(Rushdie’s story appeared in The New Yorker, 6/1.)
In the year 1195, the great philosopher Ibn Rushd, once the qadi, or judge, of Seville and most recently the personal physician to the Caliph Abu Yusuf Yaqub in his home town of Córdoba, was formally discredited and disgraced on account of his liberal ideas, which were unacceptable to the increasingly powerful Berber fanatics who were spreading like a pestilence across Arab Spain, and was sent to live in internal exile in the small village of Lucena, a village full of Jews who could no longer say they were Jews because they had been forced to convert to Islam. Ibn Rushd, a philosopher who was no longer permitted to expound his philosophy, all of whose writing had been banned and burned, felt instantly at home among the Jews who could not say they were Jews. He had been a favorite of the Caliph of the present ruling dynasty, the Almohads, but favorites go out of fashion, and Abu Yusuf Yaqub had allowed the fanatics to push the great commentator on Aristotle out of town.
Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http 2015:// www.stagevoices.com/ . If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com.