Daily Archives: February 3, 2015


Munti mei, cugetare poetica de George-B ( euzicasa – The smudge and other poems page)


Muntii mei acum sant dealuri,

sant micuti, si ca o cusma-

asa ca an din an imi par tot mai falnici, si salbatici.

dar nu ma las prejos,
nu ma indoi sub greutatea zilei,

si nu astept munte sau deal sa vina, 

sa mi-seartearna-n poala,

ci ma rog ca muntii falnici,
chiar de-ar fi pentru furnici,
sa-mi aduca bucuria,

ce-am stiut pe Moldoveanu,
si
fecior fiind , de zile  eram plin!

 

Pe acoperisul Romaniei: Varful Moldoveanu

“Parcurgerea crestei dintre Vârful Viştea – 2527 metri şi Vârful Moldoveanu – 2544 metri reprezinta traversarea  ‘AcoperişuluiRomâniei.’ ”   (Toate drepturile sant acordate autorului acestei fotografii: va rog sa activati accesul la articolul sau apasand oriunde pe imagine…este atat de simplu!)

 

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Published on Aug 16, 2013 Music “Apocalypse des animaux” by Dj In the Night, ‘…cum ar fi o zi in care Soarele ar intarzia mai sa apara…’ (un comentariu foarte, sperca sa va placa)


Published on Aug 16, 2013

 

Muntii Fagaras. Saua Caprei. Zona periculoasa greu de trecut. Priveliste super. (…curaj gaina ca te tai!’)


Muntii Fagaras. Saua Caprei. Zona periculoasa greu de trecut. Priveliste super.

  (dar nucred ca se incumeta sa vina pentru o alta incercare!)

Oricum , am crezut ca filmul, si comentariile sant de foarte potrivite pentru ocazie ( mai putin limbajul colocvial, dar considerand imprejurarile…): 

Ce parere aveti? Ati ras putin, sau ati ras mult? 🙂   EUZICASA

2,844

Festivalul Cetelor de Feciori Fagaras 2015


Festivalul Cetelor de Feciori Fagaras 2015

Mondial – Atât de fragedă ( pe versurile poemului cu acelasi nume de Mihail Eminescu, nume de familie originar: Eminovici originar din satul Vad, Tara Fagarasului)


Mondial – Atât de fragedă

Mihai Eminescu: Scrisoarea III (‘…cum venira se facura toti o apa si-un pamant…”)


Puteţi asculta înregistrări audio pe situl: http://www.lecturaaudio.ro

translate, as you wish,  HERE

 

Mihai Eminescu

Scrisoarea III


Un sultan dintre aceia ce domnesc peste vro limbă,

Ce cu-a turmelor păşune, a ei patrie ş-o schimbă,

La pământ dormea ţinându-şi căpătâi mâna cea dreaptă;

Dară ochiu-nchis afară, înlăuntru se deşteaptă.

Vede cum din ceruri luna lunecă şi se coboară

Şi s-apropie de dânsul preschimbată în fecioară.

Înflorea cărarea ca de pasul blândei primăveri;

Ochii ei sunt plini de umbra tăinuitelor dureri;

Codrii se înfiorează de atâta frumuseţe,

Apele-ncreţesc în tremur străveziile lor feţe,

Pulbere de diamante cade fină ca o bură,

Scânteind plutea prin aer şi pe toate din natură

Şi prin mândra fermecare sun-o muzică de şoapte,

Iar pe ceruri se înalţă curcubeele de noapte…

Ea, şezând cu el alături, mâna fină i-o întinde,

Părul ei cel negru-n valuri de mătasă se desprinde:

– Las’ să leg a mea viaţă de a ta… În braţu-mi vino,

Şi durerea mea cea dulce cu durerea ta alin-o…

Scris în cartea vieţii este şi de veacuri şi de stele

Eu să fiu a ta stăpână, tu stăpân vieţii mele.

Şi cum o privea sultanul, ea se-ntunecă… dispare;

Iar din inima lui simte un copac cum că răsare,

Care creşte într-o clipă ca în veacuri, mereu creşte,

Cu-a lui ramuri peste lume, peste mare se lăţeşte;

Umbra lui cea uriaşă orizontul îl cuprinde

Şi sub dânsul universul într-o umbră se întinde;

Iar în patru părţi a lumii vede şiruri munţii mari,

Atlasul, Caucazul, Taurul şi Balcanii seculari;

Vede Eufratul şi Tigris, Nilul, Dunărea bătrână –

Umbra arborelui falnic peste toate e stăpână.

Astfel, Asia, Europa, Africa cu-a ei pustiuri

Şi corăbiile negre legănându-se pe râuri,

Valurile verzi de grâie legănându-se pe lanuri,

Mările ţărmuitoare şi cetăţi lângă limanuri,

Toate se întind nainte-i… ca pe-un uriaş covor,

Vede ţară lângă ţară şi popor lângă popor –

Ca prin neguri alburie se strevăd şi se prefac

În întinsă-mpărăţie sub o umbră de copac.

Vulturii porniţi la ceruri pân’ la ramuri nu ajung;

Dar un vânt de biruinţă se porneşte îndelung

Şi loveşte rânduri, rânduri în frunzişul sunător,

Strigăte de-Allah! Allahu! se aud pe sus prin nori,

Zgomotul creştea ca marea turburată şi înaltă,

Urlete de bătălie s-alungau dupăolaltă,

Însă frunzele-ascuţite se îndoaie după vânt

Şi deasupra Romei nouă se înclină la pământ.

