Moors, Jews and Christians. The genetic legacy of Spanish unique history.
Summary: The same authors of the study that showed the persistence of North African genes in the Spanish population published another article in 2003 showing the radical genetic separation between the populations of both sides of the Gibraltar Straits.
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The findings of the study published last December in the American Journal of Human Genetics have inspired several articles in the world media. Gates of Vienna has already shown that the presentation of those findings has been used to whitewash Islam and to paint Christianity in the worst possible light (Colonization and Intolerance). My purpose is, first, to show that many of the statements in those articles are plain nonsense and, second, to point out that the authors of that study had done a similar investigation in 2003 that highlighted the opposite conclusions.
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The article commented at GoV, Spanish Inquisition couldn’t quash Moorish, Jewish genes, should not have passed the most generous filter on historical accuracy. Starting with the title, it should be noted that, first, the Inquisition had no jurisdiction on non-Christians and, second, that its purpose was not to quash genes, but memes, that is, to suppress ideas, unorthodox, heretic ideas. The sentences that I find more intellectually outrageous in the article are the following:
The Moorish invasion of Spain was never completely repelled, a new genetic analysis reveals.
Nonsense. The Reconquista was an ideological, not a race battle. As a result of it, Muslim rule was eradicated from Spain, which can claim to be one of the few countries that has ever done it successfully. I think we can be proud of our ancestors.
As many as one in 10 men from Spain and Portugal still carry genetic evidence of North African ancestry, and nearly twice that number had Sephardic Jewish ancestors, reveals a study in the Dec. 12 American Journal of Human Genetics. Those results don’t fit with expectations from the historical record.
The results may not fit with the wrong conclusions drawn by not-so-well-intellectually-gifted journalists, but they actually fit with the standard historical accounts. To start with, there were historical migrations through the Strait well before the 8th Century. There is no reason not to find some genetic commonality between Spaniards and North Africans, irrespective of the Reconquista. Another reason to find common genes is that many (probably most of the) Moriscos expelled were genetically Spanish. In this sense, and contrary to the interpretation of the study, the commonality found in the genetic material would show that Islam was thoroughly eradicated.
AMDG goes on to outline the Jewish component of Spain’s genetic makeup, and points out the absurdity of conflating genetic history with cultural history:
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The second article, “DNA study shows Spain’s Jewish and Muslim ancestry”, is mostly correct as far as the Jewish genetic heritage is concerned. Still, we find statements like this one:
The new finding bears on two very different views of Spanish history: One holds that Spanish civilization is Catholic and all other influences are foreign, the other that Spain has been enriched by drawing from all three of its historical cultures — Catholic, Jewish and Muslim.
This is ludicrous. Ideology has nothing to do with genetics. The “enriching” influence of the “historical cultures” should be looked for in the culture not in the genes of Spaniards.
Spain’s MSM — as progressive as any of the Western media — has jumped on the bandwagon:
It goes without saying, Spanish media have also reflected on those studies in a biased pro-Islamic way. Two examples:
- El País: “Sephardis and Moriscos are still here” ( Sefardíes y moriscos siguen aquí ). This is our NYT. Progressive, multiculturalist, islamophilic.
- La Vanguardia: “Catalonia and the Basque Country are the Spanish regions with purest Iberic roots” ( Catalunya y el País Vasco, las comunidades de más profunda raigambre ibérica de España ). This is a Catalonian, “moderately nationalist” paper. The title states that the population in Catalonia and the Basque Country are the “purest Spaniards”. But do not they say they are not Spaniards?
AMDG lays out the historical background showing the extent of genetic mixing between North Africa and Iberia, which went on long before the Muslim conquest, all the way back to the Roman Empire and even earlier.
You’ll want to visit his article to read his conclusions, and also to see the maps and illustrations.