Prof. Munir Shaikh gave a presentation titled “Remembering Muslims Spain as an Interreligious Model” to a large group of audience at Pacifica Institute. He started his speech with appreciation, and admiration to Pacifica Institute's organizations regarding its mission of educating the public with involved people working as volunteers.
In the beginning he started his speech with asking two questions: "What comes to your mind when you hear Muslim Spain?", and "Why is it said, Muslim Spain a model for Interreligious example?" He mentioned and expressed historically the name Al-Andalus comes from Pre-Modern Muslims. Some consider al-Andalus (Islamic Spain). Muslims, Christians and Jews shared a common culture and created a unique and humane society for nearly 800 years.
Shaikh emphasized that all people in Al-Andalus who were living under Muslim`s rules steadily acquired customs of Arabs which was a predominant society. They weren’t rapidly converting to the Islam, were steadily becoming Islamized. People were continuously practicing their religion. Additionally, when the Muslims had control of the zone they began introducing melons, spinach, sugar cane, rice that Europeans had never planted before and paper technology. All of these were very productive to flourish the society.
Despite that we can`t say that the people were perfectly harmonized in that society. Especially considering the things that happened at that time, we need to criticize according to that time period. Unfortunately, authoritarians executed provocative people who cursed Prophet Mohammad. However, that does not hold the same meaning as today.
The evening program was concluded with a Q&A session. In addition, light refreshments were served and conversations continued among the guests.