Andalusi hatred of Berbers and Morocco: A Thread.
Andalusi literature is filled with anti-Berber sentiment and all texts written by Andalusis that discuss their identity lack any relation to Berbers or the Maghreb. We can read those texts in chapter 7 of Nafh Al Teeb Fi Ghusn Al Andalus Al Rateeb.
Ibn Ghalib Al Andalusi: The people of Al Andalus are: Arab in their lineage and pride, Indians in their excessive care for science, Baghdadis in their cleanliness, intelligence and eloquence, Greeks in their care for agriculture, Chinese in their handicrafts, Turks in waging war.
And when God order that they Al Andalus in this last fitna, they dispersed into the lands of Bar Al Odouah (Morocco and Algeria) and Afriqiyah (Tunisia). Where the peasants went to the rural regions and taught their inhabitants better agricultural techniques.
While urbans went to the urban centers and their learned men became viziers, tax collectors and writers for the kingdom, and locals aren't used in those jobs if there is an Andalusi. And the people of handicraft surpassed the locals, cut their livelihood and made them followers.
Anyone that denies that about them is either ignorant or a liar.
Ibn Said Al Andalusi reemphasizing Ibn Ghalib's comments for people in the East: God know I only mean fairness and not prejudice but someone might read what Ibn Ghalib wrote and says: "This man is biased towards his people." And transmit his writings as such due to the being far
from the two lands.
But oh if they saw Layla's beauty, they would say I didn't praise he enough. [verse]
And it is enough to say that Marrakech is the Baghdad of Morocco and most of it's garden, great buildings and industries came to be at the time of Bani Abdul Mu'min (Almohads)
who brought Andalusi craftsmen from their peninsula (the Iberian peninsula) to work on them, and is that is very well known till now. And also the city of Tunis received the same fortune as Marrakech at the time of Sultan Yahya ibn abi Hafs and now has the gardens and monuments
that makes it look like Al Andalus and most of them were made by Andalusis.
Ibn Bassam, who is our biggest source of Andalusi history: The nobles of Eastern Arabs conquered it (Al Andalus), and the highest of ranks of the soldiers of Iraq and the Levant settled in it. Therefore the noble lineage stayed behind in every region that you can't find a city
that doesn't have a skilled writer or a compelling poet.
Ibn Said narrating the reason that made Al Shaqandi write his famous epistle favoring Al Andalus over Morocco: Were once at the Majlis of the ruler of Ceuta and Al Shaqandi and Ibn Al Mu'allim Al Tanji (from Tangiers) got into a quarrel in favoring the two lands and Al Shaqandi
said: "If not for Al Andalus Morocco would never have been mentioned and none of its virtues would have been known, and if not for respect for the Majlis I would tell you what you know!" And Al Tanji said: "Do you mean to say that the inhabitants of your land are Arabs and ours
are Berbers?" And Al Shaqandi said: "No by God that is not what I meant" Then the ruler of Ceuta, who is Berber, said: "By God you didn't mean anything but that" and it showed on his face that is actually what he meant. Then Al Tanji said: "How do you say that when the seat of
power is in our land?" (Almohad period). Then the ruler of Ceuta proposed that each of them write an epistle favoring his country instead of arguing in the Majlis and asked to write what is fit to be preserved.
Al Shaqandi's epistle is the only one that is reached to us but it is quite long so I will just write a gist of what it says and only put the juicy excerpts. He first begins with polemical prose deploring that Al Tanji even thinks to compare Morocco to Al Andalus and then he
says that the seat of power was in our lands before. Then he goes on to praise the Umayyads and their viziers and how people came from Baghdad to their courts. Then he praises the Taifa kingdoms' patronage of science and arts, especially the Banu Abbad.
After that he attacks Moroccans and says: "Now tell me how do you take pride in before this kingdom (Almohads)? Is it the Barghawata (a kingdom establish by a self proclaimed prophet in South Morocco after the Berber revolt)? Or is it Yusuf ibn Tashfin? Who if Banu Abbad hadn't
persuaded the poets to praise no one would have done it. And after they praised him Al Mu'tamid asked him: "Does Amir Al Muslimeen know what they said?" He said: "No I don't but they want bread."
After that he begins to tackle science and arts and his sentences are structured thus: "Do you have in [insert science] like our so and so?" Then he mentions their Islamic scholars, astronomers, philosophers, physicians, historians, poets and prose writers.