Se cutremură sultanul… se deşteaptă… şi pe cer

Vede luna cum pluteşte peste plaiul Eschişer.

Şi priveşte trist la casa şeihului Edebali;

După gratii de fereastră o copilă el zări

Ce-i zâmbeşte, mlădioasă ca o creangă de alun;

E a şeihului copilă, e frumoasa Malcatun.

Atunci el pricepe visul că-i trimis de la profet,

Că pe-o clipă se-nălţase chiar în rai la Mohamet,

Că din dragostea-i lumească un imperiu se va naşte,

Ai căruia ani şi margini numai cerul le cunoaşte.

Visul său se-nfiripează şi se-ntinde vultureşte,

An cu an împărăţia tot mai largă se sporeşte,

Iară flamura cea verde se înalţă an cu an,

Neam cu neam urmându-i zborul şi sultan după sultan.

Astfel ţară după ţară drum de glorie-i deschid…

Pân-în Dunăre ajunge furtunosul Baiazid…

La un semn, un ţărm de altul, legând vas de vas, se leagă

Şi în sunet de fanfare trece oastea lui întreagă;

Ieniceri, copii de suflet ai lui Allah şi spahii

Vin de-ntunecă pământul la Rovine în câmpii;

Răspândindu-se în roiuri, întind corturile mari…

Numa-n zarea depărtată sună codrul de stejari.

Iată vine-un sol de pace c-o năframă-n vârf de băţ.

Baiazid, privind la dânsul, îl întreabă cu dispreţ:

– Ce vrei tu?

– Noi? Bună pace! Şi de n-o fi cu bănat,

Domnul nostru-ar vrea să vază pe măritul împărat.

La un semn deschisă-i calea şi s-apropie de cort

Un bătrân atât de simplu, după vorbă, după port.

– Tu eşti Mircea?

– Da-mpărate!

– Am venit să mi te-nchini,

De nu, schimb a ta coroană într-o ramură de spini.

– Orice gând ai, împărate, şi oricum vei fi sosit,

Cât suntem încă pe pace, eu îţi zic: Bine-ai venit!

Despre partea închinării însă, Doamne, să ne ierţi;

Dar acu vei vrea cu oaste şi război ca să ne cerţi,

Ori vei vrea să faci întoarsă de pe-acuma a ta cale,

Să ne dai un semn şi nouă de mila Măriei tale…

De-o fi una, de-o fi alta… Ce e scris şi pentru noi,

Bucuroşi le-om duce toate, de e pace, de-i război.

– Cum? Când lumea mi-e deschisă, a privi gândeşti că pot

Ca întreg Aliotmanul să se-mpiedice de-un ciot?

O, tu nici visezi, bătrâne, câţi în cale mi s-au pus!

Toată floarea cea vestită a întregului Apus,

Tot ce stă în umbra crucii, împăraţi şi regi s-adună

Să dea piept cu uraganul ridicat de semilună.

S-a-mbrăcat în zale lucii cavalerii de la Malta,

Papa cu-a lui trei coroane, puse una peste alta,

Fulgerele adunat-au contra fulgerului care

În turbarea-i furtunoasă a cuprins pământ şi mare.

N-au avut decât cu ochiul ori cu mâna semn a face,

Şi Apusul îşi împinse toate neamurile-ncoace;

Pentru-a crucii biruinţă se mişcară râuri-râuri,

Ori din codri răscolite, ori stârnite din pustiuri;

Zguduind din pace-adâncă ale lumii începuturi,

Înnegrind tot orizontul cu-a lor zeci de mii de scuturi,

Se mişcau îngrozitoare ca păduri de lănci şi săbii,

Tremura înspăimântată marea de-ale lor corăbii!…

La Nicopole văzut-ai câte tabere s-au strâns

Ca să steie înainte-mi ca şi zidul neînvins.

Când văzui a lor mulţime, câtă frunză, câtă iarbă,

Cu o ură ne’mpăcată mi-am şoptit atunci în barbă,

Am jurat ca peste dânşii să trec falnic, fără păs,

Din pristolul de la Roma să dau calului ovăs…

Şi de crunta-mi vijelie tu te aperi c-un toiag?

Şi, purtat de biruinţă, să mă-mpiedec de-un moşneag?

– De-un moşneag, da, împărate, căci moşneagul ce priveşti

Nu e om de rând, el este domnul Ţării Româneşti.

Eu nu ţi-aş dori vrodată să ajungi să ne cunoşti,

Nici ca Dunărea să-nece spumegând a tale oşti.

După vremuri mulţi veniră, începând cu acel oaspe,

Ce din vechi se pomeneşte, cu Dariu a lui Istaspe;

Mulţi durară, după vremuri, peste Dunăre vrun pod,

De-au trecut cu spaima lumii şi mulţime de norod;

Împăraţi pe care lumea nu putea să-i mai încapă

Au venit şi-n ţara noastră de-au cerut pământ şi apă –

Şi nu voi ca să mă laud, nici că voi să te-nspăimânt,

Cum veniră, se făcură toţi o apă ş-un pământ.

Te făleşti că înainte-ţi răsturnat-ai valvârtej

Oştile leite-n zale de-mpăraţi şi de viteji?

