Toward the second Andalusia in Europe - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

Toward the second Andalusia in Europe

There are two histories I haven't had a chance to read about: Algeria and Andalusia.

I didn't have the courage to read about Algerian history as Algeria has suffered greatly during the French occupation between 1830 and 1962.

When I visited the genocide museum and monument in Algeria I couldn't stop myself from closing my eyes and covering my ears several times. The French caused just as much suffering in Algeria then as Syria has suffered today. Frantz Fanon's books on Algeria's colonization period sit in my bookshelf, unread. Sometimes I get the courage to open a couple pages, but then close them again. I also have a DVD on the French massacre which is still in its packaging.


The second history I avoid reading about is that of Andalusia. I cannot dare to read about what the barbaric Spaniards and Europeans did in Andalusia, a civilization that was known to be the most powerful and flamboyant of all (711-1492).

I can only read Ziya Pasha's chapters on the civilization in his book, “Endülüs Tarihi” (History of Andalusia). These chapters explaining how the Muslims brought such a powerful civilization to Europe, how they interpreted Socrates and Aristotle in to their own language, and how they set an example with their amazing architecture. The rest of the book I dare not read.

With the genocide movement called “Reconquista,” which aimed to exterminate all Muslims from Spain, tens of thousands of Muslims were killed and hundreds of thousands were exiled. It's hard to read how these Muslims were threatened to convert into Christianity and how their history was brought down to ruins.

The Jews that lived in Spain at the time were exiled together with the Muslims, and they too were welcomed by the Ottomans. This genocide continued until (1492) there were no more Muslims or Jews in Spain as a result of the Islamophobic and anti-Semitic attitude of the Spaniards.

If you go to Seville, Cordoba or Granada, you will see how the Muslims offered Europe, a continent that was living the Medieval Age, such a brilliant civilization (only a handful of Islamic architecture and arts remain). If you have the courage you can probably buy a book and read on the history of the torture and genocide in those cities.


For a while now, I have been writing about the increase of violence, racism and Islamophobia in Europe. With every election, we witness how this movement gets stronger, how it becomes popularized and how it becomes publicly accepted.

Everyone is happy that the more moderate Macron won in the French elections, but the wiser intellectuals draw attention to how the votes of the fascist Le Pen have doubled and how this poses a great threat. As high as 24 percent of France's population supported Le Pen, who wants to exit the EU and has the tendency to kick out all Muslims, Jews and foreigners from the country. In other words, 11 million people in France think like Le Pen.

The same incident was seen during the Austrian presidential elections. Racist leader Hofer couldn't win, but he garnered 46 percent of the votes and shocked everyone. Both racist leaders will have the majority in the parliamentarian elections in France and Austria. They might even come to power in Austria.


The situation is the same in Germany, Hungary, Spain and even Western Europe. Racism and violence are on the rise and cannot be prevented.

While Islamophobia is abrupt, anti-Semitism is increasing quietly. It is said that 80 percent of Austrians secretly hate Jews. It is known that Le Pen supporters in France are both Islamophobic and anti-Semitic. Therefore, the Jews too supported Macron.

The United Nations published a report in England that stated the increase of violence after the Brexit. As many as 3,000 violence cases were reported in Europe in 2016. Most were toward women wearing the hijab.

Women rights organizations and human rights organizations have not done anything to stop these racist, discriminatory and fascist attacks. Governments choose to add fuel to the flames instead of doing work to prevent such things from happening.


All the above data indicate that:

A second Andalusia incident can happen. Some 30 million Muslims live in Europe. A great number of Jews do too. If this racist discourse continues, our generation might witness a new genocide. Thirty million Muslims being exiled from Europe means a new Andalusia tragedy will happen.

Turkey is the most important country that can explain this situation to both Europe and the world.


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