A funny part in this barrage of rhetorical questions is when he says: "Do you have someone that immortalized the virtues of his land and people as Ibn Bassam (previously mentioned) did in his book (Al Dhakirah)? And if you did, what would a good maiden do in an empty house?"
Then he expatiates on the superiority of Andalusi poets in 16 pages and says: "I had enough of proving day by pointing to the sun. Now tell me who is the poet that you would compare to any of the ones I mentioned? I don't know a poet of yours that is more famous or has a bigger
diwan than Abi Abbad Al Jirraoui and it is in your favor to deny him since you got enough shame for him when he said to the Caliph:
If the rulers of our time are snakes then you between them are a viper [verse]
I told a funny friend that verse and he said:
"No surprise this comes from Al Jirraoui, his poetry is as unpalatable as his lineage (he was Berber)."
End of Shaqandi's epistle.
Anti-Berber sentiment found elsewhere in Andalusi literature. This is a Maqama written by Abu Al Tahir Al Saraqusti (from Zaragoza) is set in Tangier and he calls the people of Tangier "a people like sheep or ostriches or hyenas." "It is like I am staying with a herd, one that
that refuse guidance nor leave me in peace." Also Sa'id Al Andalusi in his book Tabaqat Al Umam, which talks about the nations that took care of sciences. Has the Andalusis in the same category as Arabs, who are one of the 8 nations that engaged in science along with:
Chaldeans, Egyptians, Persians, Indians, Greeks, Romans and Jews. And the Arab part covers half the book with a bit less than half of it about Eastern Arabs and the rest about Andalusis. While Sa'id Al Andalusi has the Chinese and the Turks as the best non-scientific nations,
since the Chinese are the best manufacturers and the Turks are the greatest warlords. And he proclaims other races to be equal to animals and then begins to give environmental reasons for their backwardness. The Europeans live in very cold places and the blacks in very hot places
and that is what makes them barbaric and backward. Then he gives on: "But the Berbers and the Galicians (I think he is referring to all Christian Spaniards) they are a nation that guard cursed with ignorance and hostility even though they live in the same climate as ours."
And last but not least Ibn Rushd in his book Talkhees Al Khitabah says, while explaining the difference between detest and hostility: "We detest Berbers and they detest us."
And they are also other Andalusi texts that showed hatred towards Moroccans like the poetry of Ibn Sahl Al Yikki which is full of scathing insults to the people of Fes. Also some geographical books contain some interesting information I heard but I still haven't had time to look
them up yet. However, I want to end this but point to the fact history of many different nations is employed in Andalusi literature. Think of Ibn Abdun's eulogy for the rulers of Badajoz (who are Berber that claim Tujaibi Qahtani lineage), or Ibn Zaydoun's Al Risala Al Hazliyyah,
which uses the history of many different nations to mock Ibn Abdous, Amir Ibn Garcia Anti-Arab epistle which like Ibn Zaydoun's also uses history of many nations to mock Arabs and deny them superiority in Islam or Abu al-Baqa ar-Rundi's famous eulogy for Andalusi cities.
All of these very famous pieces of Andalusi literature employ the history of many nations but never mention Berbers. They mentioned Arabs (both Northern and Southern), Persians, Romans, Greeks, Ethiopians, Jews and Egyptians but not Berbers. Not even in a eulogy of a Berber king.
And it isn't like they didn't know he was Berber. Ibn Hayyan's disapproval of their Arab passing makes it seem like it was pretty well known and the eulogy was written after their demise at the hands of the Almoravids so there was no need to continue the lie. And I want to stress
that it is a lie that they made up and made the poets praise as such. And Banu Al Aftas, rulers of Badajoz, like their rivals Banu Dhi Al Nun, Berber rulers of Toledo, were both from the first Berber invaders in early 8th century and not immigrants like the Ziris, who are the
main reason for the raise of Andalusi hatred of Berbers in the 11th century due to their huge role in the Berber fitna as Andalusis called it. Ibn Hayyan's comment about Banu Al Aftas: "And one of the great wonders is their passing to be Tujaibis." Tujainis were the ruler of
Zaragoza and the great philosopher and musician Ibn Bajjah is one of their descendants. The invention of Andalusi music by mixing eastern and occidental music present in the peninsula is attributed to him not Ziryab who just introduced eastern music into the peninsula.

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