The Humanist Islam & The Cordoba Paradigm
by Professor Ramin Jahanbegloo
This lecture discusses the Andalusian experience – an example of an intercultural alliance which created an atmosphere of tolerance as a philosophical and political pillar for dialogue between different peoples. That the Andalusian convivencia, whichmarks a truly remarkable period in the history of Islam and the West, did not play a constructive role in the Christian perceptions of Islam is indicative of the deep-rooted religious misconceptions of Islam and Muslims in the Western memory. The history of the Andalusian experience, or what more precisely can be referred to as the “Cordoba paradigm”, cannot be divorced from that of Islamic civilization. The Andalusian experience is a high point of Islamic humanism that is worth benchmarking, where many of the principles of inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue could be fully realized. The cultural legacy of Cordoba is impressive in its scale and splendour, and remains a successful model of associative reconciliation in which Europeans of different religious communities contributed to advising and, more importantly to encouraging, cross-cultural learning...Sounds loverly. However, there's an excellent reason why non-Muslims should reject this, ahem, "paradigm": It requires Islam to be on top, with Christians and Jews living as dhimmis. Despite all the puffery about "humanism" and "benchmarking," that's a modus vivendi which infidels in the West should not be countenancing in 2012.
BTW, there are still more than a few Muslims who have never gotten over the loss of Andulsia all those centuries ago, and who'd like it returned, thank you very much.