Reflections On Al-Andalus: Islamphopbia And Convivencia In Contemporary Discourse

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Dr. Ali Kareem Al-Jayikh


9/11 has played a major role in renewed discussions about racism, national identity, and multiculturalism. The wide discourse on racism is deeply rooted in American history and complicated by the “us” versus “them” divide which seems to dominate the post-9/11 political and cultural discourses. One aspect largely neglected by scholars is the presence of Al-Andalus as a trope in a considerable number of political speeches, and how the cultural history associated to this place was appropriated and distorted in different manners by various political players. This paper, however, investigates the revitalization of the history and the reshaping of the cultural memory of Al-Andalus (Moorish Medieval Spain) and its deploying as an important element of contemporary political ideology in post-9/11 political discourse to create further divisions and cultural exclusion. It is also the aim of the present study to provide instances of Andalusian counterdiscourse as reflected in narratives written by Arab-American women writers, in order to reactivate the Andalusian heritage as a source of inspiration for convivencia, for a harmonious multicultural coexistence.

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