Media Check

36 Hours of Ignoring Islam’s Legacy

A Response to NYTimes.com 36 Hours in Granada, Spain

In New York Time’s otherwise very fine travelogue of what to do and see in the marvelous city of Granada, Spain there is critical missing: any mention of Islam’s rich history and legacy in building this historic city which was among the greatest achievements of Muslim Spain. Even when the magnificent Alhambra is mentioned, which is one of the most famous and finest examples of Islamic inspired art and architecture in the world, there is no mention of Islam or Muslims. Instead, the historic focus is on Moors. Any novice reading this piece would come away with a complete lack of appreciation of what makes Granada such a compelling city – a place where East and West met to create civilization, a civilization inspired by Islam. It would be convenient to chalk this emission up to ignorance or a simple error. But, the reality is that in Spain there has been a centuries old campaign to wipe any memory of Islam’s legacy from its past – to downplay the history of Andalusia, as it was known. This effort has had a pervasive effect on the way that history is often taught in the West. The New York Times here missed an opportunity to educate its readers of critical and enlightening historical knowledge.

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