No other periods in history have been as influential and neglected as the Golden Period of Muslims in Al Andalus and the Ottoman period in Europe with very little being
reported of the Muslim Tatars and the influence of Islam on the
Vikings in Scandinavia.
In all four cases, not only a religion but also its higher culture, with its values and norms and its understanding of education and science, has shaped the future of Europe.
While in Christian Europe only monks could read and write, it was common among
Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula that peasants also mastered this art.
From mathematics to medicine, astrology and even hygiene, Muslims taught the Christian Europeans who practised superstition and quackery in the "Dark Ages".
The first universities in Europe did not originate in Oxford, Paris or Cologne, but in
Al Andalus, where Christian and non-Christian students sought knowledge and even learned the main language, Arabic. It must be seen that not only were Muslims copying and translating the ancient sources (Aristotle, Plato, Sophocles), but also correcting and improving them.
Cordoba, the capital of Al Andalus had 70 libraries, and one of them had more than half a million books!
It is incredibly important for Muslim children and adolescents (and adults too) in Europe to learn more about their Islamic history and their Muslim ancestors. This knowledge should help them to form a strong identity and to develop a positive self-confidence as European Muslims.
This is the only way to make a positive contribution to European society and to resist the prejudices and even attacks that have been taking place against Muslims.
After the disintegration of Al Andalus, the Christian world tried to conceal historical facts and even spread lies about the Muslims. Even nowadays, the Ottomans are considered “bloodthirsty monsters” who oppressed the poor Christian population in the Balkans and even restrained them from progress.
It is finally time for the Muslims to educate themselves and their children about their
Islamic past and the influence that Islam has had in Europe. We must be proud of the fact that without Islam Europe would not be what it is today and that this religion has become part of this continent!