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on October 25, 2009
I knew nothing about this book, chanced on it on Amazon, and ordered it. I feared the worst - a dry hard to read book written by an academic. But I couldn't put it down. I am now re-reading it to absorb the details. It is well-written. It is well-documented but skillfully. Unobtrusive numbers lead to notes in the back which provide the references. The ones I know are good ones.

I should say that I know something about the subject. Though a scientist all my professional life, I have had a side interest in history of religion for a long time and in retirement I have studied it heavily. Last year I led off an Oxford Round Table on a related subject. I thought I knew all about the Islamic period in Spain (Andalusia) and about the "Christian" Reconquest and the shameful events that immediately followed it. I learned a lot more from this book, but I especially learned about the context of it and the pattern of events that grew out of it and affect us right up to today. I knew something about Muslims in early American history, for example I had read Sylvanie Diouf's 1998 book "Servants of Allah: African muslims enslaved in the Americas", but this book opened my eyes to not only Muslims among black slaves including some whose abilities were recognized by their masters and rose to responsible positions, but also to Muslims among early explorers of the American West and the moorish racial and cultural component of the Spanish in Mexico. His views on current American political dynamics related to actual and imagined Muslims are fascinating and - to me - convincing. Those who don't know of the historical closeness of Jews and Muslims, in their own perceptions and in the prejudices of others toward them, should read this book.

I highly recommend this book. I hope that Anouar Majid writes more along this line. By the way, the one negative review here is really dumb but perhaps forgivable given that its author more-or-less admits that his negative reaction prevented him from reading past the Introduction.


The above comments were written in 2009, and it is now 2014. I just want to add that (a) I have re-read this book a number of times and in fact am doing so at the moment, (b) the number of stars this book gets is influenced by the four 1-star negative reviews, and (c) those four apparently right-wing reviewers are not very widely read or open to new ideas presented in a well-documented book.
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on October 11, 2010
We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades against Muslims and Other Minorities by Anouar Majid is a must-read for all immigrants and civil rights activists in Europe and North America.

I've previously reviewed A Call for Heresy: Why Dissent is Vital to Islam and America by Professor Anouar. I also have his book, Freedom and Orthodoxy: Islam and Difference in the Post-Andalusian Age, which I now have renewed impetus to read and review.

We Are All Moors is organized into an introduction, four chapters and a conclusion. The introduction lays out the thesis that the Iberian Peninsula's unified kingdoms of Aragon and Castile began the modern era of the nation-state with the policy of religious and ethnic purification and that the archetype Moors can represent groups all around Europe and North America which governments have viewed as obstacles to consolidation of the purified policy.

Chapter 1 examines the case of the Muslims and Jews in Spain. Professor Anouar amasses documentary evidence of this process. Each is astounding, and this characteristic throughout the entire book makes the book both enjoyable and difficult to summarize. For example, Professor Anouar documents how religion transformed into ethnicity, so that even the Christian descendants of Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula were subject to the state's sanctions. I also did not know that the Muslims were not expelled in 1492, but rather they persevered in the Iberian Peninsula openly for decades and secretly for longer and in the fears of the state for centuries.

Chapter 2, entitled "New World Moors," narrates stories of Muslims and those mistaken for Muslims in the Americas. Fascinatingly, the Spanish often considered the native Americans to be "Moors," as that fit well with the ideology of conquest inherited from the Reconquista. The chapter also address Muslims in the United States, particularly the proto-Islamic movements, most notably the Nation of Islam.

Chapter 3, "The Muslim Jews," shows how the Othering process developed in the Iberian Peninsula provided the tools for the Othering of Europe's other significan religious minority, Jews. Moreover, leading Jews of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries often asserted a Muslim identity or affiliation as they were asserting Jews' rights in Europe. In fact, Dr. Anouar writes:

If [contemporary conflicting Jews and Muslims] were to bracket off the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a serious but, in the end, political problem and explore the history and bonds they share, perhaps enough goodwill could be generated to help Israelis and Palestinians and other aggrieved Muslims work out a solution.
At the very least, I hope this chapter will convince Muslims to refrain from reproducing inane European anti-semetic rhetoric.

Chapter 4 is, in my mind, the most important chapter of the book for a general U.S. and European audience. "Undesirable Aliens: Hispanics in America, Muslims in Europe" compares the current anti-immigrant hysteria with previous manifestations, demonstrating that the very same arguments used against primarily Hispanic immigrants in the United States were used against previous Others. In fact, even anti-immigrant intellectuals like Samuel Huntington had their antecedents in the halls of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Even more revealing, however, is that the arguments and methods have their antecedents in the Inquisition of the Iberian Peninsula discussed in the introduction and Chapter 1.

