An Analysis Of Tariq Ali 's Shadows Of The Pomegranate Tree

1036 Words5 Pages
Tariq Ali uniquely puts into perspective the horrific tragedies behind the Spanish reconquest in his work, Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree, by capturing the history in the perspective of a Muslim family who lived in a village just outside of recently conquered Granada. He does this in order to expose the cruelty and intolerance of the Archbishop Xemenes de Cineros. Ali also uncovers the faults in not only Christianity, but also in Islamic ideology by having many character’s from the family Banu Hudayl debating and questioning Islamic beliefs which may parallel with the author’s own beliefs, or lack thereof. (Tariq) One of Ali’s strongest focuses however, was to expose the lack of urgency many Muslims felt after the fall of Granada. Many Muslim’s including the family of Banu Hudayl lived in the “shadows” and blindly believed everything would become “normal” again, that is of course until Cisneros burned many books containing Islamic teachings. By using the Banu Hudayl family, Ali is able to evoke sympathy towards the Muslim’s, who suffered greatly during the times of the crusades. The novel begins with the scene of Xemenes de Cisneros burning written Islamic traditions and teachings, which sets the tone for the rest of the novel. As the book progresses we begin to learn more about the family, especially about young Yazid, whose death can arguably be one of the saddest and most honorable. Even in his last moments Yazid did not stoop to the level of cruelty that Cisneros possessed, he honorably invited them to be guests in his house that evening, despite the fact that they had just slaughtered his entire village. This among many other details of the fictional family’s honors and of their sins provides a sense of humanity to this Isl... ... middle of paper ... ...upon however there is an underlying tone that if the Muslims had not been in the shadows that they may have had a chance to survive the reconquest. I would counter this argument by saying that many of them would still have been scared into conversion which would in most cases have produced the same outcome for the Muslim people, especially involving the expulsion of them later in history. If Ali had been a Muslim rather than an atheist I believe this novel would have been more biased and lenient on the Muslim people, I am not sure that the argument of the Muslims living in the shadows would have been the same. Ali being an atheist provides an insight into the history that many other may not have considered to think about. This being said Ali’s main argument although may not have enough support to back it up completely was a fair one with many underlying persuasions.

    More about An Analysis Of Tariq Ali 's Shadows Of The Pomegranate Tree

      Open Document