Chapter 5: Lessons from History

Sneak Peeks – Letter to Middle England

…Logically, and as a consequence, there is a deep uneasiness in Europe which owes much of its early legacy to the Moors, as they do the Egyptians and other African civilisations, about this event in history. It is particularly the case amongst the people of the Mediterranean where the presence of the Moor is still evident, if ever so subtly, in the genes of the populace.

There is no doubt, that the history of the Moors in Al-Andalus is one that Christian Spain would rather forget. But, it helps us understand the disdain, and affection, that the people of Castilla, in particular the Madrileñas who tend to identify more closely with their northern European neighbours and their ancestral links to the fair-skinned Visigoths, still feel for their Andalusian compatriots. They call them ‘Moros’, which has come to mean all Muslims, and dismiss them as foreigners in Spain. Paradoxically, it also explains why northern Europeans dismiss Spain, as they do Portugal, as being part of Africa. The Andalusians are not exempt from these tensions. The Moroccans who are seen as ‘morena’, brown, are referred to as Moros down here. But, perhaps because they can see, understand or sense the complexity that is history and the perfection of the drama, it must also explain the temperament of the Andalusian people, their openness to difference and the classiness of their spirit, which I pay tribute to in Classless

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