Tu te lauzi că Apusul înainte ţi s-a pus?…

Ce-i mâna pe ei în luptă, ce-au voit acel Apus?

Laurii voiau să-i smulgă de pe funtea ta de fier,

A credinţei biruinţă căta orice cavaler.

Eu? Îmi apăr sărăcia şi nevoile şi neamul…

Şi de-aceea tot ce mişcă-n ţara asta, râul, ramul,

Mi-e prieten numai mie, iară ţie duşman este,

Duşmănit vei fi de toate, făr-a prinde chiar de veste;

N-avem oşti, dară iubirea de moşie e un zid

Care nu se-nfiorează de-a ta faimă, Baiazid!

Şi abia plecă bătrânul… Ce mai freamăt, ce mai zbucium!

Codrul clocoti de zgomot şi de arme şi de bucium,

Iar la poala lui cea verde mii de capete pletoase,

Mii de coifuri lucitoare ies din umbra-ntunecoasă;

Călăreţii umplu câmpul şi roiesc după un semn

Şi în caii lor sălbatici bat cu scările de lemn,

Pe copite iau în fugă faţa negrului pământ,

Lănci scânteie lungi în soare, arcuri se întind în vânt,

Şi ca nouri de aramă şi ca ropotul de grindeni,

Orizontu-ntunecându-l, vin săgeţi de pretutindeni,

Vâjâind ca vijelia şi ca plesnetul de ploaie…

Urlă câmpul şi de tropot şi de strigăt de bătaie.

În zadar striga-mpăratul ca şi leul în turbare,

Umbra morţii se întinde tot mai mare şi mai mare;

În zadar flamura verde o ridică înspre oaste,

Căci cuprinsă-i de pieire şi în faţă şi în coaste,

Căci se clatină rărite şiruri lungi de bătălie;

Cad asabii ca şi pâlcuri risipite pe câmpie,

În genunchi cădeau pedestri, colo caii se răstoarnă,

Când săgeţile în valuri, care şuieră, se toarnă

Şi, lovind în faţă,-n spate, ca şi crivăţul şi gerul,

Pe pământ lor li se pare că se năruie tot cerul…

Mircea însuşi mână-n luptă vijelia-ngrozitoare,

Care vine, vine, vine, calcă totul în picioare;

Durduind soseau călării ca un zid înalt de suliţi,

Printre cetele păgâne trec rupându-şi large uliţi;

Risipite se-mprăştie a duşmanilor şiraguri,

Şi gonind biruitoare tot veneau a ţării steaguri,

Ca potop ce prăpădeşte, ca o mare turburată –

Peste-un ceas păgânătatea e ca pleava vânturată.

Acea grindin-oţelită înspre Dunăre o mână,

Iar în urma lor se-ntinde falnic armia română.

Pe când oastea se aşează, iată soarele apune,

Voind creştetele nalte ale ţării să-ncunune

Cu un nimb de biruinţă; fulger lung încremenit

Mărgineşte munţii negri în întregul asfinţit,

Pân’ ce izvorăsc din veacuri stele una câte una

Şi din neguri, dintre codri, tremurând s-arată luna:

Doamna mărilor ş-a nopţii varsă linişte şi somn.

Lângă cortu-i, unul dintre fiii falnicului domn

Sta zâmbind de-o amintire, pe genunchi scriind o carte,

S-o trimiţă dragei sale, de la Argeş mai departe:

“De din vale de Rovine

Grăim, Doamnă, către Tine,

Nu din gură, ci din carte,

Că ne eşti aşa departe.

Te-am ruga, mări, ruga

Să-mi trimiţi prin cineva

Ce-i mai mândru-n valea Ta:

Codrul cu poienele,

Ochii cu sprâncenele;

Că şi eu trimite-voi

Ce-i mai mândru pe la noi:

Oastea mea cu flamurile,

Codrul şi cu ramurile,

Coiful nalt cu penele,

Ochii cu sprâncenele.

Şi să ştii că-s sănătos,

Că, mulţămind lui Cristos,

Te sărut, Doamnă, frumos.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

De-aşa vremi se-nvredniciră cronicarii şi rapsozii;

Veacul nostru ni-l umplură saltimbancii şi irozii…

În izvoadele bătrâne pe eroi mai pot să caut;

Au cu lira visătoare ori cu sunete de flaut

Poţi să-ntâmpini patrioţii ce-au venit de-atunci încolo?

Înaintea acestora tu ascunde-te, Apollo!

O, eroi! care-n trecutul de măriri vă adumbriseţi,

Aţi ajuns acum de modă de vă scot din letopiseţ,

Şi cu voi drapându-şi nula, vă citează toţi nerozii,

Mestecând veacul de aur în noroiul greu al prozii.

Rămâneţi în umbră sfântă, Basarabi şi voi Muşatini,

Descălecători de ţară, dătători de legi şi datini,

Ce cu plugul şi cu spada aţi întins moşia voastră

De la munte pân’ la mare şi la Dunărea albastră.

Au prezentul nu ni-i mare? N-o să-mi dea ce o să cer?

N-o să aflu într-ai noştri vre un falnic juvaer?

Au la Sybaris nu suntem lângă capiştea spoielii?

