Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christian graves desecrated by Muslims at Longsight church in Manchester

I've been reading Enemy Of The State by Stephen Yaxley, a.k.a Tommy Robinson. On page 112 he claims that Muslims in Longsight, Manchester were desecrating the graves of Christians after buying St Johns church and converting it into a mosque.

Here is a link to a video to the kind of scene that would have greeted the protesters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_yejeSZdwU and is also the video Tommy Robinson directed me to as his evidence - Please watch it in full.

The EDL protested against this desecration of graves, but I think Tommy Robinson was misled in order to outrage people against Muslims, and no such grave desecration took place. As this seemingly false claim is documented in his book, and therefore being spread, I am hoping to prove beyond reasonable doubt that this is an error (an honest one I think) and also hoping that Tommy will accept this and ensure the record is set straight in the form of an errata webpage for his book.

The YouTube video shows a lovely photo of  a Christian church complete with gravestones, and then the footage taken at later date shows a flattened ground with a headstone on the floor. The first thing to note is that these are not showing the same side of the building.

The picturesque church with graves.

The church as seen in the video footage.


The scene of the video footage on Google Maps taken in July 2015.

One of the great things about Google Street View is that they take photos on more than one occasion. This enables us to look at a scene and then compare it to some point in the past. In this case photos were available for July 2015, and as far back as September 2008. 

Street View: July 2015 Vs Sept 2008.

Whatever was happening in the video footage it was after September 2008. Judging from the 2008 photo there wasn't an area that was being used as a graveyard..  So what was happening? According to this local news report from The Manchester Evening News, dated 10th of September, 2009, the former garden of the church was being turned into a car park when builders discovered headstones. The report reads

It is understood the headstones, which have not been identified, were not part of the graveyard - which has not been used since 1966 - but had been moved at some point to form pathways through a church garden, before being covered over. 


The discovery was of headstones previously used on graves that had been moved at some point in the past to create a path in the garden, and over time had been lost beneath the undergrowth as the garden was no longer maintained. These were not graves. The same news report reads:

The developers immediately ordered all work to stop. Council planning officers are now investigating. 
Arshad Nawaz, trustee of the charity that runs the centre, stressed that no grave had been disturbed. 
He said some £50,000 had been spent to repair the church, which had become dilapidated over the years. The graves and gravestones had been `carefully preserved', he added. 
"As Muslims we very strongly believe in the sanctity of mankind," he said.
Note how the language switches from headstones to gravestones in this article. This is because the preserved part of the land actually had graves on it. These graves were preserved as part of the £50,000 spent restoring this Grade II listed building.

Looking through images of the site over the years using Google Earth it would appear that this area of the church has been very overgrown and neglected for a number of years before the building was restored by Muslims and used as a mosque.

December 31st, 2000

August 4th, 2003

December 31st, 2005

June 2nd, 2009

Planning permission to convert the area at the side of the church into a car park was granted multiple times to different people, on the following dates
  1. September 1st, 1998 - Flats plus a car park - Reference 055108/LO/CENTL2/98
  2. September 17th, 1998 - Flats plus a car park - Reference 055233/FO/CENTL2/98
  3. December 21st, 2005 - Car park only - Reference 078040/FO/2005/N2

The "desecrated gravestone" image seems to have come from a news report made by the British National Party (BNP) on September 6th, 2005. The report (now deleted but archived here) reads

The bloodless genocide and ethnic cleansing of the British people and culture continues apace with the latest example being the ripping up of a century old Christian cemetery to make way for a mosque in Manchester.
The grave desecrations, being carried out with a large Komatsu earthmover in the graveyard of the St John the Apostle and Evangelist church at the corner of Holmfirth Street and St John’s Road, is part of the re-opening of this nineteenth century church as the Dar-ul-Ulum Qadria Jilania “Islamic Centre.”
Given the evidence it would seem the BNP used this discovery of a covered up pathway (which had been made out of unused headstones when the church had a garden) and then used it to spread hatred against Muslims by claiming they were tearing down the graves of Christians; the ultimate slap in the face of Christianity from Islam.  From there the EDL were stirred up with this misinformation and came to demonstrate against this seemingly sacrilegious act. Soon afterwards local Muslim graves were targeted nearby by vandals.

UP to 20 Muslim graves have been vandalised in a racially motivated attack at a south Manchester cemetery. 
Vandals struck at the Southern Cemetery on Barlow Moor Road sometime overnight on Thursday. 
Staff arrived at the cemetery to find up to 20 gravestones had been deliberately pushed over, and a number had broken. 
The attack is being treated as racially motivated as only Muslim graves were targeted. 

The Manchester Evening Standard article explaining the story of the graveless headstones and the garden path was published within 4 days of the BNP's misinformation exercise but, unfortunately, it was the BNP story that got the attention of the EDL. It seems as though the former EDL leader was duped by Nick Griffin and The BNP, who's agenda was always to seed hatred for anyone not white.

So what did happen to the stones that were on the graves at the side of the church that was being used as a cemetery? They are still there!

Google Street View: Taken July 2015

What these people actually did was spend £50,000 to preserve an abandoned church, and respect the dead.






Sunday, 1 November 2015

Who's racist?

I've let this lie for a long time now, but today I feel like it is finally time to put it to rest. Alom Shaha once tweeted a link to this article


I no longer recall the details of the article. I do remember agreeing with quite a lot of it and feeling it was important for people to read. However, I did also feel that the following comment in the article was incorrect, offensive, and certainly counter productive to the acceptance of the article by the white people it stereotyped.


So this is what I tweeted to Alom regarding the link he had shared


I can admit that looking at this tweet it can come across rude. I was very annoyed by this blog for being accused of inhumanity based on the colour of my skin. I don't experience problems in my day to day life because of my colour, and it was in fact Alom who helped me to spot the white privilege I have and was unaware of (thanks for that), but to accuse white people of thinking black people's lives are worthless is a horrible racial slur.

Yes, I took offence, and yes I was annoyed. I do also get annoyed when people negatively stereotype Black people, Asian people, Muslims, or anyone else; but what really got me annoyed about this blog was that it was written to complain about racism and yet a small part of it was being racist in a horrible way. 


