The Forgotten Heritage of al-Andalus: Tolerance as the First Step toward a Utopia

Alireza Omidbakhsh

Allame Tabataba´i University, Iran

Focusing on our Andalusian heritage, our history shows the possibility of a real Utopia based on medieval Convivencia, harmonious co-existence.  Between 711 and 1492 people of different religions lived together in a relative peace and cooperation in Iberian Peninsula, al-Andalus.The Muslims conquered almost the entire Peninsula very easily due to little resistance among Hispano-Gothic population, which was very eager “to be freed from the cruelty and incompetence of the Visigothic kings” (Pharies 40).However, Moors or Berbers, whatever you call,they managed to stay there with Jews and Christians for nearly eight centuries, that is, about half of our counted 2015 years of our recorded history. Here lies a great secret whose decoding will give way to found a Utopia among concerns and anxieties of a possible third World War. How could Muslims stay in Europe for eight centuries? How was different Visigothic Iberia with Islamic Iberia? These and some more questions will be studied in my paper.