Nu se nasc glorii pe stradă şi la uşa cafenelii,

N-avem oameni ce se luptă cu retoricele suliţi

În aplauzele grele a canaliei de uliţi,

Panglicari în ale ţării, care joacă ca pe funii,

Măşti cu toate de renume din comedia minciunii?

Au de patrie, virtute, nu vorbeşte liberalul,

De ai crede că viaţa-i e curată ca cristalul?

Nici visezi că înainte-ţi stă un stâlp de cafenele,

Ce îşi râde de-aste vorbe îngânându-le pe ele.

Vezi colo pe uriciunea fără suflet, fără cuget,

Cu privirea-mpăroşată şi la fălci umflat şi buget,

Negru, cocoşat şi lacom, un izvor de şiretlicuri,

La tovarăşii săi spune veninoasele-i nimicuri;

Toţi pe buze-având virtute, iar în ei monedă calpă,

Chintesenţă de mizerii de la creştet până-n talpă.

Şi deasupra tuturora, oastea să şi-o recunoască,

Îşi aruncă pocitura bulbucaţii ochi de broască…

Dintr-aceştia ţara noastră îşi alege astăzi solii!

Oameni vrednici ca să şază în zidirea sfintei Golii,

În cămeşi cu mâneci lunge şi pe capete scufie,

Ne fac legi şi ne pun biruri, ne vorbesc filosofie.

Patrioţii! Virtuoşii, ctitori de aşezăminte,

Unde spumegă desfrâul în mişcări şi în cuvinte,

Cu evlavie de vulpe, ca în strane, şed pe locuri

Şi aplaudă frenetic schime, cântece şi jocuri…

Şi apoi în sfatul ţării se adun să se admire

Bulgăroi cu ceafa groasă, grecotei cu nas subţire;

Toate mutrele acestea sunt pretinse de roman,

Toată greco-bulgărimea e nepoata lui Traian!

Spuma asta-nveninată, astă plebe, ăst gunoi

Să ajung-a fi stăpână şi pe ţară şi pe noi!

Tot ce-n ţările vecine e smintit şi stârpitură,

Tot ce-i însemnat cu pata putrejunii de natură,

Tot ce e perfid şi lacom, tot Fanarul, toţi iloţii,

Toţi se scurseră aicea şi formează patrioţii,

Încât fonfii şi flecarii, găgăuţii şi guşaţii,

Bâlbâiţi cu gura strâmbă sunt stăpânii astei naţii!

Voi sunteţi urmaşii Romei? Nişte răi şi nişte fameni!

I-e ruşine omenirii să vă zică vouă oameni!

Şi această ciumă-n lume şi aceste creaturi

Nici ruşine n-au să ieie în smintitele lor guri

Gloria neamului nostru spre-a o face de ocară,

Îndrăznesc ca să rostească pân’ şi numele tău… ţară!

La Paris, în lupanare de cinismu şi de lene,

Cu femeile-i pierdute şi-n orgiile-i obscene,

Acolo v-aţi pus averea, tinereţele la stos…

Ce a scos din voi Apusul, când nimic nu e de scos?

Ne-aţi venit apoi, drept minte o sticluţă de pomadă,

Cu monoclu-n ochi, drept armă beţişor de promenadă,

Vestejiţi fără de vreme, dar cu creieri de copil,

Drept ştiinţ-având în minte vre un vals de Bal-Mabil,

Iar în schimb cu-averea toată vrun papuc de curtezană…

O, te-admir, progenitură de origine romană!

Şi acum priviţi cu spaimă faţa noastră sceptic-rece,

Vă miraţi cum de minciuna astăzi nu vi se mai trece?

Când vedem că toţi aceia care vorbe mari aruncă

Numai banul îl vânează şi câştigul fără muncă,

Azi, când fraza lustruită nu ne poate înşela,

Astăzi alţii sunt de vină, domnii mei, nu este-aşa?

Prea v-aţi atătat arama sfâşiind această ţară,

Prea făcurăţi neamul nostru de ruşine şi ocară,

Prea v-aţi bătut joc de limbă, de străbuni şi obicei,

Ca să nu s-arate-odată ce sunteţi – nişte mişei!

Da, câştigul fără muncă, iată singura pornire;

Virtutea? e-o nerozie; Geniul? o nefericire.

Dar lăsaţi măcar strămoşii ca să doarmă-n colb de cronici;

Din trecutul de mărire v-ar privi cel mult ironici.

Cum nu vii tu, Ţepeş doamne, ca punând mâna pe ei,

Să-i împarţi în două cete: în smintiţi şi în mişei,

Şi în două temniţi large cu de-a sila să-i aduni,

Să dai foc la puşcărie şi la casa de nebuni!

Nikolaj Rimski-Korsakov – The Invisible City of Kitezh , great compositions/performances


Nikolaj Rimski-Korsakov – The Invisible City of Kitezh


Rimsky-Korsakov – Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36 (1888), played on period instruments

Borodin In the Steppes of Central Asia – Svetlanov , great compositions/performances


Borodin In the Steppes of Central Asia – Svetlanov

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Gergiev · Vienna Philharmonic · Salzburg Festival 2005 , great compositions/performances


Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Gergiev · Vienna Philharmonic · Salzburg Festival 2005

Boléro – Maurice Ravel – Münchner Philharmoniker – Sergiu Celibidache (VHS) , great compositions/performances


BoléroMaurice Ravel – Münchner Philharmoniker – Sergiu Celibidache (VHS)

Beethoven – Turkish March (arr. for 8 pianos; Larrocha, Bolet, etc.) , great compositions/performances


Beethoven – Turkish March (arr. for 8 pianos; Larrocha, Bolet, etc.)

