Lobert Rindsay Comments on the Moors of Al-Andalus

Lobert Rindsay is a university professor from Mexico who set up his blog in a sort of a tribute to my blog in order to continue along the same lines in a sense. He specializes in racial makeup of various groups in the Mediterranean region and Hispanosphere.
Lobert Rindsay on Al-Andalus:

Hello Robert, thank you for supporting my blog. I admit that my older (2 year old) post on the race of Mexicans is more a creative work. While I admit that the Amerindian component may have been underestimated in my earlier work (in light of newer studies and more research), it suffices to say that the white component of Mexico is often underestimated as well.
More importantly though, we need to end these silly cliche ideas.
First off, the Afrocentrist claim that pre-Islamic North Africans (including Egyptians) were black is plainly wrong as can be seen by Roman and Greek mosaics of Berbers and Egyptians, as well as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs where the Egyptians clearly distinguish themselves from Berbers, Semites, and blacks.
Second of all, the subsequent claim that the Islamic invaders of Iberia were black doesn’t hold up, unless the Muslim army was composed of Tuareg or sub-Saharan Africans.
Finally, the more common claim that the Muslims of al-Andalus/Iberia were a minority and/or that they were of non-European origin is also (mostly) a falsity (since a minority of Muslims were of foreign origin). Of course, the first Muslims of Iberia were Arabs & Berbers, just like the first Muslims of Somalia, Iran, and Indonesia were Arabs, but we know that the grand majority of Muslims in those countries today are indigenous.
It is not a Eurocentric claim that the Muslims of Spain were mostly indigenous whites. Perhaps watching videos or Googling images of the descendants of the Moriscos/”Moors” (the expelled Andalusi Muslims) living in North Africa should open some eyes.
In fact, I think it is an insult to call the Andalusi Muslims “Moors”, because it implies they are a foreign element; it is like saying that Persians are Arabs. So do not say that Averroes or Boabdil are Moorish or black or Berber or even Arab. They are Iberians, or, if you will, Spaniards. You could call them Andalusians or Andalusies, but no Anglophone calls Egyptians as “Masri” (from al-Misr, the Arabic name for Egypt).
I hate to break it to some people, but the hands that crafted al-Hamra (Alhambra) and the emirs that resided there were not black, nor even Berber/Arab, they were Spanish. I don’t wish to be some sort of chauvinist nor some sort of Eurocentrist, it is merely the historical image of al-Andalus that is most supported by legitimate evidence. If the pale skin, or blue eyes, or overall Iberian/European appearance of the descendants of the Iberian Muslims living in North Africa doesn’t convince you, then I don’t know what will.
I refer sometimes to the Iberian Muslims as Andalusi, but I would rather call them what they really are on a genetic level, Iberians or Spaniards, also considering that in my opinion, “Spain” should rightly refer to the whole peninsula and that Portugal is a medieval remnant of a crusader state that refused to integrate into the larger Iberian Christian nation. Well, I tend to make large comments (unfortunately!) but I hope that clears things up.

It took me a bit to understand what he was getting at here, but I think I figured it out. What he is saying is that the original Moors from Morocco and Tunisia were probably not all that Black to start with (more likely that they were the more White Berbers). Not only that, but they were always few in number, as per the Arab style of conquest which involved a small number of Arabs ruling over a large group of non-Arabs who progressively become Arabized and Islamicized.
This is how it went down in Spain also. Over time, the vast majority of Andalusian Muslims were simply native Iberian Whites who converted to Islam for this or that reason. So over time, the Moors were not even North Africans; instead they were just Spaniards like everyone else in Spain.
You can go to Google and look up photos of the descendants of the Moors who were expelled in Spain who now live in Morocco and Tunisia. They are very White-looking even by Berber standards. Clearly they are mostly of Iberian stock.
The Berbers themselves are a very ancient Caucasian or White group, with links going back to the oldest Caucasians in Europe, the Lapps or Saami. There were also infusions of North European blood going back 2-3,000 YBP. In the northern part of North Africa, the people are often quite White (especially in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria) while as you go towards the South, the people tend to get Blacker. The Berbers themselves are now mixed with White and Black Berbers. The Tuaregs in particular are a very Black group of Berbers, but even they are 14% White.
The racial makeup of Mexico is quite confused. Lobert Rindsay states that Mexican genes are 55% White, but that may be in error. More recent studies put the White genes at 30-42% and the Amerindian genes at 55-67%. Mexicans are ~4% Black across the board.
But the Mexicans in the US have traditionally been the Whiter ones from the north of Mexico. The usual racial makeup was 68% White, 30% Indian and 2% Black, but the most recent study puts Mexicans in the US at 47% Indian, 45% White and 8% Black. Why they are so much Blacker than Mexicans as a whole, I have no idea. So US Mexicans have become quite a bit more Indian and Black and quite a bit less White over the last 30 years or so. This is because more immigrants are now coming from the more Indian and even Black parts of Mexico towards the center and especially the south.

