“The Gnostic movement spread far and wide. In Africa, the original Essene ministry had been led by Judge, the third son of Mary and Joseph, who had settled in Mauretaina (present day Morocco). In fact, his daughter Anna married into the Mauretanian royal family, which, in turn, descended from Queen Cleopatra VII and her fourth husband, Marc Anthony. (History tends to forget that Cleopatra was quire fruitful. She gave birth to Julius Casear’s son, Ptolemy Ceasareon, and gave Marc Anthony two sons, Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philometer, and one daughter, Cleopatra Selene.) Cleopatra Selene married King Juba II of Mauretania (thus bringing a strong lineage from the Barcha family, an ancestry that can be traced as far back as the sister of Hannibal the Great.) It is from this union that both Janaani (John) Marcus bar Ptolemey (later to be known through a deliberate miss-translation as the apostle Bartholomew) and the later Idrisid Kings of Morocco are descended. From North Africa, it soon spread to the European continent.” (p. 11)
“The North African involvement into Spanish affairs should not surprise anyone. After all, North Africa, then called Mauretania, and Spain both had been provinces of the Roman Empire, and, as such, they had traded with one another for centuries. For a political party in Spain to call upon the neighboring Moors was, in fact, nothing new. North Africa had been conquered by Islam when the exarchate of Carthage, now in Tunisia, succumbed to the Umayadds in AD 698. This meant that the Byzantine Empire had lost a rather big chunk of its western territory. While newly conquered on behalf of Islam, the Arabian influx of people was not excessive, so the flow of trade with Spain and other parts of Mediterranean cities had gone on as usual. Except for converting to Islam, little changed in the life of the native Berbers. When the call came from Spain, the Moors were quick to oblige and sent crack troops under the leadership of Tariq Ibn Ziad, then governor of Tangier.” (p. 12).
“While the Christian Church had rejected, over the centuries, the Hellenistic views and treatises of great master philosophers (such as Plato, Euclid, Ovid, Horace, and Aristotle), the scriptoria of Baghdad and Marrakesh in Morocco were busy translating them into Arabic in the tenth and eleventh centuries AD. These works were later translated, in Cordoba, into Latin and still later vernacular languages of western Europe, and would form the basis of the Renaissance period. The same applied to the works of Ptolemic geography, works of Sanskrit astrology, and to medical works from Hippocrates and Galen, all of which were first heartily embraced by both the Umayyad and the Abbaside dynasties. Arabic translations of these literary works were made from books originally written in both Syrian and Greek. What these Islamic scholars also did was check all the data over the years and either corrected them when needed and improved on them all of the time.” (p. 46-47)
“But Islamic Spain did much more than reintroduce the concept of wisdom. It introduced to the rest of Europe an age of science and philosphy uninhibited by the faith. This was the era of true freedom of artistic expression, and, for three centuries, Cordoba was a place where linguist and intellectuals could meet and talk without constraints, where metaphysics, pure arithmetic, optics (later borrowed by Leonardo da Vinci), meteorology, medicine, music, astronomy, astrology, alchemy, grammar, poetry and architecture, even fashion, was encouraged and practiced. The use of the system numerals called, in the West, “Arabic” and the adoption of the Indian concept of zero enabled the Muslims to make sophisticated calculations that were impossible for those Europeans using cumbersome Roman numerals.” (p. 46-47)
Source: The Knights Templar of the Middle East: The Hidden History of the Islamic By Hrh Prince Michael of Albany, Michael James Alexander Stewart, Walid Amine Salhab