Tzvi Erez plays Mozart Rondo Alla Turca from Sonata No. 11 in A, K. 331, great compositions/performances


Tzvi Erez plays Mozart Rondo Alla Turca from Sonata No. 11 in A, K. 331

Islam in Europe: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Islam in Europe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe in 711 with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. They advanced into France but in 732, were defeated by the Franks at the Battle of Tours. Over the centuries the Umayyads were gradually driven south and in 1492 the Moorish Emirate of Granada surrendered to Ferdinand V and Isabella. Muslim civilians were expelled from Spain and by 1614 none remained.[2]

Islam entered Eastern and Southeastern Europe in what are now parts of Russia and Bulgaria in the 13th century. The Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe taking portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire also gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922. However, parts of the Balkans (such as Albania and Bosnia) continued to have a large populations of Muslims.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries substantial numbers of Muslims immigrated to Europe. By 2010 an estimated 44 million Muslims were living in Europe.

Islam in Europe
by percentage of country population[1]

 
 
FROM WIKIPEDIA: Islam in Europe

FROM WIKIPEDIA: Islam in Europe (click to enlarge)

Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe in 711 with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. They advanced into France but in 732, were defeated by the Franks at the Battle of Tours. Over the centuries the Umayyads were gradually driven south and in 1492 the Moorish Emirate of Granada surrendered to Ferdinand V and Isabella. Muslim civilians were expelled from Spain and by 1614 none remained.[2]

Islam entered Eastern and Southeastern Europe in what are now parts of Russia and Bulgaria in the 13th century. The Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe taking portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire also gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922. However, parts of the Balkans (such as Albania and Bosnia) continued to have a large populations of Muslims.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries substantial numbers of Muslims immigrated to Europe. By 2010 an estimated 44 million Muslims were living in Europe.

Iberia and Southern France

 
A manuscript page of the Qur’an in the script developed in al-Andalus, 12th century.
Main articles: Al-Andalus and Moors

 
The Moors request permission from James I of Aragon, Spain, 13th century

Muslim forays into Europe began shortly after the religion’s inception, with a short lived invasion of Byzantine Sicily by a small Arab and Berber force that landed in 652. Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe from 711 onward, with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The invaders named their land Al-Andalus, which expanded to include what is now Portugal and Spain except for the northern highlands of Asturias, Basque country, Navarra and few other places protected by mountain chains from southward invasions.

Al-Andalus has been estimated to have had a Muslim majority by the 10th century after most of the local population converted to Islam.[3]:42 This coincided with the La Convivencia period of the Iberian Peninsula as well as the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain. Pelayo of Asturias began the Christian counter-offensive known as the Reconquista after the Battle of Covadonga in 722. Slowly, the Christian forces began a conquest of the fractured taifa kingdoms of al-Andalus. By 1236, practically all that remained of Muslim Spain was the southern province of Granada.

In the 8th century, Muslim forces pushed beyond Spain into Aquitaine, in southern France, but suffered a temporary setback when defeated by Eudes, Duke of Aquitaine, at the Battle of Toulouse (721). In 725 Muslim forces captured Autun in France. The town would be the easternmost point of expansion of Umayyad forces into Europe; just seven years later in 732, the Umayyads would be forced to begin their withdrawal to al-Andalus after facing defeat at the Battle of Tours by Frankish King Charles Martel. From 719 to 759, Septimania was one of the five administrative areas of al-Andalus. The last Muslim forces were driven from France in 759, but maintained a presence, especially in Fraxinet all the way into Switzerland until the 10th century.[4] At the same time, Muslim forces managed to capture Sicily and portions of southern Italy, and even sacked Rome in 846 and later sacked Pisa in 1004.

Sicily

Muslim musicians at the court of the Norman King Roger II of Sicily, 12th century

Sicily was gradually conquered by the Arabs and Berbers from 827 onward, and the Emirate of Sicily was established in 965. They held onto the region until their expulsion by the Normans in 1072.[5][6]

The local population conquered by the Muslims were Romanized Catholic Sicilians in Western Sicily and partially Greek speaking Christians, mainly in the eastern half of the island, but there were also a significant number of Jews.[7] These conquered people were afforded a limited freedom of religion under the Muslims as dhimmi, but were subject to some restrictions. The dhimmi were also required to pay the jizya, or poll tax, and the kharaj or land tax, but were exempt from the tax that Muslims had to pay (Zakaat). Under Arab rule there were different categories of Jizya payers, but their common denominator was the payment of the Jizya as a mark of subjection to Muslim rule in exchange for protection against foreign and internal aggression. The conquered population could avoid this subservient status simply by converting to Islam. Whether by honest religious conviction or societal compulsion large numbers of native Sicilians converted to Islam. However, even after 100 years of Islamic rule, numerous Greek speaking Christian communities prospered, especially in north-eastern Sicily, as dhimmi. This was largely a result of the Jizya system which allowed co-existence. This co-existence with the conquered population fell apart after the reconquest of Sicily, particularly following the death of King William II of Sicily in 1189.

Cultural impact and Christian interaction

“Araz” coat of arms of Polish Tatar nobility. Tatar coats of arms often included motifs related to Islam.

