VMI Celebrates Muslim Invasion, Brutal 781-year Occupation of Spain by Patrick S. Poole 3 Feb 2011 post a comment Share This: Stonewall Jackson is rolling over in his grave. Next month his beloved Virginia Military Institute will be convening a celebration commemorating the 1300th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Spain under the Muslim warlord Tariq ibn Ziyad in 711 A.D. The March 23-25 celebration entitled "711-2011: East Meets West" and organized by VMI's Center for Leadership and Ethics, is scheduled to feature standard Muslim apologists Reza Aslan and Akbar Ahmed. VMI Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay has even filmed an invitation to the celebration. No word if VMI's World War II commemoration will be entitled "Germany meets Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Belgium, France, Norway, The Netherlands and Russia". Event organizers describe the event as follows: We celebrate the 1300th anniversary of Tariq ibn Ziyad’s crossing of the Straits of Gibraltar, setting into motion the fusion between two worlds. The agenda will tell the vital story of the achievements when Muslims, Christians, and Jews thrived side by side in Western Europe, building a society that lit the Dark Ages. Experts will discuss how to transform education, promote tolerance, political reform, and advance human development so that we can emulate the spirit and triumphs of the early years. Reza Aslan is scheduled to speak on a panel entitled “'Al-Andalus' – an ageless Model of Tolerance", but it is doubtful that Aslan and his co-panelists will be discussing the widespread persecution of Christians and Jews under Muslim rule that led to the establishment of an entirely new class of Roman Catholic martyrs, "the Cordoba martyrs", or the 1066 massacre of Jews and crucifixion their leader Joseph ha-Nagid in "tolerant" Cordoba. The great Jewish scholar Maimonides and his family fled "tolerant" Cordoba after the Muslim conquest of the city in 1148, when the new occupiers gave Jews the option of converting to Islam, death or exile. A similar persecution emulating the Almohad's "model of tolerance" prompted Maimonides to write his famous Epistle on Forced Conversion to the Jewish community in Yemen. The myth of "the Golden Age of Muslim Spain" has gained recent attention from the attempts by the Ground-Zero mosque promoters to appropriate the narrative in support of their "Cordoba Initiative". Restoring '“Al-Andalus' – an ageless Model of Tolerance" has been the stated goal of Al-Qaeda (Reza Aslan and Al-Qaeda - together at last!). In September 2007 Ayman al-Zawahiri issued an audio tape calling for the reconquest of "Al-Andalus" and more recently called for the "cleansing" of North Africa of Spaniards and the French as preparation for the reoccupation of "Al-Andalus". An al-Qaeda-linked cyber-jihadist group that targets US companies with hacks and computer worms styles themselves as "The Brigades of Tariq ibn Ziyad", named after the invader and occupier of Spain. VMI's "East Meets West" celebration will also include an address by Hussein Hassouna, representative of the Arab League to the US, whose boss, Amr Moussa, has demanded that Muslims be allowed to conduct services inside the cathedral in Cordoba. Yet when Pope Benedict visited the occupied Hagia Sophia in Istanbul in November 2006, his visit was met with widespread protests by Turks afraid that Benedict might attempt to pray inside the conquered and occupied ancient cathedral.