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13 thoughts on “Lobert Rindsay Comments on the Moors of Al-Andalus”

  1. yup. Mexico is more Amerindian, by the way i want to agregate that i know how the industry Works, i know Argentine or Colombia sells the rights to Mexico to remake their Tv shows, but they do because money, even the Mexican themselves are starting to feel bad about it, to be ashamed, some support this of multiple Mexican remakes of South American Tv shows, me and others not, Peru for example don’t do any remake at all, they just watch the original and thats all, all of this is unnecesary, plus many agree Mexicans tend to overact and things like that, i am completely sure Mexico is more Amerindian, i see it in its bad economy and lack of talent. Mexico just need to buy the original like many countries do.
    I personally prefer “las divinas” from Argentine 😀

    1. I personally find it silly that you consider anything Amerindian to be inferior. I may be a Mexican by nationality and Spaniard by ancestry (surely with some other blood in there, like most Argentine & even US whites), but I think it is a terrible legacy that colonization has left over, this idea of racial superiority. The Amerindians of all the Americas, especially those of ancient Mesoamerica, have much to brag about. I think Latin Americans (especially the white ones) should inherit the Andalusi legacy of Spain, that of tolerance and acculturation, not the colonial legacy, which left intolerance and inequality among races. And if you are of Spanish descent, then you can claim Andalusi heritage since it is an increasingly accepted fact (even by Spanish/Portuguese scholars) that the majority of indigenous Iberians at some point in history (~950 AD to 1200 AD) were Muslim converts or descendants of converts. The Spaniards/Portuguese and especially their governments are reluctant to admit this, but I think the reason for this is powerful. It means that the Muslims that once lived in their land were “us”, not “them”. So that means that at some point in history, our Iberian ancestors, who were supposedly fighting against Muslims, were themselves Muslims.

    2. I don’t give a damn about Blacks ,children or old people, in part because any of them are sexy to me, but if some person of those groups approach me nicely i wouldn’t mind, is ok; i am not a true discriminatory to any group. As a race realist i am aware Amerindians have really lower IQ and on top of that their culture don’t value education or hard work, those factors naturally make them people with less talent and worse performances than Whites objectively. However i admit that my speech was a bit offensive, i got too prideful of my race bashing others, also i was a former obsessive Asianophile, so maybe deep inside my heart, the weakness of Amerindians was repulsive to me as a dissapointment and frustration, maybe was it on top of the first reason, and thirdly i felt really offended of the Mexican copycatting of South American TV series, just lik any American would felt ofended if a Chinese copycat their technology, it was many factors; about Andalusians, you are talking with someone that is fond to whole races, not just nationalities, now that i am into Caucasians (and after all i am a Caucasian) ,it doesn’t matter if andalusians were moors or muslims, i see them as fellow Caucasians, i embrace them ,Alhambra is too beautiful to be rejected by me, they enrich the whole cultural legacy of Caucasians.

  2. And yes Robert, you figured out what I was trying to say. Moreover, as I stated to Killua, the Muslim Andalusies formed the majority of the population of Iberia between the 10th and 13th centuries. Remember, al-Andalus wasn’t just confined to the modern-day province of Andalusia in Spain. For most of its history, Al-Andalus stretched all the way to Zaragoza and Coimbra in today’s northern Spain & northern Portugal (around 2/3rds or 3/4ths of Iberia) and in the beginning it stretched all the way to southern France, but as we know, that didn’t last too long

