The Knights Templar of the Middle East: The Hidden History of the Islamic Origins of Freemasonry

Prince Michael of Albany and Princess Angelique Monét in Palais 2


“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) 


Map By Girolamo Ruscelli Mauritania Nuova Tavola [North Africa and West Africa] Girolamo Ruscelli Place/Date: Venice / 1562

“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). 


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (224607j)


“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

The Story of the Moors After Spain by Stanley Lane-Poole

“When the united wisdom of Ferdinand and Isabella resolved on the expatriation of the Spanish Moors, they forgot the risk of an exile’s vengeance. No sooner was Granada fallen than thousands of desperate Moors left the land which for seven hundred years had been their home, and, disdaining to live under a Spanish yoke, crossed the strait to Africa, where they established themselves at various strong points, such as Shershel, Oran, and notably at Algiers, which till then had hardly been heard of.”


Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay


“From ancient times to the middle of the 19th century, one of the biggest groups within Mande society was slaves. In a great medieval state like the Mali Empire, many slaves were captured during wars of expansion. Slaves were an extremely important part of the economy because their labor had great value. They also brought in wealth when they were sold across the trans-Saharan trade routes.”

“When soldiers returned from a successful raid or battle, roughly half the loot, including slaves, was taken by the ruler on behalf of the state. Many slaves were exported across the Sahara or traded in slaves. They would simply enter the service of their captors and continue to practice their occupations. In the case of a woman of high status, it was possible for her to become a wife of her captors.”

“If a captive who had previously been free was from a family that held the kind of special relationship, known as senankuya, with the captor’s family, he would probably be freed. A legendary example of this happened when a chief named Nynyekoro knew he was going to be attacked by the army of Segu, led by Faama Da Diarra. He also knew he had no chance against their superior strength. He told all his advisers to take off their clothes, thus reducing their social status to the level of uncircumcised boys. “

“During the period of colonial rule, Guinea was referred to as the jewel of French West Africa. It had beautiful white sand beaches, Paris-style restaurants, and luxurious hotels. Guinea exported coffee, peanuts, mangos, and pineapples. Guinea gained its independence from France on October 2, 1958, by voting against remaining in the French Community. The people who ran the government and the technicians who maintained utility services were angry at Guinea’s vote against remaining with France. They left the country almost overnight.”

“When the European powers divided up the African continent into colonies in the 19th century, they established artificial boundaries that cut right through ancient cultures and political systems. By the beginning of the 1960s, when the former French West African colonies had gained their independence, the former territories of medieval Ghana, Mali, and Songhay were located in several different nations.”

“The ruins of Ghana’s cities of Kumbi Saleh and Awdaghust are in southern Mauritania, the goldfield of Bure is in Guinea, and the rest of ancient Ghana is in Mali. The heartland of the old Mali Empire is divided between Mali and Guinea, but its outer territories extend into Senegal, Mauritania, Cote d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The former territories of medieval Songhay now lie in Mali, Niger, and Mauritania. The ancient heartland of these empires, however, was located in what is now Guinea and Mali.”

Source: Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay By David C. Conrad

The Moroccan Conquest of the Songhay Empire

“Every year [prior to 1591], on the order of the king of Timbuktu [the askiya]… two hundred quintals of gold were sent to the Barbary; the war so upset everything that once could not produce four [quintals of gold], because the gold washers had fled for they did not want to work for others; and gold from the deserts of the interior came virtually no more, and this did not suffice for the price of the merchandise in the kingdom from where they came.”

“Ahmad al-Mansur’s invasion of Sudan created fresh illusions, but neither the circus of Marrakech nor even the vast curtain of the Sahara could long hide the truth. The conquistadors of the Red City destroyed everything in their path, real and otherwise–the heyday of the Saharan caravans, the glory days of Timbuktu, the empire of the Songhay, and the Island of Gold. Behind, they left only wistfulness.”

“Ghana was the first of the West African empires. A Soninke ethnic state that emerged around the fourth century, Ghana eventually came to control the area of present western Mali and southeastern Mauritania. Its power lay in the gold fields of Boure and Bambouk, and it was the first black African state to benefit from the camel-powered trans-Saharan trading system. This empire grew and flourished largely in anonymity until Berber and Arab raiders came calling.”

“By the eleventh century, the Ghanaians had been weakened by attacks from a Moroccan Berber dynasty, the Almoravids. The empire quietly disappeared a few decades later. The cause of this collapse is not known, but the Almoravids probably hastened its end. Gradually, over the next century, a successor state began to take shape from the ruins, Mali.”

“The Mandinka kingdom of Mali gradually extended its control over the gold fields through conquest and tribal alliances and by the early thirteenth century, it had crowned its first emperor, Sundiata Keita. In the decades that followed, the Malians embarked on conquest in Senegal, Guinea, and against the tribes of the eastern Niger, amassing a near monopoly on the West African gold trade.”

