Obamateurism of the Day

Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo yesterday, whatever else one thinks of it, did produce something in abundance: Obamateurisms.  We’ll start with one noticed by Barcepundit, and fittingly so, because it relates to Spain, Barcepundit’s country.  In praising the history of Islamic tolerance, Obama told his audience that Islam even showed its tolerance … during the Inquisition?

The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom.

Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition.

Barcepundit couldn’t believe his ears:

[B]y the time the Spanish Inquisition was created in 1478, Cordoba has been reconquered from Islamic hands almost 150 years earlier, in 1236.

Andalusia didn’t last long in the Inquisition period, either.  It fell to Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic monarchs of Spain, in 1492, which completed the reconquest of Spain by Christian forces.  Andalusia as an Islamic outpost had declined steadily for most of the previous 150 years.

And at least as far as Wikipedia reports, suspected Muslims got the easiest treatment from the Inquisition until at least 1530, far easier than suspected “crypto-Jews” and Protestants.  For the most part, the Inquisition used evangelization rather than trials and torture on Muslims; Jews got a much different treatment.  So if anyone was responsible for tolerance relating to Muslims and Christians in the Inquisition period of Andalusia, it would have been the Christians demonstrating it, as they were the ones in power.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!