Author: Marvine Howe
Extent: 240 pp.
Publication: December 2011
Publisher: Hurst & Company
Iberia is a special place of colliding myths over its Islamic past and the Christian reconquista, the Inquisition and massive expulsion of Muslims and Jews some five centuries ago. Long a land of emigrants and explorers, it has now become home to Europe’s latest, rapidly growing Muslim communities. Al-Andalus Rediscovered focuses on Iberia’s new Muslims, and their lives in a largely Roman Catholic region. Also featured are the Spanish and Portuguese officials, academics, NGOs and ordinary citizens who are trying to find better ways to integrate Muslims and other immigrants, despite domestic and European pressures for tougher counter-measures.
This book seeks to answer the basic questions: whether an Iberian model of a humane immigration policy is possible in ‘fortress’ Europe and whether the partisans of the Andalusian spirit of tolerance and diversity can prevail at this time of economic hardship and heightened radicalism in both the Islamic World and the West.