This is not the reaction I expected. I thought Alom might disagree with me, we might discuss it, and perhaps (as we did with white privilege) be fortunate enough to have one of us change our mind. I didn't expect Alom to accuse me of being racist for disagreeing with a black man for saying that white people don't care if fellow humans with black skin die. I'd have said exactly the same thing if it had been a white supremacist claiming it, in fact I'd have been more outraged because I'd have felt a white supremacist was trying to claim they represent all white people, whereas in this case I was willing to put the offensive text down to a statement of personal perception that needed wording better, or simply being mistaken.

Just do a simple search through my Twitter timeline to see what I say about black people. There are a number of Tweets where I post my outrage at how black people are disproportionately shot by white police officers in the US. In fact, primarily my Tweets are about Islam, so take a look at what I say about Muslims while you are there. I hope you will agree that I judge people based on their individual actions, and not their skin colour or even their shared beliefs.

This morning I saw that someone I follow (The physicist Jon Butterworth; worth following) had retweeted something by Alom.


*Not all Muslim patrols have ill intentions, some patrol the streets to collect litter, and others to ensure the pavements are safe for the elderly to walk on after it has snowed. This isn't actually relevant to this post, I just wanted to take the opportunity while writing this blog to point out that there are good people doing good work, even if they are Muslim patrols :)

But back to the issue at hand, After all this time I am still annoyed by the memory of Alom's racism towards me, and the horrible slur of accusing me of being racist. He often points out the racism in others, so the added factor of his hypocrisy in making such a racist statement still gets under my skin and I pointed it out.


Not only did I not expect a response at all (because I am blocked), but I certainly didn't expect to read the response given.


What on Earth does my skin colour or gender have to do with anything? If he is criticising me for how he perceives me because of my actions as an individual (the Twitter handle bit) then that's fine, but it is only white people who do this or, indeed, only white men? Why, Alom, do you push your negative statement about your perception of me personally onto all people who happen to have the same skin colour and/or gender as myself? What does your statement about my skin colour do other than prove my initial point?

*For the record, my name is (and always has been) a statement of my goal and not one of my perceived status. It is what I strive for in myself and others through rational discussion, not what I claim to be. 



I don't even mind your colourful language in calling me a wanker, but must you really associate your negative perception of me with the colour of my skin? Alom, you are a trustee of The British Humanist Association for goodness's sake!




While I do think he has many valid points on white privilege, discrimination against non-whites and women, I do also think he suffers from a bad case of hypocrisy. Accusing me of objecting to an article not because it paints me as an inhumane racist as I stated, but simply because the author was black!

Alom, you helped me to identify something I found difficult to see about myself due to the life experiences I had due to my skin colour. I hope you are eventually able to see the plank of wood in your own eye. Not every white person who disagrees with one of your opinions is a racist, and to claim they are is what you claim to despise so much, racism.

*References to the tweets are held by the independent 3rd party, Storify https://storify.com/TheRationaliser/who-s-the-racist





Tuesday, 1 September 2015

QuranX.com analytics for August 2015

There were a total of 28,306 page views on QuranX.com during August 2015. The visitors were mainly 25-34 year olds. 31% were female.


A welcome change to the statistics has been the geographic locations of the visitors. Previously most visitors were from the UK and US, but for the first time most of the visitors to the site were from Pakistan.


  1. Pakistan - 2,011
  2. UK - 1,321
  3. US - 1,245
  4. India - 1,097
Followed by Saudi Arabia, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Netherlands, and Canada.

76.9% of visitors found QuranX.com through entering a search term in Google. 13.8% came directly to the site (via a browser bookmark for example). 0.06% were referrals from other websites, and 0.03% came via social media links.


It seems that the majority of QuranX.com visitors find their way via Google searches rather than links. Which is quite surprising considering how Google increases the rankings of sites based on how many other sites link to them.

Monday, 24 August 2015

What we know about Hamza Tzortzis and AshleyMadison.com


It was the 20th of August when I downloaded the hacked Ashley Madison database. It wasn't long before I found an account that seemed to belong to Hamza Andreas Tzortzis. I contacted the email address registered against the account, sending my name + mobile number and asked the owner to call me, but received no reply.
The next day (Friday) I emailed Hamza on his iERA email address and informed him of what I had found. From the very start Hamza wouldn't believe me. He insisted I was playing a joke on him, and only started to take me seriously once I had revealed the last four digits of his credit card. From the outset Hamza has denied responsibility for signing up this account, and from the beginning I have told him I do not believe him but would continue to look at the data to see what I could find out. I suggested he should make a public statement explaining what I had found before someone else finds the same information and exposes him. From there a lot has been reported by the press, some of which I found a little misleading, and so I have decided to write this blog explaining what is and is not known about the whole affair.

Credit card information

The person who opened the account used a credit card registered to Andreas Tzortzis. To achieve this they would need to know his real name (readily available), home address (readily available at CompaniesHouse), his full credit card number, card expiry date, and the 3 digit security number on the back of the card. In addition to this it is possible the card issuer would have demanded confirmation this was not fraud by requesting the user enter Hamza's online banking password; this is a pretty standard security feature when using your card in an unexpected way or from an unusual location (the transaction was executed from Australia).

The first payment of £54 was issued to the site on the 22nd of October 2014. This would have been the initial membership fee. There were eight subsequence charges for £15 each taken on approximately the same date of each subsequent month, totalling £174 over 9 months.
From this payment information it is possible to assertain the following additional information. 1] The membership number of the account (99904794). 2] The email address used to sign up to the site (A_Tzortzis@yahoo.com). 3] The IP address from which the payment was made (119.17.35.98).
Again, the email address is public information. It is possible that Hamza doesn't check this email address often (or at all), it is very likely an old email address as it does not include any indication of his chosen Muslim name "Hamza". However, Hamza certainly has used this email address since becoming a Muslim, for example, a quick Google search reveals content associated with this address from around 2008...but (it seems) nothing recently.

The interesting data here is the IP address. A quick IP -> Geo Location lookup shows it is in Australia. Hamza's public statement on FaceBook (now deleted) stated that £54 had been charged to his card while he was in Australia, and concluded that is where the account was opened from. The server time given for the account creation is 10:09 am, and the last time the account was modified was the same day at 11:43 am. As I don't know the time zone of the server I cannot check what time it would have been in Australia. This information could prove useful if anyone can answer.

