23 Nov Moorish Rule in Europe
The Maghreb fell into a civil war in 739 that lasted until 743 and became known as the Berber Revolt. The Berbers revolted against the Umayyads and ended eastern rule over the Maghreb. Despite racial tensions, Arabs and Berbers frequently intermarried. A few years later, the eastern branch of the Umayyad dynasty was dethroned by the Abbasids and the Umayyad Caliphate was overthrown during the Abbasid Revolution (746-750). Abd al-Rahman I, of Arab-Berber origin, managed to escape the Abbasids and flee to the Maghreb, then to Iberia, where he founded the Emirate of Cordoba and the Andalusian branch of the Umayyad dynasty. The Moors ruled North Africa and Al-Andalus for several centuries thereafter.  Ibn Hazm, the polymath, mentions that many caliphs of the Umayyad Caliphate and Caliphate of Cordoba were blond and had bright eyes.  Ibn Hazm mentions that he preferred blondes, noting that there was great interest in blondes in al-Andalus among rulers and ordinary Muslims: but today there are very few monuments of a century of Almoravid rule. In Marrakech, the most important is a small shrine known as Koubba, which is currently being restored. In 711, Islamic Arabs and Moors of Berber origin in North Africa crossed the Strait of Gibraltar in the Iberian Peninsula and conquered Visigothic Christian Hispania in a series of raids.  Its general, Tariq ibn Ziyad, placed most of the Iberian Peninsula under Islamic rule during an eight-year campaign.
They continued northeastward through the Pyrenees, but were defeated by the Franks commanded by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732.  In 711, troops formed mainly from Moors from North Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Iberian Peninsula then became known in classical Arabic as al-Andalus, which at its height included most of Septimania and present-day Spain and Portugal. In 827, the Moors occupied Mazara in Sicily and enlarged it as a port.  They finally proceeded to consolidate the rest of the island. Differences in religion and culture led to centuries of conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe, who sought to regain control of Muslim territories; this conflict was called the Reconquista. In 1224, Muslims were expelled from Sicily to the colony of Lucera, which was destroyed by European Christians in 1300. The fall of Granada in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Spain, although a Muslim minority existed until their expulsion in 1609.  The last Moorish emir, Boabdil, surrendered to the Spanish monarchs in the plains below the fortress. The Alhambra itself was never taken, but the royal standard of the Catholic Monarchs quickly flew from the watchtower of the fortress citadel.
The Catholic Monarchs then moved into the most exquisite buildings created by the Moors during their 800-year reign. 15. The Moors ruled and occupied Lisbon (called “Lashbuna” by the Moors) and the rest of the country until the twelfth century. They were eventually defeated and expelled by the forces of King Alfonso Henriques. The scene of this battle was the Castelo de Sao Jorge or the “Castle of St. George”. Over time, the strength of the Muslim state diminished, leading to recessions for Christians who hated Moorish rule. For centuries, Christian groups challenged Muslim territorial rule in al-Andalus and slowly expanded their territory. This culminated in 1492 when the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I won the Granada War and completed the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by Spain. Eventually, the Moors were expelled from Spain. The Caliphate of Cordoba collapsed in 1031 and the Islamic territory of the Iberian Peninsula fell under the rule of the Almohad Caliphate in 1153. This second phase was guided by a version of Islam that left behind the most tolerant practices of the past.
 Al-Andalus disintegrated into a series of taifas (fiefdoms), some of which were grouped under the Caliphate of Cordoba. The first Muslim conquest of Sicily began in 827, although it was not until 902 that almost the entire island was under Aghlabid control, except for a few small fortresses with rugged interior. During this period, parts of southern Italy fell under Muslim control, including the port city of Bari, which formed the Emirate of Bari from 847 to 871.