Whitney Bodman, associate professor of comparative religion at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has provided the most egregious misrepresentation of “Cordoban ecumenism.” He invoked it specifically to defend Imam Rauf’s GZM project and to condemn its opponents –who now represent 70% of both the U.S. and New York populations — for failing to understand “ … the difference between the Muslims of al-Qaeda and the Muslims of Cordoba.” Professor Bodman’s warped narrative was punctuated by the utterly ahistorical claim that the purported idyllic interfaith relations and glorious cultural symbiosis of Cordoba were abruptly terminated by the Spanish Catholic Inquisition:
["]The name “Cordoba House” is significant. It is named after the famed medieval Spanish city of Cordoba where philosophers, mystics, artisans and poets — Muslim, Christian, and Jewish — lived and shared together. … Its libraries were vast, and the translations of Arabic works into Latin changed Europe and Christianity forever. Among the resident luminaries were Maimonides, a noted Jewish intellectual, the poet Ibn Hazm, and Averroes, the Muslim philosopher and mystic. … With the coming of the Inquisition and Christian exclusivism, the brilliance of Cordoba faded, but its significance endures as a vibrant, inter-religious community.["]
-From "The Cordoba House and the Myth of Cordoban 'Ecumenism'", by Andrew G. Bostom, here.
Carol, Mary, and I visited Cordoba a couple of years ago. We saw several other indications of the ecumenism of the Moors in Spain. Take Toledo for instance.