The Anti-Caliph of Iberia

An accomplished warrior, and farmer named Roderic embraced Islam to preserve his legacy. He adopted the name “Asad” because of his time as a mercenary in Africa. He encountered lions, and fell in love with them.

However he hated being ruled by the Umayyads, and disliked how converts were treated. So he came up with a clever plan. He spent a great amount of time & money forging his ancestry.

Claiming to be related to Fatima. This endeavor succeeded. Because he was quickly gaining support in Western Iberia. He’d managed to scheme his way into governing this area. Even though there was growing concern about him in the Middle East. Some people claimed he was an agent of Iblis.

A claim that eventually led to war in 729. Anti-Caliph Asad wrote a letter to Caliph Hisham in 728. Telling him that if the claims didn’t stop that Iberia would be liberated. This was ignored.

The armies of Asad waged war in the most cruel fashion imaginable. Doing everything that you could conceive of to break the enemy. Civilians were targeted just as much as Umayyad soldiers. Men, women, and livestock. All were targeted by his men.

He called it the punishment for their sins. The Umayyads were pushed out of Iberia by 745 AD.

Heretical ideas began spreading like wildfire throughout the anti-caliphate. These ideas managed to make it all the way to the center of Persia. Embraced by commoners, and merchants in those areas.

Growing instability within the Umayyad caliphate was very enticing for the Eastern Roman Empire. They’d begin conducting raids in order to gauge the strength of the Caliphate. They were met with very mild resistance.

In the final years of the Umayyads, The Eastern Romans made significant gains. They managed to reclaim most of their former territories in the Middle East, and Africa. Even achieving a moderate amount of control over Mesopotamia for the first time.

However they couldn’t claim Arabia or Persia.

The fractured Islamic World began paying tribute to the reinvigorated Eastern Roman Empire. The Eastern Romans didn’t promote conversion. Which was a shock for many.

The early 800s were an economic growth period for Eastern Rome. But in the West, The Anti-Caliphate was invading the British isles, and Francia. Using the same tactics as before he’d conquer them by 830 AD.

The Islam of the anti-caliphate would become a Shia-Catholic syncretic sect by 926 AD. This sect is tolerated throughout Europe. Even though they’re seen as eccentric fanatics.

The Eastern Roman Empire embraced Islam in 1000AD. When the Emperor married four women. Greek, Kipchak, and two descendants of a Umayyad Caliph.

The anti-caliphate was devoured by the Holy Roman Empire in the 12 to 1300s. But it’s legacy lived on through the sect that formed because of it.

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