“By the middle of the fourteenth century, the empire reached from the Atlantic Ocean to Gao and spanned the modern-day countries of Senegal, southern Mauritania, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, northern parts of Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and western niger. The Malian Empire dominated West Africa, extending over 1,300,000 square kilometers, more than any Western European state, but it took a new religion and a larger-than-life character to make anyone outside the region take notice.”

“The religion was, of course, Islam. Mali was the first of the great West African empires to embrace Islam, though in its own distinct and limited way. Some Arab Scholars claimed it was Ghana, but the ruling class never adopted the new religion. Though the Malian nobility gradually converted to Islam, the faith was not imposed upon the populace. Islam remained confined to the capital and the desert “ports” where it had arrived centuries earlier with Berber traders. Many more years would elapse before Islam would start to dissipate from these points to the villages and towns of the savanna and the forest belt.”

“Islamic teaching and law became prestigious metiers and, and in the words of one historian, a “cult of the aristocracy. But, in the end, in West Africa, Islam was for the ruling elite and the tiny literate class, and it was a distinctly urban phenomenon. In the countryside, the majority lived as they had for centuries, with their nature gods, black magic and witch doctors.”

“The twenty-year Morocco-Songhay war seriously undermined the caravan trade networks and economic triad. Salt and gold were no longer meetings in abundance along the river. The salt mines were not secure, and that traffic slowed considerably. Gold traders began to prefer the Guinea coast, where the Portuguese coastal trading posts offered closer and more stable trading partners. However, this alternative provided only temporary relief. Line the Moroccan sugar industry, the West African gold market would soon plummet under competition from the Americas.”

Source: Conquistadors of the Red City: The Moroccan Conquest of the Songhay Empire By Comer Plummer

“When analyzing al-Mansur’s Songhay effort we are fortunate to possess the work of authors unattached to al-Mansur’s court, through which we have an opportunity to evaluate events presumably unencumbered by the flattering official portrayals that are so often the product of official dynastic secretaries and chroniclers. The work of the Arab historian and native of Timbuktu, Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di, is one example. Al-Sa’di eventually secured employment in the Moroccan administration at Timbuktu, but his loyalties lay with the native elites of the Middle Niger. From him we gain a local perspective on the Moroccan invasion and conquest of the Songhay Empire, and well as on the Moroccan administration of the Middle Niger up until the middle of the seventeenth century”

“Early Sa’di attempts to control the salt resources of the desert date from at least 1526, when a Moroccan force temporarily occupied the Tuwat Oasis. Over the next thirty years al-Mansur’s predecessors launched additional expeditions against Tuwat, Taghaza, and into Mauritania. But the importance of salt was too great for the Songhay to consider relinquishing control. According to al-Sa’di, in the early 1540s the Songhay rulers responded to one Moroccan request by ordering a raid of two thousand Tuareg on Morocco’s Dra’a Valley.998 Later, they foiled an otherwise successful Moroccan conquest of Taghaza by simply redirecting traders to another location.999 Al-Mansur’s first effort, however, fared much better. Al-Sa’di reports that the Sultan requested of the Songhay one year’s worth of tax from the mines of Taghaza, and received instead a goodwill gift of more than ninety pounds of gold, the generosity of which allegedly led to a great friendship between the sultan and the Songhay Askiya (emperor) Dawud.1000 Some see the rivalry with the Ottoman Empire as an important factor in al-Mansur’s Songhay venture. Ottoman agents were indeed active in sub-Saharan Africa. Bornu, a central Sudanic empire in the area adjacent to Lake Chad, attracted Ottoman mercenaries and technology with a series of aggressive jihads. In the middle of the century the Ottomans themselves extended their reach into Fezzan, a territory also claimed by Bornu. The latter sent an embassy to the Ottomans, but negotiations came to naught.1001 It is unclear whether or not military conflict ensued, though the anonymous Spaniard claims that the Turks marched through Egypt to conquer Bornu, but so weakened by thirst could not defend themselves.1002 Whatever may have occurred, the Ottoman supply of arms to Bornu dried up, and in 1582-83 its leaders turned to al-Mansur to meet their needs.  Al-Sa’di identifies a Songhay slave imprisoned at Taghaza, Wuld Kirinfil, as the impetus. According to al-Sa’di it “was God’s decree and His destiny that he [the slave] should break out from that prison and flee to the Red City, Marrakesh….”1014 There he wrote a letter to al-Mansur describing the difficult circumstances under which the Songhay were living and the resulting ease with which they could be conquered.1015 The anonymous Spaniard asserts that the ostensibly same escapee claimed to be the brother of the Songhay ruler, Askiya Ishaq, that his throne had been usurped, and that in return for support in regaining his kingdom he would acknowledge al-Mansur’s suzerainty and reward him with great wealth. “Account of the Anonymous Spaniard,” in Hunwick, Timbuktu, 318-319”