The profile 

(Table name: am_am_member)
The profile for 99904794 lists the area in which the account owner can be found for sex as London N16 7TN. The map co-ordinates are 51.5543658, -0.073289 which, according to Google Maps, is Somerford Grove, London, N16 7TN. A check on the free electoral role website reveals Hamza's parents live on that street.

The profile lists Hamza's correct date of birth (21st of September 1980) but again this information is readily available. The profile caption read "Compassionate male seeks friendship" and the summary "I long for a sincere friendship with the ability to connect physically and mentally. I would consider myself compassionate, and someone who thinks a lot.". The profile lists Hamza as weighing 88452 grammes (13st 13lbs or 195lb) which I cannot verify. It lists his height as 178cm (5' 10"), which again I cannot verify but seems about right.

(Table name: aminno_member)
Searching by signup date, signup IP there is a single row matching the account information above. This reveals a profile number of 29425606. The alias for the website is set to AndrewT14, most likely a play on Andreas T, but I don't know for certain what the 14 represents.  The date of birth is the same in this table too, as expected. At the time of the hack this profile had no public photos and no private photos associated with it, so a subsequent release of hacked photos will probably not reveal anything (unless some were uploaded then removed, and the server does not physically delete the image files).

There are some dates indicating the last time certain events occurred that are empty, suggesting the account was not used to email anyone and the user didn't chat with anyone.

Mailing options & user activity

(Table name: amminno_member_email - I will use Y/N instead of 1/0 as per the data)

email=a_tzortzis@yahoo.com, isvalid=Y, optin=Y, notify_newmail=Y, notify_newmember=Y, notify_login=Y, notify_offer=Y

From the developer comments associated with each of these fields it would seem that an email would be sent if there was a special offer, if contacted by another user, or if someone in the account owner's favourites list logged into the website. I cannot say whether any special offers were emailed out to accounts already paid in full or not, or if anyone nearby matching the criteria had signed up resulting in an email being sent, but if the system was working correctly and the dates in aminno_member were being updated then the data suggests no contact was made with anyone as there are no valid date/times set against the fields bc_mail_last_time, bc_chat_last_time, or reply_mail_last_time.

Observations

For this account to have been set up by anyone other than Andreas (Hamza) the account creator would need access to some publicly available information (date of birth, address etc). They would need to put in extra work to find his parent's address. My intuition says a frauster would use the same address that had already been entered during the billing stage. To use an address 1 hour drive away from Andreas's home suggests the account creator was trying to disassociate the account from him rather than bring attention to it. A malicious person probably would be more likely to use account details easily associated with Andreas so that the profile would be discovered. The same goes for the profile name, similar enough to his real name for Andreas to remember, but dissimilar enough to not associate it with him directly. Obviously there was no way this person knew the AshleyMadison.com database would be made public, so it is reasonable to assume this is information hiding rather than exposure.

This person would also require full access to information on both sides of his credit card (16 digit number, expiry date, 3 digit security code on the back) and to have been in Australia at the same time as Andreas in order to sign him up and make it look like he had done it himself.

They would really have had to have done some research to get his weight and height correct, or approximately correct. This high level of detail seems to have the purpose of accurately portraying one's self to attract a partner rather than to mislead the public into identifying Andreas as the account holder.

I can easily accept that Andreas's Yahoo email account is not checked any more. I can confirm that my attempt to contact Andreas via that email address was not successful, whereas an email to his iera account the next day received an immediate response. I have old email accounts I can no longer even access. I can also accept he did not notice the payments coming out of his account via his card. Personally I never check my card statements, I don't even look at my bank statements to see how much is being paid to my card account.

Clarifications

The website does not require you to click a confirm link in an email in order to get into the website. I have tried it myself, my profile name is DirtyJanet if you'd like to look me up ;-)

The flag in the database "isvalid" marked against an email address is stored against the user's emailing preferences. In my experience, flags to indicate the user has confirmed their email address via an email link are typically stored against an account table with a name like "Verified", and not in an email campaign preferences table as found in this database. The presence of a 1 (yes) against this flag on this account does not suggest a link in an email was clicked to activate the account.

An email address can be considered "valid" if it meets the Internet standard on structure. ThisEmailDoesNot@ExistInRealLifeBecauseIJustMadeItUp.com is a valid email address, it just doesn't exist. It isn't uncommon for email campaign scripts to assume an email address is valid and exists and then mark it as defunct when "does not exist" email responses come back.

To me the idea this flag is an email-bounce flag is the most plausible. If the flag were set to zero by default and only marked 1 when the user followed a link in an email then the system would have to send emails to people with emails marked as isvalid=0 in order for them to become marked as valid. I hope you'll agree, sending emails to people with addresses marked as invalid makes the whole purpose of the flag redundant. The expert in this article might be an expert in data analysis but that doesn't make him an expert on the writing of software. I've been employed writing business software for about 19 years now, and I disagree.

This isn't an important point in so far as Andreas not seeing emails to an old account, but I think it is beyond doubt that it has been demonstrated the person signing up did not also require access to the yahoo.com email account.

UPDATE (27 Aug 2015): I am currently looking at the schema and can confirm the default value for isvalid is in fact a 1, so my original conclusion was correct.

UPDATE (31 Mar 2016): After the libellous statements made against me by Dawah Man on Facebook regarding this issue I decided to re-read this article through. Regarding the information used from Andreas's credit card: obviously this would be very difficult for someone to obtain, unless of course it was a company credit card in his name, in which case a small number of people within iERA could have had access to that information. This would mean that it is possible someone who works for iERA, accompanied Hamza to Australia, and stayed in the same hotel chain could be responsible.

The third hypothesis

I find it a little annoying that the alternative to Andreas signing up is presented as someone else doing it and then hacking the website to expose him, and nothing else is considered. It would be possible that someone would sign up an account not identifiable as Andreas in the hope that at some point in the future the monthly £15 debit would be spotted by his wife and cause suspicions that could damage his marriage. Meaning that the hack was unexpected, and the only reason we got to find out about it. I don't subscribe to this hypothesis at all, I just wanted to put forward a more balanced article and point out the stupidity of some scenarios being proposed as the only alternative.

Conclusion

I strongly suspect that while in Australia Andreas decided to have a look around on the web and found this website. He signed up using an old email address he knew wouldn't be checked, entered his credit card details, and then spent the next 94 minutes looking around the website before giving up. He probably then forgot all about it and, because he doesn't check his old email or his card statements, had no idea this website was still taking £15 per month off him for a service he wasn't using.

