Spanish Muslims endeavor to revive Andalusian legacy

Historical legacy of Alhambra very clear, but not visible in Spanish society

Reuters May 08, 2021
A view of Alhambra Palace, one of the greatest masterpieces of Islamic architecture to reach the present time, in Al-Andalus region, Granada, Spain (Burak Akbulut - Anadolu Agency)


An Islamic cultural center in southern Spain is trying to revive the legacy of the Andalusian Islamic era, which left great marks on the region over nearly eight centuries, its head said on Friday. 

"The historical legacy of Alhambra is very clear, but this is not visible in Spanish society," said Abdulkadir Schaller, referring to the famed Andalusian palace in Granada, one of the major cities in Andalusia and the last Islamic bastion in Spain before its conquest by Catholic monarchs in the late 15th century.

Schaller, who serves as the director of the Islamic Cultural Center under the Grand Mosque in Granada​​, underlined that about 500 years ago, the Catholic monarchs of the time had "eradicated" everything related to Islam in the land.

"The authorities of that time [1492] took and burned all the architectural, artistic or agricultural books belonging to Muslims, including the Quran, in Virambla Square in the center of Granada. This was a historical moment. Archives of Muslims living in Granada were also destroyed. In addition, mosques were burned down or churches were built on them," he said.

Abdulkadir Schaller, director of the Islamic Cultural Center

Abdulkadir Schaller, director of the Islamic Cultural Center

He said that Islam in Andalusia and Spain had been scrapped for a long time, adding that they were trying to reconstruct the historical ties of the Islamic period of Andalusia and to somehow add it to their daily lives.

"Governments and state institutions in Spain think Islam must undergo a major change in order for Muslims to be acceptable to society, but it is important to know that many things cannot be changed. This is a known point of conflict that seems invisible," Schaller argued.

He said that Islam would in the future enter the institutions of the state and everyday life in a more natural and integrative way in Spain, as in England, France and Germany.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read