies, for the prosecution of military campaigns elsewhere. The prospects of adventure and plunder, possibly even of land, would appeal to the Berber warrior-tribesmen. Regular military discipline would break down clan loyalties and values; regular religious discipline would turn them into good Muslims. This thinking probably influenced the Arab leadership to undertake the raids on Southern Spain which occupied the years before 711" (p.20) Thus perhaps "the new Muslim identity was aimed at the invading Berber tribesmen themselves rather than the defeated Goths? RH: That Tariq ibn Zayad was a Berber lures us into the complex racial and religious history of Muslim Spain. John Heelan: Which I would welcome as it is of particular interest to me in attempting to understand Al-Andalus and Andalusia.
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September 26, 2004