The profile on the site is now marked as Unavailable. If there is a flag in the database indicating this state then it will be possible to determine whether it was hidden after the exposure or before. If before then it supports the above hypothesis that the account was only used for 93 minutes (assuming that hiding a profile will update the column in the DB recording when the profile was last updated). Frankly, I've had enough of looking through the DB so that can be an exercise for someone else.

I expect at some point he will give up the excuse he came up with while panicking and confess that he looked but did not touch, and then never went back. I seriously doubt this will hurt his career, only Allah can judge him after all, and it's not as if it is an offence that carries a death sentence.


Sunday, 16 August 2015

Geocentricism - Can you help me to find some downloads?

Here is a list of works I'd like to read, in some cases there is just an author's name. I am after links to these works, and suggestions of other works concerning geocentricism. If you can help me with any of these I'd appreciate it very much (therationaliser at gmail.com).

·         Abū Yahyā Zakariyyā ibnMuhammad ibn Mahmūd al-Qazwīnī (c. 1203 – 1283 CE)
o   Kitāb ‛Ajāib alMakhlūqat wa Gharāib wa al-Mawjūdāt [“Marvels of Creatures and Rarities of the World”]
·         Al Farabi (872-951 AD)
o   The gathering of the ideas of the two philosophers
·         Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Mājid ibn Muhammad al-Sa‛dī (15th/16th century)
o   Kitāb al-Fawā’id fī Ma‛rifad ‛ilm al-Bahr wa’l -Qawā’id [“Uses and Knowledge of Sea Science and Rules”]
·         Al Ghazzali (1058-1111 AD)
o   Incoherence of the Philosophers
o   Ihya' Ulum al-Din or Ihya'u Ulumiddin (The Revival of Religious Sciences)
·         Ulug Beg (1393-1449)
o   Zij-i Sultani (Presumably heliocentric)
·         Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd AKA Averroes (1126-1198 AD)
o   {Author H Davidson}
o   Tahafut al-Tahafut
o   Decisive Treatise
·         Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi (1165-1240 AD)
o   Al-Futûhât al-makkiyya ("The Meccan Openings")
·         Walī al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan Ibn Khaldūn (1332-1406 AD)
o   Muqaddimah
·         Mani’s book of giants? (Cosmogony)
·         al-Farghani 9th CE (Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathir al-Farghani)
o   Kitāb fī Jawāmiʿ ʿIlm al-Nujūm (كتاب في جوامع علم النجوم A Compendium of the Science of the Stars) or Elements of astronomy on the celestial motions, written about 833
o   Jawami ilm al-nujum wa usul al karakat al-samawiyya
·         Rhazes 9th CE (Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi)
o   The Small Book on Theism
o   Response to Abu'al'Qasem Braw
o   The Greater Book on Theism
o   Modern Philosophy
o   Spiritual Medicine
o   The Philosophical Approach (Al Syrat al Falsafiah)
o   The Metaphysics
·         Vienna/Avicenna 10th CE (Ibn Sina / Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Sīnā)
o   Kitāb al-shifā
o   Resāla fī ebṭāl aḥkām al-nojūm
o   Dānish nāma-i ʿalāʾī (Book of Knowledge)
·         al-Khujandi 10th CE, built observatory near Tehran in Iran (Abu-Mahmud Khojandi / Abu Mahmud Hamid ibn Khidr Khojandi)
o   {Axial tilt, potentially heliocentrist)
o   On the obliquity of the ecliptic and the latitudes of the cities
·         al Battam (d. 929)
o   Science of the stars
·         Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jābir ibn Sinān al-Raqqī al-Ḥarrānī al-Ṣābiʾ al-Battānī
o   Kitāb az-Zīj ("Book of Astronomical Tables")
·         Abū Ishāq Ibrāhīm al-Zarqālī (d. 1087)
o   Al Amal bi Assahifa Az-Zijia
o   Attadbir
o   Al Madkhal fi Ilm Annoujoum
o   Rissalat fi Tarikat Istikhdam as-Safiha al-Moushtarakah li Jamiâ al-ouroud
o   Almanac Arzarchel
·         Mu'ayyad al-Din al-'Urdi (d. 1266)
o   Kitāb al-Hayʾa, a work on theoretical astronomy
·         Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi (d. 1311)
o   Eḵtiārāt-e moẓaffari It is a treatise on astronomy
o   Nehāyat al-edrāk. The work was dedicated to Mozaffar-al-Din Bulaq Arsalan.
o   Fi ḥarakāt al-dahraja wa’l-nesba bayn al-mostawi wa’l-monḥani a written as an appendix to Nehāyat al-edrāk
o   Nehāyat al-edrāk - The Limit of Accomplishment concerning Knowledge of the Heavens (Nehāyat al-edrāk fi dirayat al-aflak) completed in 1281
o   Ketāb faʿalta wa lā talom fi’l-hayʾa, an Arabic work on astronomy, written for Aṣil-al-Din, son of Nasir al-Din Tusi
o   Šarḥ Taḏkera naṣiriya on astronomy.
o   Al-Tuḥfa al-šāhiya fi’l-hayʾa, an Arabic book on astronomy, having four chapters, written for Moḥammad b. Ṣadr-al-Saʿid, known as Tāj-al-Eslām Amiršāh
o   Ḥall moškelāt al-Majesṭi a book on astronomy, titled Ḥall moškelāt al-Majesṭi
·         Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (d. 1274) Khawaja Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan Tūsī
o   Al-Tadhkirah fi'ilm al-hay'ah – A memoir on the science of astronomy
o   Sharh al-Tadhkirah (A Commentary on al-Tadhkirah)
o   sharh al-isharat (Commentary on Avicenna's Isharat)
·         Ibn al-Haytham (11th CE)
o   Al-Shukuk ala Batlamyus (meaning "Doubts on Ptolemy") [Still geocentric]
·         al-Kindi (9th CE) Abu Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn ʼIsḥāq aṣ-Ṣabbāḥ al-Kindī
o   The Book of the Judgement of the Stars
o   On the Stellar Rays
o   Treatise on the Judgement of Eclipses
o   On the Revolutions of the Years
o   Treatise on the Spirituality of the Planets
·         Ibn al-Shatir (D. 1375) Ala Al-Din Abu'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Shatir
o   Kitāb Nihāyat al-Suʾāl fī Taṣḥīḥ al-ʾUṣūl (كتاب نهاية السؤال في تصحيح الأصول The Final Quest Concerning the Rectification of Principles)
·         Ali Qushji (d. 1474) Ala al-Dīn Ali ibn Muhammed [Progressive, moving Earth]
o   A Latin translation of two of Qushji's works, the Tract on Arithmetic and Tract on Astronomy, was published by John Greaves in 1650.
·         al-Biruni
o   Al-Qānūn al-Masʿūdi (“The Masʿūdic Canon”)
o   Maqālīd ʿilm al-hayʾah (“Keys to Astronomy”)
o   Istīʿāb al-wujūh al-mumkinah fī ṣanʿat al-asṭurlāb (“Exhaustive Book on Astrolabes”)
o   Al-Tafhīm li-awāʾil ṣināʿat al-tanjīm (“Instruction in the Elements of the art of Astrology”)
o   Kitāb al-Āth ār al-Bāqiyya [“Chronology of Ancient Nations”]
·          al-Khwarizmi
o   Zij al-Sindhind (translated:al-Fazari, Yaqub ibn Tariq)
·         Al-'Abbas ibn Sa'id (9th CE) al-'Abbas ibn Sa'id al-Jawhari
o   Wrote a treatise – commentary on Euclid’s elements
·         Abu Sa'id al-Darir (9th CE) Abu Sa'id al-Darir al-Jurajani
·         Ahmed Al-Nahawandi (9th CE) Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Nahawandi [Jundishapur]
·         Habash al-Hasib (9th CE) Ahmad ibn 'Abdallah al-Marwazi
·         Sanad ibn 'Ali
·         Yahya ibn abi Mansur
·         Fī an laysa li‐ʾl‐arḍ ḥarakat intiqāl
·         Ibrāhīm al-Fazārī (d. 777)
·         Yaʿqūb ibn Ṭāriq (d. 796) يعقوب بن طارق;
o   Tarkīb al‐aflāk (تركیب الأفلاك, "Arrangement of the orbs")
·         Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Fazārī (d. 796 or 806)
·         Mashallah ibn Athari (d. 815)
·         Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi (d. 886)
o   "Introductorium in Astronomiam", a translation of the Arabic Kitab al-mudkhal al-kabir ila 'ilm ahkam an-nujjum, written in Baghdad in the year 848 A.D. It was translated into Latin first by John of Seville in 1133, and again, less literally and abridged, by Herman of Carinthia in 1140 A.D.
·         Al-Birjandi (d.1528) Abd Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Husayn Birjandi (Persian: عبدعلی مممدبن حسین بیرجندی)
·         Nur ad-Din al-Bitruji / Abu Ishâk ibn al-Bitrogi (d. 1204)
o   Kitāb al-Hayʾah (The book of theoretical astronomy/cosmology, Arabic, كتاب الهيئة)
§  translated into Latin by Michael Scot in 1217 as De motibus celorum