“Al-Mansur adopted the Ottoman practice of incorporating non-Turkish and non-Muslim elements into the army. Among the most prominent were European Christian renegados and Muslim Andalusians. Unlike the tribal corps these two groups often carried firearms, often filled senior posts in the army, guarded the sultan when he led campaigns, and received their pay before all others.1032 Neither group, as their names imply, were fully integrated into Maghribi society, and thus their allegiance to the ruler could be more readily ensured since it was through him alone that they enjoyed special status. The comparatively sizeable contingent of renegados and Andalusians in the Sa’di expedition is open to several possible interpretations. They were certainly among the best of the sharīf’s troops, and in this sense it is no surprise to see them in the invasion force. At the same time, dispatching some of his most loyal forces on an uncertain mission across nearly a thousand miles of desert also held special risks for al-Mansur’s domestic position. Revolts had under his predecessors been commonplace in sixteenth-century Morocco. In fact, al-Mansur was returning from the suppression of a rebellion in Fez when Wuld Kirinfil arrived and spurred renewed consideration of a Saharan venture.1033 Consequently, the extended absence and potential loss of loyal, effective troops was not a light matter.”

Source: MOROCCO IN THE EARLY ATLANTIC WORLD, 1415-1603 A Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Georgetown University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History By Earnest W. Porta, Jr., J.D

It was Common for Magrib Berbers to marry Soninke women



“Scholars have attributed Ghana’s political hegemony to the ruler’s ability to unify Soninke villages and maintain a cohesive confederacy of chiefs under the command of one king. Ongoing raids launched by North African Berbers searching for gold and slaves also served to maintain Ghana’s unification.”

“Though many North African groups raided the kingdom throughout its existence, Ghana developed alliances with one Berber people—the Magrib. Many Magrib Berbers established trade relations with Ghana chiefs and lived among their allies. Several trading posts were established in the Soninke villages near Kumbi, the main center of Ghana, as well as in the south and north of the Gambia River. (Levtzion 1973:24, 28, 104).”

“Other major Ghana trading posts included in Timbuktu, Wagadugu, Gundiuru, and Awdaghustic. Magrib Berbers traded horses, brass, copper, glassware, beads, leather, textiles, tailored clothing, and preserved food to the Soninke in exchange for gold, ivory, cloth, and preserved food to the Soninke in exchange for gold, ivory, cloth, pepper, kola nuts, and sometimes slaves.”

“In these trading centers, it became common for Magrib Berbers to marry Soninke women. Furthermore, the alliances between Ghana chiefes and Magrib Berbers helped Ghana retain its domination over Malinke and Songhay villages; when revolts erupted, the Magrib Berbers assisted their allies. By A.D. 1076 the Magrib Berbers demanded that the Soninke people convert to Islam (Levtzion 1973: 44; Oliver and Fagan 1975:166). The King of Ghana complied, yet many villages resisted.”

“The pressures to convert increased when Sanhaja tribes from various regions of North Africa united in a religious movement to convert people to Islam and attack those who resisted. The Sanhaja, like the Berbers, was a racially mixed Hamitic people, who were unified under the religious Almoravid Movement, centered in Morocco. Unlike the Magrib Berbers, the Sanhaja were enemies of Ghana and took over some of the Magrib Berber trading posts.”

“Many Soninke villages converted to Islam as a means of averting Islamic attacks. This did not stop the Sanhaja from demanding tribute from Ghana villages and taking people as slaves. By A.D. 1250 the Almoravid Movement had provoked conflict and religious factionalism in the Kingdom of Ghana (Levtzion 1973:51; Oliver and Fagan 1975:169). Most Ghana chiefs refused to convert to Islam and instead chose to end the Confederacy.

“Many successor states emerged out of Ghana. By this time a large part of West Africa had converted to Islam.”

“The Soso, who had been conquered by Ghana, emerged as the most powerful kingdom. They conquered many Soninke villages and also began preying upon the Malinke villages, which were not unified under one kingdom. Some Malinke villages were able to retain their independence and were subsequently unified by a man called Sundjata. Sundjata then launched a successful military campaign against the Soso people and replaced them as the military power of West Africa.”

“By A.D. 1250 Malinke chiefs had united in a confederacy, with Sundjata as their king (Oliver and Faga 1975:169). Sundjata’s clan, the Keith, became the ruling family, and his confederacy evolved into the Kingdom of Mali. The power of the Kingdom of Mali expanded, and it came to encompass the entire region that had formerly been Ghana. The Malinka also conquered the peoples from the Kingdom of Songhay.”

Source: Recovering History, Constructing Race: The Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans By Martha Menchaca