I ordered your novel for knowledge and inspiration of the past Islamic civilization . At the end of my reading, however, I was heartbroken and left with a mixture of sad and bitter disappointment . You have successfully narrated the brutal execution of the most vulnerable people of the time. The fall of Granada in 1492 unleashed the hatred and revenge from all dimension of the Spain’s Christian society. Day after day for more than 100 years, Muslim Spain suffered at the hands of their landlords and Christian neighbors. The book has meticulously described those events in great details. At one point I was so shocked as the events were vividly portrayed the Christians being more civilized to punish the Moorish “…dogs and swine”. The “holocaust” of Muslim Spain was justified and supported by all quarters of Spain’s authority. They were forced to convert to Christianity; drank wine and ate pork to prove that their lifestyle has changed. Most part of the book describes how the king and the church, constantly tried and assessed the faith of these people. Muslim must cease to exist in Spain…..the statement that has been repeated over and over again throughout the book. You must be one of those people that hates Muslim and Islam; I am utterly disappointed.
History, on the other hand, must be told honestly and accurately .The book has successfully narrated the plight and fear of the Moorish people as they were hunted down from the Alpujarra mountains. The women and children stumbled and fell to their death as they tried to escape the wrath of the King’s soldiers…in the cold and harsh winter. For the first time, through these narrations, I cried reading an historical novel. They left their farms, houses and animals to walk for several days to the coastal port to board the ships that will take them to their new place. However, before reaching their destinations, they were robbed and thrown overboard at the open sea…what kind of human race is this?
In the end, almost three million of Muslim Spain have been purged; exterminated or expelled. Does Spain benefit from this ethnic cleansing? The answer is NO ; only a chapter of dark history that will remain; her bitter past for many more lifetime to come. The world should read this book to learn history and consequences of such extreme ideas. We never learn and the world of 21st century has similar chapter of human tragedy and war. The clash of religious doctrines has initiated many of those tragedies. Even in Islam itself, the old and new ideas have always contradicted in its concepts, practices and implementations. Islam offers a broad perspectives of life; thus, living in the 21st century, a Muslim must find his own spot, within the boundaries of Iman and Taqwa, to live harmoniously with our friends and neighbors. I extremely believe that peace and prosperity starts within our own self. The moment we found where we belong would be the moment when the new world will emerge.
Ironically, the tragedy of the ancient times has been the subject of interest to many people. It is like the sin of our ancestors that has never been reconciled. Maybe the Western people would celebrate the fall of Granada as the Muslims celebrated the caliphate of Al-Andalus. The two big events , actually, have defined the greater Europe as we know it nowadays. I really hope people will start to appreciate the struggles and the fights of those people(Moriscos or otherwise) to defend their life and their faith as the reasons or consequences for the better world that we have today.