·         al batanni 9th – 10th

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Experiment - Praying to water makes more aesthetically pleasing crystals

Someone on YouTube has sent me a link to a paper that claims a double-blind experiment indicates good thoughts about a sample of water can physically influence it in such a way that it will create more visually appealing crystals when frozen.

Here are what I think is the problem with that experiment.


  • The author D.R. knew which bottles had the "treated" water in.
  • D.R. was the person who received the photos from Tokyo and could have shown bias in his selection of physical photograph samples for evaluation
  • The D.R author wrote the website which collected ratings and could have been biased in which photographs were presented for evaluation
  • The "treated" bottles were stored in a secure location with limited access, but the control bottles were stored in an easily accessible location, a cardboard box on a desk. So the control bottles were easily accessible and could therefore be tampered with by the very person who knew which bottles were designated for treatment and control. In fact, if you wanted to fake this test then it is the control bottles you'd want access to in order to contaminate so they do not form crystals as readily as the unaltered water.
  • If the ratings of the photos on the website (selected by D.R.) had been truly random & unbiased then we should see an equal number of observations for the treated and control samples, but what we actually see is that the control samples were only evaluated half as much as the treated samples.

This shows that the author D.R. not only had opportunity to physically influence the samples but also had knowledge of which samples would need to be influenced in order to produce specific results.

The only assurance we have that this was not the case is a statement from the testers themselves stating they had no bias in the results of the experiment. This is not sufficient, the purpose of a double-blind test is to eliminate the possibility of deliberate manipulation of an experiment. This test did not meet that criteria as D.R. had too much knowledge of the selection of the samples, combined with suitable access to the samples to influence the outcome of the experiment.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Al Andalus and the golden age of Islam (Convivencia)

I've just read this cringe worthy article by Mehdi Hasan.

Then there is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The Somali-born author, atheist and ex-Muslim has a new book called Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now. She’s been popping up in TV studios and on op-ed pages to urge Muslims, both liberal and conservative, to abandon some of their core religious beliefs while uniting behind a Muslim Luther. 
I have not read Ayaan's book so I don't know exactly what the core religious beliefs are that she is asking Muslims to abandon, but I can suggest a few myself. However, before I do I'd like to make it clear that I don't think Muslims are a massive homogeneous group. Some of the beliefs I am about to go on to list are not held by all Muslims, therefore I am only criticising those individuals who hold them.

  1. Non Muslims are morally inferior; who live their lives like animals, bending any rule to fulfil any desire (Mehdi Hasan).
  2. Jews are apes and pigs.
  3. It is okay to take women and children as spoils of war.
  4. It is okay to force Islamic rule on others by way of invasion and violent oppression.
  5. Sex with brides as young 9 years of age is acceptable as part of an absolutely immutable morality and should be permitted today (UK charity iERA).
  6. Keeping female captives of war as concubines.
  7. The right of a man to physically discipline his wife (UK charity iERA).
  8. Women being inferior to men both in religion and intelligence.
  9. Homosexuals deserve to be killed for admitting they have had sex with each other.
  10. Muslims who lose their faith deserve death unless they keep quiet and pretend to practice Islam.
  11. Thieves should have hands and opposing feet cut off.
  12. Adulterers should be stoned to death.
It's not common to find an individual who holds all of these beliefs to be true at the same time (Anjem Choudhary), but at the same time it is not uncommon to find a Muslim who holds at least one of these beliefs to be true. 

