Morocco’s Barrier Ball

The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup is coming to its zenith. With the final just around the corner, pitting the world’s best footballers and football teams for the grandest prize in football. The World Cup. While the tournament held every 4 years, is where the football heads and curious minds gather, it is the host which has caught the most attention. A tournament of many firsts that is overshadowed by controversies at least in the western media narrative. A first for an Arab and Islamic nation to host, a first Arab-African nation to reach the semis, a first family-friendly World Cup with high emphasis on moral values and also a first World Cup that England fans make it through with no arrest. Hooligans were a thing of the past. This is largely contributed by Qatar’s firmness to hold onto its roots, culture and belief.

Morroco football team in pictures demonstrating the Islamic values.

As the world and most neutral fans rallied behind the Moroccan team’s gallant progression into the latter stages, fate would have it that they were stopped by the French team at the final hurdle. Fate also had it that Morocco had gone through the same route as were in past history. A route via Spain and Portugal to face off with France.

Credit : IlmFeed

The year was 711, a young Berber general by the name of Tariq Ibn Ziyad, stepped across the straits into the Iberian peninsular via a great mountain. He named it after himself, Jabal Tariq now known as Gibraltar to raid into Visigoth’s land. What started as a reconnaissance raid expedition quickly turned into full blown invasion. After defeating King Roderick (Rodrigo in Spanish), the road was open to conquer the rest of the Iberian peninsular. The people welcomed the Muslims as King Roderick was extremely unpopular at the time. He then quickly took Cordoba and then the capital Toledo. The people and historian captured the conquest and considered it as a Liberation for the inhabitants.

After hearing of the dazzling performance of his subordinate Tariq, Musa Ibn Nusayr Governor of North Africa, the one who solidified the caliphate’s rule in the Maghreb, the man responsible for mass conversion for the berber’s to embrace Islam, quickly joined cross over with a large army. He took the western route into Seville and Merida and advancing into the land of Portugal as it is known today. In short, one can derive that Tariq took Spain, and Musa then took Portugal. Fate would have it.

Fun Fact : Adjacent to Jabal Tariq (Gibraltar) stands its twin, Jabal Musa (Tangier) in honour of the twin blitz of 711.

Credit : Facebook : Tamadun yang Hilang

By 732, the Muslim conquest have blitzed the whole of Iberia. Well almost, except the strip of land in Oviedo. Tariq and his Governor Musa, has also been recalled back for fear of outshining the Caliph himself, and under auspicious circumstances, almost disappear entirely from the history books from there on. The governorship was taken over by Abdul Rahman Al-Ghafiqi. A force some say was nearly unstoppable. He crossed the Pyrenees and stormed Toulouse and Bordeux and defeating Duke Oddo, using Narbonne near Montpellier as the launching pad. The Muslims heavy with spoils of war marched on northwards. By that point of time, there were little to no resistance in his march to the city of Tours. An important city for the Christians.

Timeline of early Muslim Western Europe conquest

Al Ghafiqi, was stopped in his tracks by Duke Oddo of Aquataine who at this point in time, has sought the help of a rising star, Charles Martel. By clever tactics, he forced the hand of Al-Ghafiqi to strike for fear of winter approaching and the daunting potential of freezing out in the wild. Charles Martel line is one of the most decorated and most important lineage in European history. With the defeat and death of Al-Ghafiqi, his army retreated and went out of France.

The Berbers and Arab Muslims were stopped in their tracks outside of Paris by the Franks back in 732, and history has it repeated again, Morocco progression for the World Cup stopped again by the French.

Edward Gibbon, a famous historian, famously remarked that had the Muslims succeeded in the Battle of Tours in 732, the Muslims would have easily conquered a divided Europe.

A victorious line of march had been prolonged above a thousand miles from the rock of Gibraltar to the banks of the Loire; the repetition of an equal space would have carried the Saracens to the confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scotland; the Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.[source]

Edward Gibbon

Food for thought. Imagine Islam in all of Europe. All via the Muslims of Morocco. Perhaps thats why the team caused so much unity and passion from across the world especially the Muslim world.

Idris Mahzan. 2022

Author: Idris Mahzan

Grew up in the UK. Studied in Japan. Malaysian at heart.

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