Saturday, November 17, 2007

is spain realy racist?

Last month, fellow Latino Muslim Blogger, Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani put up a post called: Is Spain really racist? I think the article is thought-provoking, even though it paints a rosier picture of Spain than I would have based on my own visit to Spain many years ago. I was really struck by the anti-immigrant articles I would read in the newspaper and the racial caricatures which seemed commonplace (e.g. Conguitos, a brand of chocolate covered peanuts which used a sambo-like figure as a mascot). That visit to Spain was also the first time I ever felt like a police officer looked at me as a suspect. (Apparently, the cop was wondering if I was a terrorist... and I wasn't even Muslim then... but that's a whole other story). So I definitely felt racism was more blatant in Spain than other places I've been to, but perhaps I would have a different experience if I went back and could spend time in some of the locations mentioned on Khalil's blog.


Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani said...

Assalamu `alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

I remember when I went to Spain in 1998. I had described the Spain as "The land of my forefathers, whom raped my fore-mothers, and killed my Muslim brothers." I remember being in the marketplace of Cordoba and having some people speak of me as a "Moro" or translated in English "Moor." What a lot of people don't realize is that the Muslim in Al-Andalus never self-described themselves as that. That is what the kuffar called them. They may have descried themselved as one or many of the following terms "Muslim," "Andalusi," "Arab," "Tamazigh," "Berber" (another foreign term), "Farisi," "Maliki", etc.

sondjata said...

Must we us the term Kuffar/Kaffir? Really.

Anonymous said...

In this context, "kaffir" is an Arabic term for unbeliever or non-Muslim.

Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani said...


Sorry if I was not "politically correct" in your opinion, but my concern was to be "Islamically correct." From what I know a "kafir" is "one who disbelieves in Islam." Those who are not Muslim are defined as "kafir," "kuffar," or "kafirun." If they don't believe in Islam why should I call them other than what they are? A spade is a spade. There are only "mu'mins" and "kafir." There is nothing other than that in the Sunni `aqidah.

Abdul-Halim V. said...

maybe "a spade is a spade" isn't the best way to express the point.

sondjata said...

well while technically it would be simply a "non-believer" it is pretty much well known to those who have more than a cursory knowledge of the word that it implies a great deal more than simple "non-belief." It is because of that why I raised the objection in the context of this particular blog which I find to be far more "progressive" (I know abdul will object to the labelling but I think he'll forgive that for this instance).

Had it been any other place I probably wouldn't have said anything at all.

Spade eh?

Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani said...


Sorry if my comment was taken the wrong way. My use of the term "kafir" was not used in a prejorative sense. It was simply used in a matter-of-fact manner. I used the term just as "Anonymous" defined it, ie. unbeliever or non-Muslim.

Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani

UmmFarouq said...

Anyone ever eat a plate of moros y cristianos en Cuba? Black beans and rice, anyone?

Of course the Spanish are largely prejudiced. Case in point: my friend who studied history and language at the University of Sevilla for one year was repeatedly told by professors that the atrocities of the Inquisition and the subjugation of the natives in "El Nuevo Mundo" was all fabricated. Cristóbal Colón was a great man, blah blah blah.

Still, I love Spain, and the Spanish people.