This whole sad story is only lightened by the resilience of the "Moors" of each age, whose presence each successive wave of persecution fails to erase. Dr. Anouar concludes by relating several instances of acceptance of the "Moor" and the increasing realization that globalization is making the idea of Inquisitorial purity less and less tenable. The United States has a Melville strand of thought upon which it can draw to end its war on its most recent Moors, the largely Hispanic undocumented immigrant population.

Should we make a conscious effort to attain a state of irreversible mestizaje, there is no better group than the Mexicans to lead the way. It is not insignificant that it was a Mexican intellectual who coined the expresion "cosmic race" early in the twentieth century. As ... Gregory Rodriguez has shown ..., although Mexicans are the "largest immigrant group in the history of the United States," the Mexican culture of mestizaje impels them toward inclusion through intermarriage and adaptation. ... Miscgenation, or rather, mestizaje, characterized the birth of modern Mexico, from the moment Spanish conquistadors encountered the Aztec empire.
Dr. Anouar movingly concludes:

It is far more sensible to start preparing for a new golden age when every human being on earth and every cultural tradition will be embraced with the love and care now accorded to any species threatened with extenction.
Lastly, the book has 26 pages of notes and 26 pages of index to facilitate review and further research. The University of Minnesota Press is to be congratulated for including these materials.
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on August 5, 2009
This book, although fascinating and well written, seems to have a hidden agenda of promoting the one world globalist economic agenda of the Internationalist and Illuminatist Banking Elites.

It rightly decries racism and prejudice, and documents how nationalism almost always is constructed on the backs of one or more groups of "despised others" who are different either in terms of race, religion, or language.

It presents a fascinating thesis that the origin of all modern day nationalistic xenophobia stems from the persecution by Catholic Spain of its Jewish and Moslem minorities. It also describes in terrible detail the travail of the Spanish Moslems, who were expelled in 1609 in the greatest act of ethnic cleansing in European history.

It also reveals great ironies of history, whereby the original organs of nationalistic racism, Spain and Catholicism, today are cast in the reverse role of the persecuted by the racist Anglo-Saxon American elites who seek to persecute Hispanic immigrants and their Catholic defenders.

But the alternative the author presents seems a bit too glib. He praises the right of oppressed groups to migrate across national borders without restriction to seek better jobs, but he never stops to consider the unfair economic policies promoted by the Internationalist Banksters and their corporate agents that disenfranchise these people in the first place. Even worse, he never tells us that these Banksters seek to recreate a world in which a tiny minority of wealthy elite live off the virtual economic enslavement of the vast majority of everyone else, and that their aim is to impose upon the US such a third world scenario.

The author focuses purely on the sociological aspects of racism, while ignoring the larger and broader issues of economic injustice. Perhaps this is understandable, given his background as a Moroccan immigrant seeking to make it in the world of American academia, which inevitably means kow towing to the corporate and financial elites. But one wonders if he is being used, either unwittingly or deliberately, as a kind of emotive propagandist for the New World Order Banking elites.

Consider this sentence that appears towards the end of the book (page 159) and judge for yourself:

"Given the escalating tragedies produced by fences and unequal opportunities, it would be far better and more consistent with our liberal aspiration to imagine a world in which all humans moved and worked freely on a planet that was deeded to no one."

This statement is either hopelessly naive or extraordinarily cynical, for how many immigrants can be said to have "moved and worked freely", rather than simply having reacted with desperation to an oppressive economic regime that forces them out of the fying pan of Mexico into the fire of American low wage zero benefits economic wage-servititude?

