Media reports have named one of the attackers in the San Bernardino massacre as Tashfeen Malik, the wife of Syed Rizwan Farook – a Chicago-born U.S. citizen of Pakistani origin. The pair died in a hail of police bullets on December 2, following an attack at the Inland Regional Center in California that killed 14 persons. Malik (27) and Farook (28) are said to be the parents of a six-month-old daughter.
According to reports, Malik and Farook were married in Saudi Arabia while the couple was on pilgrimage at Mecca. Malik entered the U.S. with a K-1 visa provided by the State Department following a supposedly rigorous screening process. Since the attack, it emerged that Malik had pledged her allegiance to the Islamic State. Showing prowess with firearms, she exchanged fire with police with an AR-15 style rifle and shot from her vehicle while in flight. Investigators are looking into the radical associations she and Farook had with jihadists in the US and abroad.
Whether the name used by the dead female terrorist was her real identity has yet to be clarified.
The name “Tashfeen Malik” was the nom de guerre for a male warrior from the earliest days of Islam, one of the earliest jihadis. Known to Muslims as “تاشفين ملك الموحدين” Tashfeen Malik Al-Muahideen, translated into English: Tafhseen King of the Muslims and the conqueror of the West. Yusuf ibn Tashfin reigned 1061 – 1106) as leader of the Moroccan Almoravid empire. Co-founder of the city of Marrakech, he had gained a reputation as a cunning and charismatic leader even before going to Spain to promote the Islamization of the West.
Yusuf ibn Tashfin earned his sobriquet when he led Muslim forces at the Battle of Zallaqa or Sagrajas in Spain in 1086 AD. The Battle of Sagraja is also called az-Zallaqah, Zalaca or Zallaqa (Arabic: معركة الزلاقة), which means “slippery ground.” It gained the name because Muslim warriors slipped on soil that had been dampened by the blood of Christian warriors.
Alfonso VI of Castile
Tashfin was met in battle by King Alfonso VI of Castile, who came with 2,500 troops, including 1,500 cavalry of whom 750 were knights. Before joining battle, Tashfin sent a message to Alfonso in which he demanded conversion to Islam or payment of the jizya head-tax that is imposed by Islam on Christians and Jews. Alfonso decided to fight instead. Of the three Muslim divisions, Tashfin led a division that encircled Alfonso and his men. When the Christians panicked, Tashfin ordered his division to attack and finished them off. Reputedly, only 500 Castillian men escaped with their lives. At the very least, one half of the Castilians were lost. Among the dead were the counts Rodrigo Muñoz and Vela Oveguez. Alfonso himself sustained an injury that caused him to limp for the rest of his life.
Christian and Muslim kingdoms in Iberia, 11th century AD
Losses for the Almoravid Muslims were high. While the battle was a considerable victory for the Muslims, they were not able to meet their goal of seizing Toledo – the capital of Castile. However, the advance of the Christians was stemmed for several generations. For centuries, battles raged between Muslims and Christians in the Iberian Peninsula until 1492 when the fall of the Kingdom of Granada to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain signified the end of Muslim rule that had been in place since 711 AD.
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