 
Mosque of Rome, in Rome, the largest in the EU

 
The East London Mosque is the first mosque which was allowed to broadcast the adhan in European Union.

The Christian reconquests the Iberian peninsula and southern Italy helped to reintroduce ideas and concepts lost to the Western World after the fall of Rome in A.D. 476. Arab speaking Christian scholars saved influential pre-Christian texts and this coupled with the introduction of aspects of medieval Islamic culture (including the arts, agriculture, economics, philosophy, science and technology) assisted with fomenting conditions required for a rebirth of European thought and art (Renaissance). (See Latin translations of the 12th century and Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe for more information).

Muslim rule endured in the Emirate of Granada, from 1238 as a vassal state of the Christian Kingdom of Castile, until the completion of La Reconquista in 1492.[3]:41 The Moriscos (Moorish in Spanish) were finally expelled from Spain between 1609 (Castile) and 1614 (rest of Spain), by Philip III during the Spanish Inquisition.

Throughout the 16th to 19th centuries, the Barbary States sent Barbary pirates to raid nearby parts of Europe in order to capture Christian slaves to sell at slave markets in the Arab World throughout the Renaissance period.[8][9] According to Robert Davis, from the 16th to 19th centuries, pirates captured 1 million to 1.25 million Europeans as slaves. These slaves were captured mainly from the crews of captured vessels[10] and from coastal villages in Spain and Portugal, and from farther places like Italy, France or England, the Netherlands, Ireland, the Azores Islands, and even Iceland.[8]

For a long time, until the early 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East.[11] The Crimean Tatars frequently mounted raids into the Danubian principalities, Poland-Lithuania, and Russia to enslave people whom they could capture.[12]

The Great Mosque of Paris, built after World War I.

The Balkans, Russia and Ukraine

 
Log pod Mangartom Mosque was the only mosque ever built in Slovenia, in the town of Log pod Mangartom, during World War I.

There are accounts of the trade connections between the Muslims and the Rus, apparently people from Baltic region who made their way towards the Black Sea through Central Russia. On his way to Volga Bulgaria, Ibn Fadlan brought detailed reports of the Rus, claiming that some had converted to Islam. “They are very fond of pork and many of them who have assumed the path of Islam miss it very much.” The Rus also relished their nabidh, a fermented drink Ibn Fadlan often mentioned as part of their daily fare.[13]

The Ottoman campaign for territorial expansion in Europe in 1566, Crimean Tatars as vanguard.

The Mongols began their conquest of Rus’, Volga Bulgaria, and the Cuman-Kipchak Confederation (present day Russia and Ukraine) in the 13th century. After the Mongol empire split, the eastern European section became known as the Golden Horde. Despite the fact that they were not Muslim at the time, the western Mongols adopted Islam as their religion in the early 14th century under Berke Khan, and later Uzbeg Khan who established it as the official religion of the state. Much of the mostly Turkic-speaking population of the Horde, as well as the small Mongol aristocracy, were Islamized (if they were not already Muslim, such as the Volga Bulgars) and became known to Russians and Europeans as the Tatars. More than half[14] of the European portion of what is now Russia and Ukraine, were under suzerainty of Muslim Tatars and Turks from the 13th to 15th centuries. The Crimean Khanate became a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire in 1475 and subjugated what remained of the Great Horde by 1502. The Khanate of Kazan was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552.

Balkans during the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, awaits the arrival of his Greek Muslim Grand Vizier Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha at Buda, in the year 1529.

 
Medieval Bulgaria particularly the city of Sofia, was the administrative centre of almost all Ottoman possessions in the Balkans also known as Rumelia.[15]

The Ottoman Empire began its expansion into Europe by taking the European portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries up until the 1453 capture of Constantinople, establishing Islam as the state religion in the region. The Ottoman Empire continued to stretch northwards, taking Hungary in the 16th century, and reaching as far north as the Podolia in the mid-17th century (Peace of Buczacz), by which time most of the Balkans was under Ottoman control. Ottoman expansion in Europe ended with their defeat in the Great Turkish War. In the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), the Ottoman Empire lost most of its conquests in Central Europe. The Crimean Khanate was later annexed by Russia in 1783.[16] Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922, when the former empire was transformed into the nation of Turkey.

Between 1354 (when the Ottomans crossed into Europe at Gallipolli) and 1526, the Empire had conquered the territory of present day Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hungary. The Empire laid siege to Vienna in 1683. The intervention of the Polish King broke the siege, and from then afterwards the Ottomans battled the Habsburg Emperors until 1699, when the Treaty of Karlowitz forced them to surrender Hungary and portions of present day Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia. From 1699 to 1913, wars and insurrections pushed the Ottoman Empire further back until it reached the current European border of present-day Turkey.

For most of this period, the Ottoman retreats were accompanied by Muslim refugees from these province (in almost all cases converts from the previous subject populations), leaving few Muslim inhabitants in Hungary, Croatia, and the Transylvania region of present day Romania. Bulgaria remained under Ottoman rule until around 1878, and currently its population includes about 131,000 Muslims (2001 Census) (see Pomaks).