To those with even a cursory familiarity with the Internet, it is obvious that the Globalist elites promote the "free movement of labor and capital" as a way to reduce all nations to a lowest common denominator of pseudo capitalistic, third world inequality, disparity, and impoverishment. Perhaps Mr. Majid expects to be among the privileged few in the New World Economic Order, in which he will be able to drink champagne and smoke fine cigars with his fellow academic apologists for the New World Order elites, ensconced in comfortable limousines that escort him to academic meetings and prestigious think tanks as they wall out the muffled sounds of human misery and desperation that rise up in the tenements and barrios all around him.
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VINE VOICEon November 14, 2011
(reduced comments by Stephen Schwartz from the `Middle East Quarterly', Fall 2011): "We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades against Muslims and Other Minorities" by Anouar Majid, (2009). "... is an overly ambitious, rambling, error-strewn, and otherwise contrived book, attempting a meditation on the clash of civilizations. In reality, of course, almost none of us are Moors. ... "Moor" might denote a Mauretanian or other black African Muslim, but the conquerors who established al-Andalus [Muslim Spain] were Arabs and Berbers, not Mauretanians. Majid... has constructed a general history of the past half-millennium, in which the expulsion of Muslims from Spain is treated as a kind of historical original sin that may be expanded to explain anti-Jewish prejudice, the Atlantic slave trade, social distinctions among Israeli Jews, and just about everything else that can be connected artificially with Western "hegemony." The effect is to condemn all such interactions as expressions of a "Crusader" mentality which, Majid argues, must be thoroughly repudiated for the sake of the world's salvation... Such a product, as a cry of complaint and nothing more, offers no fresh insights or information, and will be of no use to scholars of Islam or Muslim relations with non-Muslim communities.... [Stephen Schwartz is a principal investigator at the 'Center for Islamic Pluralism' and the author of "The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role in Terrorism"].
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on February 8, 2011
The editorial review is absurd. I don't know what disdain against Hispanics in the US they are talking about. But most likely she/he is confusing it with disdain towards immigration. I am Hispanic and against immigration as well. I am also White, and as the term Hispanic inherently implies, of proud Spanish descent. Now to the absurdity of the review: how in the world does this author dare suggest Hispanics and Muslims share some sort of common persecution? As a descendant of those great Spaniards who admirably defended the Western world from creeping Islamization centuries ago, I am incredibly offended and disgusted. This must be some lame, sad, failed attempt by the we-invade-your-country-and-we-will-never-assimilate islamist author to gain some sympathy from some 'minorities' with victim mentality. How sad. There is no other minority like the muslim minority. Most do not want to integrate but to spread islam in accordance with the ideals of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is evidenced, for example, by the fact that everyone and their mother (including all non-imperialistic minorities) are joining the English Defence League in the UK in a movement against islam.

So, I'm sorry moro, we are not moros.
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on January 23, 2010
The usual nonsense from the 'usual suspects'. Globalist anti-nationalism is a reasonable philosophy but this fellow's thesis is that the Muslim is the original and ultimate outsider and victim.

1. Xenophobic hatred and suspician of the outsider is a regular feature of every society since the beginning of time. Are we blaming western nationalism for the most racist anti-outsider society in the world today - Japan ? Wacky stuff. The same theme of the outsider as a disciminated minority appears in Classical Greek Tragedy. Jew-hatred was a fact of the Hellenistic World [Roman Empire] before the birth of Mohammed and the Gospels reflect that prejudice. This is not something invented to oppress Muslims.

2. Does no one notice that the Muslims were the AGGRESSORS in Spain, the Caucasus, and as far north as Vienna? The Crusades were a response to Muslim military expansionism in Spain and the Caucasus, the persecution of Christians under Muslim rule in the Holy Land, and destruction of Christian holy places and shrines [see Hagia Sophia) in conquered places.

3. The Moors first appearence in Europe [Spain] was as the genocidal, ethnic cleansing and murderous Almoravide movement into Spain. They slashed, burned, and murdered Christians and Jews in the 10's of thousands.

The Moors as 'multicultural victims' - wow. Unbelievable. The moors were a violent, genocidal, and mass-murdering bunch who ethnically (murderously) cleaned whole sections of Spain of anyone but Muslims.

I have some sympathy for Globalist anti-nationalism but this effort to piggy-back on a respectable ideology falls short in both facts and credibility. Not everything cast in leftist vocabulary and imagery is a part of the Progressive agenda.

Another effort to join Islamist Extremism with the Progressive Movement. Don't be taken in by this slick effort using the right vocabulary but offering regressive conclusions.

Was this project funded by Al Quaida?
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on June 25, 2009
The premise of the book seems to be that sovereign nations are evil when they merely think about, let alone execute, measures aimed at buttressing national security. The 'Moor' reference being to the expulsion of the North African read Muslim invaders after the Reconquest. I'm sorry but I couldn't continue reading far beyond the first
chapter. The author has either listened to "Imagine" too many times or this is some sort of veiled subterfuge by the Left or the RJs(Radical Jihadists). If my son or daughter attends the college where this fellow is on the faculty, I would ...... No,
wait. There's no way I would send my American son or daughter to a college with the author on the faculty.
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