Yesterday I reported on an upcoming conference at the Virginia Military Institute celebrating the Islamic invasion and brutal 781-year occupation of Spain entitled “711-2011: East meets West“. Apparently stung by our report and a deluge of angry callers this morning, VMI is furiously scrubbing the “celebration” language from all the event materials and trying to portray this as a military and academic event to irate callers, who are reportedly being told that it never was a “celebration” and that Big Peace has deliberately misconstrued the event.
But if this event was never intended as a “celebration” of the invasion and brutal (one could rightfully claim genocidal) occupation of Spain by Tariq ibn Ziyad, as the school is now claiming, why was the event listed as a “celebration”? Yesterday, the event announcement on VMI’s website read:
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.
Now VMI scrubbing the “celebration” language from all of the online conference materials. That same event announcement now reads:
A fusion between two worlds began 1300 years ago with Tariq ibn Ziyad’s crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 711. Please join us to commemorate the brilliant contributions resulting from the blending of eastern and western cultures. The agenda will tell the vital story of the achievements when Christians, Jews, and Muslims thrived side by side in Western Europe, building a society that lit the Dark Ages. Experts will discuss how to transform education, promote tolerance, civility, political reform, and advance human development so that we can emulate the spirit and triumphs of the early years.
Callers are also being told that both points of view will be represented at the conference, however, a review of the speaker list shows no indication of anyone critical of the “Islamic Spain under occupation as model of tolerance” viewpoint. When one conference panel is dedicated to the topic of “‘Al-Andalus’ – an ageless Model of Tolerance“, it seems unlikely that discussions of the Cordoba martyrs (those Christians who were killed by the Islamic occupiers for refusing to publicly renounce the claim that Jesus was the Son of God) or the 1066 massacre of the Jews in “tolerant” Cordoba will be forthcoming.
It’s always the cover-up that gets you in the end.