I am guessing that these are the kinds of issues Ayaan is calling for change on, and rightly so in my opinion. Rather than addressing those issues, Mehdi instead criticises the author rather than her arguments, and completely misrepresents the call for an 'Islamic Luther'.

Yet the reality is that talk of a Christian-style reformation for Islam is so much cant. Let’s consider this idea of a “Muslim Luther”. Luther did not merely nail 95 theses to the door of the Castle church in Wittenberg in 1517, denouncing clerical abuses within the Catholic church. He also demanded that German peasants revolting against their feudal overlords be “struck dead”, comparing them to “mad dogs”, and authored On the Jews and Their Lies in 1543, in which he referred to Jews as “the devil’s people” and called for the destruction of Jewish homes and synagogues.

Now, I may be wrong here, but my understanding is that when people call for a Luther reformist figure they are simply saying that a person is required to stand up to those who have arranged the system to give themselves power. It doesn't mean a call to strike-dead dissenters of the state, to see others as animals, or to demonize Jewish people or calling for their destruction. To some extent this is the situation we currently have in some Islamic parts of the world, and are exactly the kind of ideas that suggest reformation of some people's understanding of Islam is needed. Martin Luther is merely a name well known for challenging established power to bring about reform, using his name is merely a jargon, not a suggested strategy.

Islam isn’t Christianity. The two faiths aren’t analogous, and it is deeply ignorant, not to mention patronising, to pretend otherwise – or to try and impose a neatly linear, Eurocentric view of history on diverse Muslim-majority countries in Asia or Africa. Each religion has its own traditions and texts; each religion’s followers have been affected by geopolitics and socio-economic processes in a myriad of ways. The theologies of Islam and Christianity, in particular, are worlds apart: the former, for instance, has never had a Catholic-style clerical class answering to a divinely appointed pope. So against whom will the “Islamic reformation” be targeted? To whose door will the 95 fatwas be nailed?
Of course Islam and Christianity aren't entirely analogous. Claiming Islam, like Christianity of the past, needs to reform its approach to dealing with humans when in a position of power isn't saying that it is the same as Christianity, it is merely highlighting the fact that it needs to go through the same reformation of views and actions that Christianity went through in the past. Pretending to have your feelings hurt because you infer being patronised isn't going to change the fact that the world does see the kind of abuse in the name of Islam that Europe once saw in the name of Christianity.

Being a Shiite you possibly do not accept the authority of Muhammad's friend and father-in-law Abu Bakr who, after Muhammad's death, went to war against numerous previously conquered communities who wanted to leave Islamic rule in what is known as the apostasy wars (Riddah wars). But that point aside, there may not be an ultimate single leader of the Muslim world, but that doesn't stop people bringing about reforms within their own communities, mosques, towns, or even countries. There is no single door to nail 95 demands to, there are many doors.
Don’t get me wrong. Reforms are of course needed across the crisis-ridden Muslim-majority world: political, socio-economic and, yes, religious too. 
At last Mehdi gets to the admission that Islam needs reform. Of course, after first placing the blame on geopolitics, socio-economic processes, and colonialism; but he finally addresses the reforms needed within Islam with three words "yes, religious too". A brilliant piece of work there Mehdi! I can envision Muslims throughout the world reforming their "yes, religious too" in the way you have suggested....rather than blaming every possible cause other than Muslim perception of Islam itself. Of course, I am being facetious.

You may not like Ayaan, but her effort to reform Islam is, I am sure, more useful than your article which seems to say Islam needs religious reformation, although being entitled 'Why Islam doesn't need a reformation'.

But here is the part of the article that annoyed me enough to sit down and vent in the form of this blog post.
Muslims need to rediscover their own heritage of pluralism, tolerance and mutual respect – embodied in, say, the Prophet’s letter to the monks of St Catherine’s monastery, or the “convivencia” (or co-existence) of medieval Muslim Spain.
If only Islam could be like the good old days, eh? Before all the European colonialism? Those days based on the co-existence of people living in medieval Muslim Spain? The co-existence often cited as some kind of golden age for Islamic peace rather than what it really was, forced domination of a foreign country and subjugation of its people with the aid of a group of people called The Berbers.

I made notes of from the book Kennedy, Hugh (2014-06-11). Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of Al-Andalus Taylor and Francis - now seems like a good time to share them.

Despite being part of the invading party, Christian and Pagan Berbers were made to pay the Jizya (a tax imposed on non-Muslims by the Muslim state), this acted as an incentive to become a Muslim because upon doing so they would earn themselves a share of war booty from invasions (or regular booty raids), and as a Muslim could qualify to be a governor (Mawla) of a conquered area, something non-Muslims were not permitted to do.

Non-Muslims were not permitted to build new places of worship, proselytise, openly wear symbols of their religious beliefs, or perform audible prayers.

The Jews certainly suffered severe legal disabilities and intermittent persecution and it is clear that they preferred to remain in their cities and accept Muslim rule than to join their Christian fellow countrymen in flight, but there is no reliable evidence that they actively supported or encouraged the invaders.

The conquest of Al-Andalus (714) resembled, on a smaller scale, the Muslim conquest of Iran where the main cities and lines of communication were first secured and only later were agreements reached with the inhabitants of outlying areas.

Here is a brief timeline of some of the events of medieval Spain, a.k.a. Al Andalus 

711

  • Tariq sent force under Mughith al Rumi to Cordoba. Serious resistance was encountered from within one church for 3 months, until the occupants surrendered were and executed.
  • Tariq moved on to Toledo. Most people, except Jews, had fled and he spent winter 711 through to 712 there.

712

  • Mūsā bin Nusayr (Tariq's superior) set out with 18,000 men to capture the fortress of Carmona.
  • Mūsā bin Nusayr then went on to take Seville, which is said to have resisted for some months before being taken by force. Then went on to subdue neighbouring towns.
  • Mūsā bin Nusayr went north to Merida. Here there was serious resistance, the garrison made a sortie, and siege engines were required to force it into submission in July 713.
  • Mūsā bin Nusayr sent son Abd al Aziz east to Orihuela, then the most important city in the Murcia (the city of Murcia itself was another later foundation ) district, he was met by the local commander, Theodemir, with whom he made a treaty whose lenient terms meant effective local autonomy and freedom of Christian worship in exchange for goodwill and a modest tribute to be paid in cash, wheat, barley, thickened grape juice, vinegar, honey and oil.

