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Revisiting the Muslims' Influence on Spain

January 22, 2005

Re "Islam's Claim on Spain," Jan. 18: The article says "seven centuries of Moorish rule ... ended when Granada fell to Christian monarchs." Later, the militants loyal to Osama bin Laden "said in a communique issued after the massacre, alluding to the Moorish warrior and original Islamic conqueror of the Iberian peninsula, 'We will continue our jihad until martyrdom in the land of Tarik Ben Ziyad.' "

My World Almanac and Book of Facts says Spain was "settled by Iberians, Basques and Celts, partly overrun by Carthaginians and conquered by Rome about 200 BC. The Visigoths, in power by the 5th century, adopted Christianity but by AD 711 lost to the Islamic invasion from Africa." So, what right does Islam have to "reclaim" Spain when they invaded Spain and took it by force in 711?

Tom Main

Desert Hot Springs

*

Thank you for your article covering the history and current situation of the Muslims in Spain. At a time when our world is witnessing a clash of ideology and culture, it is refreshing to revisit history and remember that for almost 700 years Muslims, Christians and Jews coexisted peacefully in Southern Europe while advancing the cause of mankind in the arts, sciences and culture. Our world leaders, on all sides, should study this model of coexistence and learn from it the many lessons that can positively affect our lives and the future of our world.

Ramsey Hakim

Chairman, Islamic Center

of Southern California

Los Angeles

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