According to popular tradition and history, Spain under the Moors (or Arabs) between 711 and 1492 was a bastion of toleration, culture, and science in a wilderness of Christian ignorance and the Dark Ages. The Umayyad rulers of the various principalities of Muslim Spain protected the religious minorities under their control, allowing freedom of worship and living. Spain was where the wisdom of the Greeks, lost during the Dark Ages, was preserved by the Arabs and re-transmitted back to Europe. The Moors ignited flames of culture and beauty that led to the Alhambra and other works of enduring beauty and splendor, and rescued the backward natives of Iberia from the Dark Ages. It serves as a model for how the Peoples of the Book can and should live.
And the myth, according to Fernandez-Morera, is wrong.
A really nice review; I think I know what I’m getting my husband for his birthday.