History News Network | The Medieval Christian King Inspired by the Muslim World

After a brief history of the world of the Christian King of Castile and Leon,  Alfonso, the historian Simon R. Doubleday invites us to follow his example. “Alfonso’s open-mindedness and outward gaze remind us of the need to engage deeply with the cultures of peoples and faiths that inspire fear. Today, the discourse of mainstream politics is distorted by a closure of the imagination that contrasts sharply with the thirteenth-century conviction that wisdom, intellectual accomplishment, and the pursuit of fascination should be prerequisites for true leadership, even (and especially) in the face of terror. ” This type of wisdom is sorely needed today!

Read Doubleday’s brief history of Alfonso here: History News Network | The Medieval Christian King Inspired by the Muslim World

Why are the Sephardic Jews Who Fled Intolerant Spain in the 15th Century Now Considering Returning?

In 1492 the Jews of Spain were given the choice of converting to Christianity or leaving. Many fled to the Ottoman Empire, where they were welcomed by the Sultan Bayezid II. At the time it was the Muslim world that was tolerant in contrast to Catholic Europe. Now the tables have turned. While the Sephardic Jews in Turkey are not under the same threat they faced in 15th century Spain, they are concerned in the face of a rising antisemitism.  According to The New York Times, “[m]any Turks put the blame for the rise in anti-Jewish feelings on the actions of the Israeli government, particularly the killing of civilians during the Gaza war.” This is unfortunate. If anyone should be against generalizing from particular members of a group to the whole, it should be Muslims. It is a mistake to blame the Sephardic Jews in Turkey for what the Israeli government has done. The Israeli government does not represent all Jews or even all Israelis. Many Israelis disagree with the rhetoric and actions of the Israeli government. Similarly, it is a mistake to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few. This type of generalizing has been responsible for so much human suffering throughout human history. Will we ever learn?!

Sephardic Jews Feel Bigotry’s Sting in Turkey and a Pull Back to Spain – NYTimes.com.

Sultan Bayazid II welcomes Jews expelled from Spain

Sultan Bayazid II welcomes Jews expelled from Spain

              Sephardic migration