THE MORISCOS AND MUDEJARES


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...Louis IV led the sixth crusade in 1248, the same year as the fall of Seville....He then led the seventh and final Crusade in 1254.

By the mid-thirteenth century the Christian army had conquered virtually the whole of Spain with the exception of the kingdom of Granada. Many of the Muslims who were not killed in the fighting, and who could not bear to work as slaves for the Christians, made their way to Granada. This became the last defiant stronghold of the Muslims and the practice of Islam continued to thrive there for another two and a half centuries after the fall of Seville. The Muslims of Granada regarded all those who had chosen to remain in the territories occupied by the Christians with contempt. They were regarded in no better light by the Christians, who tolerated them only because of their economic usefulness, and who eventually eliminated them in spite of it.

Once the Christians gained power in the land, the story of their subsequent persecution of the Jews and Muslims is not a pleasant one. Navarrte speaks of 2,000,000 Jews and 3,000,000 Muslims having been at various times expelled from Spain, and he is copied by Gil Gonzales Davila, the official historiographer of Philip III and IV. The institution which was largely responsible for these expulsions was the Spanish Inquisition. Its activities were so horrifying that the majority of historians have chosen to mention it very briefly and to pass on to other matters. Any attempt to cover in detail what amounted to the genocide of two distinct and large communities in Spain is an almost impossible task. The whole story can never be told.

... In order to disguise the fact that Islam once flourished in Spain, the Muslims who once lived there have been given different names by the Catholic Church, in the same way that the Paulicians were given different names whenever they appeared in another country in order to cover the unity of the movement. A brief summary of the terminology used to describe the Muslims of Spain is necessary at this stage, so that when they are used later on, the different terms will not cause confusion. The most popular synonym for the Muslims is 'the Moors'.

This term is often used by official historians to describe the Muslims either before, during or after their presence in Spain. They are also often referred to as 'the Mudejares' and 'the Moriscos.'These nicknames are indicative of the process of decline and erosion of Islam.

The name 'Mudejar', which originates from the Arab 'mudajjal' was originally used as a term of ridicule for the Muslims who made pacts with the Christians, and even fought their Muslim brothers with the Christians. It was also used to describe all the Muslims who remained in the North after first wave of persecution by the Church, and who worked for the Christian nobles on their large country estates....

When, in the next stages of persecution, the Mudejares were eventually all forcibly baptised, they became known as Moriscos, the 'Christian Moors'. This term was also used to describe the Muslims in the South who, after the fall of Granada in 1492, were also forcibly baptised.

These changes in name, therefore, indicate the main stages in the process by which Islam was watered down until it was no longer a reality in Spain...

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Copyright © 1996, 1997 Dr. A. Zahoor
All Rights Reserved
Excerpts from Ahmad Thomson's book on the subject of Islam in Spain, 1989.
"Islam in Andalus," Revised Edition by A. Thomson and M. Ata'ur-Rahim, Ta-Ha Publishers, London, 1996.


http://cyberistan.org/islamic/moriscos.html

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