“Hunger is the best sauce in the world.”

–Quote from Don Quixote

The novel Don Quixote is considered the first modern European novel and the greatest one of all times. Cervantes wrote it in two parts. The novel — while many people read it as a funny account of foolish adventurism by the protagonist, Don Quixote — in reality, offers some sober reflection on the Spain of those days.

The book is a commentary on the social, political and cultural environment of the country. Reading of the novel between the lines reveals that the author, Cervantes, is registering a literary protest against Christian fundamentalism that destroyed a synthesis of three different cultures, i.e. Muslim, Jewish and Christian that was made possible under Muslim Spain. Islamophobia and anti-Semitism was the norm in the Spain of 16th and 17th centuries.

While the West takes pride in being the bearer of the enlightenment and civilisation projects, the sad reality is that today once again Europe, including Spain, is preaching Islamophobia with the same old fervour.