We Need to Nurture Hope

The Golden Age of Arab Spain:

I love reading the opinions of others. It is through this that I get motivated to think and write about ideas that are new to me.

I read a piece recently claiming that Spain’s Catholics somehow lied about, or wildly exaggerated, the “Moslem Invasion” of 711. The author called it a “myth.” The purpose of the myth, according to the writer, was for the Church to blame an embarrassingly dark period in its history on something foreign that “She” could not have stopped. An interesting point of view that I cannot, at this point, share.

In my opinion there is overwhelming evidence (linguistic, artistic and architectural) that much of Spain south of Toledo and possibly north as far as Zaragoza was occupied by a liberal Arabic dynasty centred in Cordoba for close to three centuries.

Yes, Liberal Arabs:

I used the adjective, liberal, because openness to new ideas and tolerance of Christians and Jews was emblematic of the threatened  Umayyad dynasty that entered Spain in 711 after fleeing Damascus, the Umayyad capital based in Syria. Umayyads had put together the fifth largest empire in history. Continue reading “We Need to Nurture Hope”


Astrolabe Tapestry – Splendid “Eclecticity”

Tapiz de los Astrolabios in the Santa Cruz Museum - Toledo, Spain
Tapiz de los Astrolabios in the Santa Cruz Museum – Toledo, Spain
This late 15the Century Flemish tapestry once adorned Toledo’s Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo. Now it hangs in Toledo’s fascinating Museo Santa Cruz, along with some cool stuff by El Greco, Giordano and Ribero. This was taken in 2011 with Anita’s great little Canon SD 1400 IS point and shoot as my gorilla tripod couldn’t be  set up far enough away and high enough to use my old, light insensitive DSLR.
In the top left is the Prime Mover (aka God) aided in moving the cosmos by an angel turning a crank while Atlas lends a hand or two. Continue reading “Astrolabe Tapestry – Splendid “Eclecticity””



Averroès (1126-1198), the greatest Islamic Aristotelian, influenced Thomas Aquinas & Maimonides. His statue in Córdova, Spain, photographed in May 2011.

Yep. There were some bright lights back in those days. I’m sure there still are now, but the fundamentalists tend to hog the microphone… This is sadly true in many countries – some pretty close to home. Just got back from Ottawa…