Painting of the bazaar at Athens, Ottoman Greece, early 19th century

Bosnia was conquered by the Ottomans in 1463, and a large portion of the population converted to Islam in the first 200 years of Ottoman domination. By the time Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia in 1878, the Habsburgs had shed the desire to re-Christianize new provinces. As a result, a sizable Muslim population in Bosnia survived into the 20th century. Albania and the Kosovo area remained under Ottoman rule until 1913. Previous to the Ottoman conquest, the northern Albanians were Roman Catholic and the southern Albanians were Christian Orthodox, but by 1913 the majority were Muslim.

Conversion to Islam

Apart from the effect of a lengthy period under Ottoman domination, many of the subject population were converted to Islam as a result of a deliberate move by the Ottomans as part of a policy of ensuring the loyalty of the population against a potential Venetian invasion. However, Islam was spread by force in the areas under the control of the Ottoman Sultan through devşirme and jizya.[17][18]

Rather Arnold explains Islam’s spread by quoting 17th-century pro-Muslim[citation needed] author Johannes Scheffler who stated:

Meanwhile he (i.e. the Turk) wins (converts) by craft more than by force, and snatches away Christ by fraud out of the hearts of men. For the Turk, it is true, at the present time compels no country by violence to apostatise; but he uses other means whereby imperceptibly he roots out Christianity… What then has become of the Christians? They are not expelled from the country, neither are they forced to embrace the Turkish faith: then they must of themselves have been converted into Turks.[19]

Cultural influences

Islam piqued interest among European scholars, setting off the movement of Orientalism. The founder of modern Islamic studies in Europe was Ignác Goldziher, who began studying Islam in the late 19th century. For instance, Sir Richard Francis Burton, 19th-century English explorer, scholar, and orientalist, and translator of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, disguised himself as a Pashtun and visited both Medina and Mecca during the Hajj, as described in his book A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah.

Islamic architecture influenced European architecture in various ways (for example, the Türkischer Tempel synagogue in Vienna). During the 12th-century Renaissance in Europe, Latin translations of Arabic texts were introduced. The Koran was also translated (for example, Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete).

Current population and its perception

Muslim-majority areas in Europe

According to the Pew Forum, the total number of Muslims in Europe in 2010 was about 44 million (6%),[20] excluding Turkey. The total number of Muslims in the European Union in 2010 was about 19 million (3.8%).[20] Approximately 9 million Turks are living in Europe, excluding the Turkish population of Turkey, which makes up the largest Muslim immigrant community in Europe.[21] However the real number of Muslims in Europe is not well-known. The percentage of Muslims in Russia (the biggest group of Muslims in Europe) varies from 5[22] to 11.7%,[20] depending on sources. It also depends on if only observant Muslims or all people of Muslim descent are counted.[citation needed]

The Mosque of Sultan Mehmet Fatih in Pristina, Kosovo

The Muslim population in Europe is extremely diverse with varied histories and origins. Today, the Muslim-majority regions of Europe are Albania, Kosovo, parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Bulgaria and Macedonia, as well as some Russian regions in Northern Caucasus and the Volga region. The Muslim-dominated Sandžak of Novi Pazar is divided between Serbia and Montenegro. They consist predominantly of indigenous Europeans of the Muslim faith whose religious tradition dates back several hundred years. The transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan also are Muslim majority.

The Muslim population in Western Europe is composed primarily of peoples who arrived to the European continent in or after (1945), when France declared itself a country of immigration. Muslim emigration to metropolitan France surged during the Algerian War of Independence. In 1961, West German Government invited first Gastarbeiters. Similar contracts were offered by Switzerland. A 2013 poll by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung says that Islamic fundamentalism is widespread among European Muslims with the majority saying religious rules are more important than civil laws and three quarters rejecting religious pluralism within Islam.[23] The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia reports that the Muslim population tends to suffer Islamophobia all over Europe, although the perceptions and views of Muslims may vary.[24]

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that 70% of the people of Albania [25][26][27] are Muslim, 91% in Kosovo, and 30% of them in Macedonia are Muslim. Bosnia has a Muslim plurality. In transcontinental countries such as Turkey 99%, and 93% in Azerbaijan[28] of the population is Muslim respectively. Muslims also form about one sixth of the population of Montenegro. In Russia, Moscow is home to an estimated 1.5 million Muslims.[29][30][31]

Projections

 
According to the Pew Research Center, Europe’s population was 6% Muslim in 2010, and is projected to be 8% Muslim by 2030.[20]

Don Melvin wrote in 2004 that, excluding Russia, Europe’s Muslim population will double by 2020. He also says that almost 85% of Europe’s total population growth in 2005 was due to immigration in general.[30][32] Omer Taspinar predicted in 2001 that the Muslim population of Europe will nearly double by 2015, while the non-Muslim will shrink by 3.5%, if the higher Muslim birth rate persists.[33] In the UK, between 2001 and 2009, the Muslim population increased roughly 10 times faster than the rest of the population.[34]

