First the historical backing of these peoples.... -------------------------------------------------------------------------- It would not be inaccurate to say that the Moors helped reintroduce Europe to civilization. But just who were the Moors of antiquity anyway? As early as the Middle Ages, and as early as the seventeenth century, "The Moors were," according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "commonly supposed to be mostly black or very swarthy, and hence the word is often used for negro." Dr. Chancellor Williams stated that "The original Moors, like the original Egyptians, were Black Africans." At the beginning of the eighth century Moorish soldiers crossed over from Africa into Spain, Portugal, and France, where their swift victories became the substance of legends. To the Christians of early Europe there was no question regarding the ethnicity of the Moors, and numerous sources support the view that the Moors were a black-skinned people. Morien, for example, is the adventure of a heroic Moorish knight supposed to have lived during the days of King Arthur. Morien is described as "all black: his head, his body, and his hands were all black." In the French epic known as the Song of Roland the Moors are described as "blacker than ink." William Shakespeare used the word Moor as a synonym for African. Christopher Marlowe used African and Moor interchangeably. Arab writers further buttress the Black identity of the Moors. The powerful Moorish emperor Yusuf ben-Tachfin is described by an Arab chronicler as "a brown man with wooly hair." Black soldiers, specifically identified as Moors, were actively recruited by Rome, and served in Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. St. Maurice, patron saint of medieval Europe, was only one of many Black soldiers and officers under the employ of the Roman Empire. ----Early in the eighth century Moorish soldiers crossed over from Africa to the Iberian peninsula. The man chosen to lead them was General Tarik ibn Ziyad. In 711, the bold Tarik, in command of an army of 10,000 men, crossed the straits and disembarked near a rock promontory which from that day since has borne his name--Djabal Tarik (`Tarik's Mountain'), or Gibraltar. In August 711, Tarik won paramount victory over the opposing European army. On the eve of the battle, Tarik is alleged to have roused his troops with the following words: "My brethren, the enemy is before you, the sea is behind; whither would ye fly? Follow your general; I am resolved either to lose my life or to trample on the prostrate king of the Romans." Wasting no time to relish his victory, Tarik pushed on with his dashing and seemingly tireless Moorish cavalry to the Spanish city of Toledo. Within a month's time, General Tarik ibn Ziyad had effectively terminated European dominance of the Iberian peninsula. Musa ibn Nusayr, Arab governor of North Africa, joined Tarik in Spain and helped complete the conquest of Iberia with an army of 18,000 men. The two commanders met in Talavera, where the Moors were given the task of subduing the northwest of Spain. With vigor and speed they set about their mission, and within three months they had swept the entire territory north of the Ebro River as far as the Pyrenees Mountains and annexed the turbulent Basque country. In the aftermath of these brilliant struggles, thousands of Moors flooded into the Iberian peninsula. So eager were they to come that some are said to have floated over on tree-trunks. Tarik himself, at the conclusion of his illustrious military career, retired to the distant East, we are informed, to spread the teachings of Islam. http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/moors2.html ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Why are they controversial,because of what they did in Europe to the white peoples,much of which was no different than chattel slavery to those who opposed them.....now the question is were they black/AFrikan? Alot of them were. But if you asked a mainstream historian today they will say that the Moors were ARABS AND NO AFRIKANS EVER HAD MUCH CONTROL. Why? Perhaps because they do not want to admit being taken over by us? Another overlooked aspect is the fact that the AFrikan Moors SLAUGHTERED OTHER AFRIKANS (when the arabs showed up prior to the invasion of spain) who did NOT convert to Islam, it was once said that as many AFRIKANs that converted and joined the invasion, as much as or more were slaughtered by the AFro-ARab alliance.....John Henrik Clarke is the only many I am familiar with that mentions this(in his documentary "A Great and Mighty Walk") what do yall think?