  3. Dear Robert and Lobert
    It is very plausible to assume that, as time moved on since the Muslim conquest of Spain around 700, more and more more Muslims in Spain had Iberian rather than North African ancestry, just as in the Philippines more and more Catholics had Malaysian rather than Spanish ancestors. However, that doesn’t make them necessarily Spanish. If the Iberian converts adopted the language and the culture of the Muslims as well as their religion, then they were no longer Spanish but Arabic.
    We should not confuse race with nationality. If the Japanese had conquered Australian in 1942 and then proceeded to Nipponize the Australians, then the Australians could have become Japanese, but they would have remained Caucasians. Race is a product of nature, nationality of nurture. A person’s race is determined by heredity, his nationality by heritage. Heredity is what you receive at conception, heritage is what you start receiving after birth. A baby has race but no nationality, just as it has no religion. If you have 4 black grandparents, you will be black yourself, but if you have 4 Polish grandparents, then there is no guarantee that you will be Polish yourself.
    The genealogical definition of nationality doesn’t make sense. If ancestry determined nationality, the Queen would be much more German than British. Let’s take 3 persons: Carlos Köller, Peter Schwartzberg and Vaclav MĂŒller. All 3 have 8 German great-grandparents. Carlos is an Argentinian who speaks only Spanish and knows next to nothing about the world outside of Argentina. Peter is an American who speaks only English and is culturally totally American. Vaclav is a Czech whose only language is Czech and whose cultural horizon is limited to the Czech Republic. None of these 3 men can be considered German despite their common ancestry.
    If somebody says that he is, say, Polish because he has Polish parents, then the next question should be; So, what makes your parents Polish and not Italian, Turkish or Norwegian? If you want to determine a person’s nationality, then you should look at that person and not inquire about his ancestry. The preoccupation with ancestry is ridiculous at best and dangerous at worst. It can be dangerous when ancestry is used to exclude people from a group even though they are not different from other members of the group.
    Regards. James

    1. Very good observation James. However, when I say the Muslims of al-Andalus were “Spanish” or “Iberian”, I mean to say that they were of Iberian genetics, and therefore possessed a (southern) European appearance. What I tried to dispel was the silly notion that the Andalusian Muslims were black or, the more common claim, that they were of Berber descent. Yes, they would not be the “Spanish” we know today, but then again, who makes these things up? People do, not nature. Just because the Muslims of al-Andalus might have adopted Arabic and Islam, that does not make them un-Spanish. In fact, if the Spaniards today were still Muslims, then Christian Spain would be seen as something foreign, and Spaniard would be defined as an Arabic-speaking Muslim. As an analogy, the Muslim “Arabs” of Egypt see themselves as Egyptian as the Copts. And temember, the “Spanish” language is not really native/original to Spain, it developed from the Latin that was brought over by Roman colonists. And no, the Spaniards are not descended from Romans nor even Italians in general. The Spanish contain unique DNA markers separate from Italy. I really hope that I can find or even prompt a genetic study on the descendants of the Andalusian Muslims so that we may finally see their genetics (which I am sure will be of Iberian/western European origin).

  4. Hi Robert L
    I’m a black man but that has zero to do with science that flat out tells us that all of mankind descends from black Africans …that’s why black Africans are genetically superior to whites, Indians, Arabs, and all other people groups because all people group comes from black people …blacks being on the top of the totem pole and everyone else on the bottom…again, this is just science! So great blog and I know you’re trying to explain some things but at the end of the day all people groups descend from black Africans! And that my friend wraps up your entire blog answers in just a few scientific words!

  5. Your figures totally ignore ethnic mixing due to intermarriage. There are Spanish who have Arab (“Moorish”) blood that is evident by nose formation that does not match the Gaelic component of the Iberian Peninsula, nor does it match Greek and Roman features. Despite centuries of breeding back with the Gaelic population, those who bred with the Moors still have typically Arab features, due to genetic dominance. These are often even named according to that visible influence “Moreno,” which has come to mean “dark” but typically doesn’t refer to African/Negroid admixture as can be seen by phenotype (but isn’t 100%).
    Similar with figures regarding the breakdown of population of Mexico, you totally ignore the figures of the Mestizo, that is those who are mixed “white” and Indian (aboriginal) blood, which I think you are combining with the figures for Indian, perhaps. The majority of immigration into the US is actually Mestizo, not white/Spanish. The older population of rich landowners in states like California were typically Spanish from the land grants from Spain or Criollo, Mexican-born but of Spanish descent with no mixing with local indigenous population.

  6. Do the majority of people today actually believe that the moors were of sub saharan descent? I find that hard to believe. First of all there’s the humongous sahara desert that separates sub saharan africa and Europe.

  7. well its makes me laugh because I am a descendant of Arabs from spains and white green eyes and no way I’m Iberian origin that was originally designed to alhambra by spaniard and just absurd peoples we north African and Middle East we laugh about european you because you are the most naive of history and robert lindsay stopped telling lies

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