A 2007 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report argued that some Muslim population projections are overestimated.[35] Philip Jenkins of Penn State University estimates that by 2100, Muslims will compose about 25% of Europe’s population. Jenkins states this figure does not take account divergent birthrates amongst Europe’s immigrant Christians.[36] Other analysts are skeptical about the accuracy of the claimed Muslim population growth, stating that because many European countries do not ask a person’s religion on official forms or in censuses, it has been difficult to obtain accurate estimates, and arguing that there has been a decrease in Muslim fertility rates in Morocco, the Netherlands and Turkey.[37] A Pew Research Center study, published in January 2011, forecast an increase of Muslims in European population from 6% in 2010 to 8% in 2030.[20] Pew also found that Muslim fertility rate in Europe would drop from 2.2 in 2010 to 2.0 in 2030. On the other hand, the non-Muslim fertility rate in Europe would increase from 1.5 in 2010 to 1.6 in 2030.[20]

by percentage of country population[1]
  < 1%
  1–2%
  2–4%
  4–5%
  5–10%
  10–20%
  20–30%
Cyprus
  30–40%
Rep. of Macedonia
  40–50%
Bosnia–Herzegovina
  80–90%
Albania
  90–95%
Kosovo
  95–100%

MORE READING: HERE

Holy See to UN: stop ignoring attacks on Christian women, girls


via Holy See to UN: stop ignoring attacks on Christian women, girls

Young women walk along a street in Bangalore, India. Credit: Hillary Mast/CNA.

from CNA: Holy See to UN: stop ignoring attacks on Christian women, girls (click to access article)

 

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015: St. Blaise


Pope says his concern for poor comes from Gospel | bt24News We all know that Marx was born some 19 centuries after the birth of Christianity)


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A seagull flies near the window as Pope Francis reads out his Sunday Angelus prayer in the Vatican on Sunday.— AP

Pope Francis is insisting that his concern for the poor and critique of the global economic system isn’t some novel, communist-inspired ideology but rather the original and core “touchstone” of the Christian faith.

Some US conservatives have branded the first Latin American pope a Marxist for his frequent critiques of consumerism and focus on a church “that is poor and for the poor.” But in an interview contained in a new book, Pope Francis explains that his message is rooted in the Gospel and has been echoed by church fathers since Christianity’s first centuries.

via Pope says his concern for poor comes from Gospel | bt24News.

today’s holiday:St. Agatha Festival (2015)


St. Agatha Festival (2015)

Sant’ Agata (St. Agatha) is especially revered in Catania, Sicily, where her relics are preserved in a silver casket. On February 3, 4, and 5 each year, a silver bust of St. Agatha wearing a jewel-encrusted crown is carried in procession from the cathedral to Catania’s various churches. Included in the procession are the ceri, huge wooden replicas of candlesticks that are carved with episodes from the saint’s martyrdom. The streets are lined with streamers and flowers, and illuminated by strings of colored lights after dark. The festival ends with a fireworks display in the piazza. More… Discuss

From BBC : Egypt court upholds death sentences


Egypt court upholds death sentences http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-31093296

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quotation: ‘Love is…the principal means of escape from the loneliness…’ – Bertrand Russell


Love is…the principal means of escape from the loneliness which afflicts most men and women throughout the greater part of their lives.Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) Discuss

today’s birthday: Hugo Junkers (1859)


Hugo Junkers (1859)

Junkers was a pioneering German engineer who held many patents for his original developments in the fields of gas engine and aircraft design. He had innovative ideas about metal airplanes and flying wings, and he put them to the test—somewhat ironically, as he was purportedly a pacifist—developing warplanes for World War I. In the lead-up to World War II, the Nazis stripped Junkers of control of his company and sentenced him to house arrest. He died soon after. What was the “Sheetmetal Donkey”? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: 15th Amendment to the US Constitution Ratified (1870)


15th Amendment to the US Constitution Ratified (1870)

Ratified during the post-Civil War Reconstruction Period, the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution was intended primarily to enfranchise former slaves. It states: “The right of citizens…to vote shall not be denied or abridged…on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Though the amendment’s purpose was not fully achieved until 1965, the first African American to exercise this right did so the day after the amendment was ratified by participating in what election? More… Discuss

article of the day: El Dorado


El Dorado

El Dorado—Spanish for “the gilded man”—is the fabled city of gold and jewels believed by the 16th-century Spanish and other Europeans to exist somewhere in South America. The legend supposedly originated from the Chibcha people of Colombia, who each year anointed a chieftain and rolled him in gold, which he then ceremonially washed off in a sacred lake, casting offerings of emeralds and gold into the waters. Who were some of the explorers who searched for El Dorado, and where did they look? More… Discuss

word: affront


affront

Definition: (noun) A deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespect.
Synonyms: insult
Usage: Your deliberate implication that I stole the money is an affront to my character. Discuss.

this pressed: BBC News – The men of steel with a softer side


The men of steel with a softer side


Tata, the Indian company that owns Tetley Tea and Jaguar Land Rover, prides itself on its ethics – 66% of the business is owned by charities. Its unique character was shaped by the passions of its founder Jamsetji Tata and his successors.

Towards the end of the 19th Century, Indian businessman Jamsetji Tata walked into one of Mumbai’s most expensive hotels – but, so the story goes, he was told to leave because of the colour of his skin.

Legend has it that he was so incensed he decided to build his own hotel – a better one that would welcome Indian guests.

And so, in 1903, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel opened its doors on the waterfront in Mumbai. It was the first building in the city to have electricity, American fans, German lifts and English butlers. It’s still the height of luxury today.

Jamsetji was born in 1839 into a Parsi family – many of his forefathers had been Zoroastrian priests. He had made his fortune trading cotton, tea, copper, brass and even opium, which was legal at the time. He was well-travelled and fascinated by new inventions.

via BBC News – The men of steel with a softer side.