713

  • After the fall of Merida, Mūsā headed for Toledo whence Ṭāriq came to meet him. Inevitably, when the two forces did join at Talavera there were tensions and reproaches, but they patched up their relationship and wintered together in Toledo.

714

  • In the spring of 714 campaigning began again with expeditions which led to the nominal subjection of Galicia and the Ebro valley.
  • September - Mūsā bin Nusayr and Tariq summoned to Damascus by Caliph. Leaving Mūsā's son 'Abd al-Azīz as governor.
  • When the Muslims arrived at Orihuela the governor, Theodemir, had so few men that he had to dress up women as soldiers and put them on the ramparts.
  • On the whole the Muslims offered generous terms which certainly made surrender a more attractive option, whereas unsuccessful resistance could, as the unfortunate defenders of Cordoba found, lead to death. In Merida the inhabitants were allowed to keep their possessions (except those who fled, and the land of churches was taken) the local people were allowed to remain in possession of their lands as long as they paid a land tax and a poll-tax to the conquerors.

721

  • Al-Samh b. Mālik al-Khawlānī led an expedition against Toulouse (France) on which he himself was killed.

725

  • 'Anbasa b. Suḥaym al-Kalbī led a lightning raid right up the Rhone valley to Burgundy where the army pillaged Autun.

732

  • Governor of Al-Andalus, 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Abd Allāh al-Ghāfiqī, led an expedition through western France which was finally and disastrously defeated by Charles Martel at the battle of Poitiers.

745

  • Qaysis Muslims revolted and took control

750

  • Abbasid revolution. Al-Andalus was no longer part of a wider Muslim empire:

755

  • Al-Ṣumayl was besieged in Zaragoza by Yemeni elements, Yūsuf was powerless to help him and he was only saved by an expedition of Qaysī volunteers from the south.

756

  • Abd Al Rahman had recruited an army of about 2,000 Umayyad mawālī and Yemeni jundis and marched on Cordoba. Here his supporters fought and defeated the Qaysī army of Yūsuf and al-Ṣumayl and, in May 756, he entered the capital. The arriving members of the Umayyad family needed estates and, as the Syrian jundīs were not property owners, lands had to be confiscated from the Baladis and the Christians.

763

  • Abassid caliph Abū Ja'far al-Manṣūr made a serious attempt to regain control of Al-Andalus.

764

  • It was seven years before 'Abd al-Raḥmān felt strong enough to challenge their hold on Toledo. In 764 he sent two of his most trusted commanders, Badr and Tammām b. 'Alqama, against the city where Hishām b. 'Urwa al-Fihrī was holding out and he was captured and executed.

766

  • One Sa'īd al-Maṭari rebelled in Niebla and took over Seville before being killed by the Amir. In the same year he had another leader from the area, Abū'l-Ṣabbāḥ Yaḥyā al-Yaḥṣubī, executed in Cordoba. The dead man's followers sought revenge and the people of Seville joined his cousins in an attempt to take Cordoba by surprise. It was not until 774 that the rebellion was finally defeated by 'Abd al-Malik b. 'Umar.

768-770

  • A Berber of the tribe of Miknāsa called Shaqyā b. 'Abd al-Wāḥid led a revolt, claiming to be related to the 'Alids. His rebellion began in Santaver, in the hills around Cuenca, but for the next nine years he dominated much of the sparsely inhabited upland country between Santaver and Coria and Medellin far to the west. It was a guerrilla war, the Berbers retreating to the mountains on approach of the Amir's army and returning to the villages and plains when they had gone. The rebellion was an irritant, but the soi-disant Fatimid seems to have attracted no support amongst the Arabs or the town dwellers and 'Abd alRaḥmān was also able to make an alliance with Hilāl al-Madyūnī, described as head of the Berbers in the east of Al-Andalus. In the end, in 776-77, Shaqyā was taken by treachery and killed.

781

  • Amir 'Abd al-Raḥmān led a military expedition to demand the submission of al-Ḥusayn b. Yaḥyā and to re-establish Muslim control in the Upper Ebro valley. At first al-Ḥusayn accepted the Amir's authority and was confirmed as governor of the city, but the next year he threw off this allegiance. 'Abd al-Raḥmān returned and assaulted the city with siege engines (manjanīq), and al-Ḥusayn was captured and executed and severe measures taken against the townspeople. The whole complex episode shows how the Umayyad Amir tried to establish his authority over the local magnates by a mixture of diplomacy and occasional force but that, as long as they were content to accept his overlordship, he was prepared to leave them in peace.

785

  • Almost at the end of 'Abd al-Raḥmān's reign, Yūsuf al-Fihrī's son Muḥammad gathered an army in the Toledo area. Defeated by the Umayyad troops, he fled west towards Coria where he was isolated and killed. 

788

  • {While Abd al Rahman was dying} It only took six days for Hishām to come from Merida, and 'Abd Allāh greeted him as ruler and handed over the seal of office, but his other brother was not prepared to accept this verdict and gathered his supporters to march south. There was a short, sharp conflict near Jaen and Sulaymān's men were defeated. It took almost two months for Hishām to reduce Toledo and oblige his brother to surrender, but in 789 Sulaymān was paid 60,000 dīnārs in cash, possibly half the annual income of the amirate at this time, and was forced to leave for North Africa and promise not to return: Umayyads were defeated and disgraced but, at this time, they would not be executed like any common rebel, for that would undermine the status of the whole ruling house.

788-789

  • Sa'id b. al-Ḥusayn al-Anṣārī, whose father had held Zaragoza against the Umayyads in the previous reign, took the city again, proclaiming himself Amir.

791-792

  • Zaragoza was taken over by Maṭrūh, the son of Sulaymān b. Yaqẓān, and an expedition was sent from Cordoba to drive him out. The problem was solved, however, when Matrūḥ was murdered by one 'Amrūs b. Yūsuf while he was out hunting and the city was handed over to the Umayyad forces.

791-795

  • Unlike the Christians they were fighting, the Muslims made no substantial territorial gains, but they launched numerous raids on Christian lands.

