Hamas Demands Return of Seville in Internet Children’s Magazine

Spain Herald (Madrid), Jan. 4, 2006

The children’s website Al Fateh, property of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, demands in its most recent issue the return of the Spanish city of Seville to the “lost paradise” of Al Andalus, as the Muslim part of Spain was called during its existence between 711 and 1492. The web magazine, whose name means “conqueror,” says it is for “the young builders of the future.”

The web magazine includes an article in which the city of Seville itself is the narrator, saying, “I beg you, my loved ones, to call me to return along with the other cities of the lost paradise to Muslim hands so that happiness may reign in my lands. Dress me, for I am the bride of the land of Al Andalus.”

“I was once the capital of the Kingdom of Seville, connected to the Atlantic by the Guadalquivir River. I wear around my neck the scarf of the most beautiful river, more than the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Nile, where gondolas and fishing boats navigate for 24 miles, under the trees with the singing of the birds,” the article says.

The Al Fateh website says it is for “the young builders of the future.” It contains, along with typical children’s content like drawings, poetry, and stories, a great deal of references to resistence and martyrdom. Its main subjects are Palestine and the Arab and Muslim worlds, especially their religious aspect. The lives and deaths of the Palestinian “martyrs,” many of them suicide bombers, are a constant theme, as well as descriptions of important cities in Muslim history.

This particular article tells the story of Asbilia, the Arabic name for Seville, in language understandable to the smallest children. It explains that the city “was the capital of the Kingdom of Seville.” The history of the city begins, according to Al Fateh, with the Muslim conquest. The story ends when Seville was reconquered by King Fernando III, and concludes, “So the golden age of the Muslims who lost me ended, but the marks of their civilization remain.”

“The lost paradise of Al Andalus,” explicitly mentioned in the text, is a common meme in the Muslim world. It has led to concrete fatwas declared in order to recover territories conquered by Christian “infidels,” such as that of three years ago by the Islamist sheik Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, which explicitly says that “Islam will return to Europe as the conqueror.” Al-Qaradhawi is the leader of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, the president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars, and the spiritual leader of many other Islamist organizations around the world.

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