Week 2 Reflection Post

My analytical summary of this week’s readings are that, like Gould, whoever made these lectures had a bit of an agenda. “For x number of years, Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived in Spain in relative peace with pockets of resistance.” Oh, is that how we define hostile occupations these days? I guess in that case the Soviets ruled eastern Europe in total peace for half a century. The Moors were a foreign occupying force in a period where various Muslim armies were trying to conquer Christian Europe and convert it, with the climax coming at the siege of Malta by the Ottoman Turks.

While hostility toward Jews is an unfortunate hallmark of the Reconquista, it is also a result of the Muslims installing a sort of caste system among their conquered territories, with Jews being above their Christian counterparts. We can see this not only in Moorish Spain, but in occupied Greece and Constantinople, as well as many other majority Christian territories occupied by various Muslim factions. This was a tactic used by the Muslims in order to ease the transition from Christian to Muslim rule by using the Jewish people as a go-between.

Not to mention, if this is how we define racialization, why are we starting in Reconquista Spain? Especially considering much of what was covered applies to the Roman Era Christian persecutions by the Jewish leaders and the Romans, which also involved pogroms and forced conversion. Or to how the Gaullist and Germanic tribes were racialized as savage mud people by their conquerors.

Just the singular focus on the Reconquista, which followed 7 centuries of foreign occupation, seems inappropriate for an origin story when we are talking about a race war and a system of racial oppression in the first place.  The Moors racialized the many different Iberian ethnicities on the basis they all shared a Christian faith, and the Iberians, in turn, viewed the Moors as foreigners despite the fact they were in Spain for hundreds of years.  Not to mention the lectures also reference the fact the Spanish new world racialization of Africans was one they simply borrowed from the Moors.

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