796

  • Hishām died on 17 April 796. He was careful to leave no uncertainty about the identity of his chosen successor and his son al Hakam, now 26 years old, was duly accepted as Amir in Cordoba.
  • Al Hakam's uncle (Hisham's brother) Sulayman spent the next four years wandering the country, attempting to build up enough support, largely among the Berbers of the south, to dislodge his nephew. He was defeated in a number of encounters and was finally surrendered to al-Ḥakam by the Berber governor of Merida, Aṣbagh b. Wansūs. He was executed in 800,

805

  • There was a conspiracy among certain notables of Cordoba to mount a coup d'état and put al-Ḥakam's cousin Muḥammad b. al-Qāsim on the throne. Unfortunately for the conspirators, Muḥammad did not share their enthusiasm for the project, which he revealed to the Amir.

818

  • There was a widespread uprising in the populous suburb, usually referred to simply as al-Rabad (the suburb), which lay to the south of the city itself, across the Guadalquivir river.

822

  • Al Hakam died. Son Abd al Rahman II named as his successor

823

  • Raid on Christian land for booty

825

  • Another raid on Christian land for booty

826

  • Another raid on Christian land for booty.

828

  • Muwallad, Ibn Marwān al-Jilliqī (the Galician), ruler of Merida in the Lower March killed by a Berber.

830

  • Abd Al Rahman II sent troops and appointed an Umayyad Mawali as governor.

836-837

  • Toledo was finally occupied by Umayyad troops.

838-852

  • Intermittent raids for booty were resumed until the end of his reign.

844

  • Zaragoza was conquered by 'Abd al-Raḥmān II in person in 844 and entrusted to his son Muḥammad

846

  • There was no intention of conquering the Christian north, though attempts were made to regain lost lands like Pamplona and Barcelona . When the Leonese abandoned their city when faced by the mangonels of the Muslims in 846, the conquerors simply made breaches in the walls and then left the site abandoned; of course, it was soon reoccupied and fortified again by the Christians. Destruction and booty were the main objectives,

848

  • Governor of Valencia, Ibn Maymun led an expedition which forced the submission of the Balearic Islands

852

  • The government of Al-Andalus was now a palace-based bureaucracy, not a successful war-band.

862

  • Upper March leader (appointed by Muhammad) killed in conflict with the Banū Sālim Berbers of Guadalajara. Muhammad sent his four sons to rule, who were able to capture the Umayyad governors of Tudela, Huesca and Zaragoza, where the occupation is said to have been followed by a massacre of the Arab population, and restore the family's power in the area.

868

  • The Amir launched a surprise attack on Merida, which had been defying the authority of Cordoba under the leadership of the muwallad 'Abd al-Raḥmān b. Marwān al-Jillīqī, whose father had been governor of the city until his murder in 828. After some brisk fighting the city was taken and the leading horsemen (fursān - the word has a social significance here, somewhat like the English 'knight') were obliged to come and settle in Cordoba with their families, where it was presumably intended that these formidable warriors should form part of the Umayyad army. Muḥammad installed an Umayyad governor, Sa'īd b. al-' Abbās al-Qurashī, in the citadel his father had built , but the rest of the city is said to have been destroyed, and certainly for a later historian this event marked the end of Merida as an important urban centre: 'no vestige', he wrote, 'remained of that once opulent city'.

871

  • Mūsā's four sons were able to capture the Umayyad governors of Tudela, Huesca and Zaragoza, where the Banū Qasī occupation is said to have been followed by a massacre of the Arab population, and restore the family's power in the area.

886

  • Amir Muhammad died. Succeeded by his son Al-Mundhir

887

  • Mūsā b. Dhī'l-Nūn led an army of 20,000 against Toledo and defeated the army of the city. In total the struggle for Toledo took 150 years of fighting

888

  • Al-Mundhir died, succeeded by his brother Abd Allah

891

  • He encouraged his son Al-Mutarrif to stab to death his eldest son Muhammad.

895

  • Al-Mutarrif accused of conspiring with rebels in Seville. Under siege in his house for 3 days, then killed. The vindictive Amir also had two of his brothers, Hishām and al-Qāsim, killed.

896

  • Annual tax collection - Aḥmad b. Abī 'Abda and sons Isa and Abbas sent with 300 soldiers; rebel fighting and tax collecting.
Hisn Qamarat Jaysh
Ravaged agricultural lands
Cut down trees
Battle commenced and they won
Former leader's father sent as a hostage to Cordoba
Tashkar
Found deserted
Took harvest and then burned it
Bakhtwira
Fought battle and won
Burned the suburb
Former leader's son taken as hostage
Given written agreement to continue to run the place
Munt Shaqir
Al-Banyul
Hisn al-Liquwn
Quickly defeated
Took horses + equipment + food
Gaudix Rested
Received Ushr (tithes) from Pechina
Received Jibaya (taxes) from Hisn Bashira
Balsh Fought locals
Destroyed houses and fruit trees
Murcia Collected taxes (Magharim)

901

  • Ibn al-Qiṭṭ of Umayyad family declares himself Mahdi to lead Muslims back to "true Islam" - tried to siege Christian Zamora and was killed

912

  • Grandson (via eldest son Muhammad) of Abd Allah took control - Abd al-Rahman III.
  • Abd al-Rahman III inherited and army that was more like a war-band living off the proceeds of annual pillaging

927

  • Melilla was taken
  • Built permanent siege camp at Bobastro

928

  • Bobastro was captured

929

  • Abd al Rahman III took the title of Caliph (Commander of the faithful)
  • Beja put under siege
  • Badajoz put under siege
  • Lord of Ocsonoba surrendered but was able to keep Ocsobona on condition he paid tribute

930

  • Built permanent siege camp at Toledo
  • Badajoz surrendered

931

  • Ceuta taken

932

  • After two years Badajoz submitted due to famine

937

  • Caliph allied with Christian forces from Alava to defeat Zaragoza leader Muhammad al-Tujibi.

951

  • Tangier was taken

961

  • Caliph Abd al-Rahman III died leaving Al-Hakam {not related} as named successor

976

  • Al-Hakam died leaving son Hisham as named successor (aged 14/15). New crops + irrigation techniques had left Andalusi rich through agriculture.
  • An attempt was made to replace Al-Hakam with his brother al-Mughira. It failed. al-Mughira was strangled in front of his family despite knowing nothing of it.
No reform needed because Islam already went through one in medieval Spain?