Socialist Spain plans no celebrations for Â throwing out the Moors 400 years ago? Â 400 years of Mohammedan expulsion no reason to celebrate? WTF happened here?
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The defeat of the Moors in 1492 and the expulsion of the Moriscos from 17th-century Spain has become a politically sensitive subject, with Osama bin Laden referring to it in repeated calls for the restoration of al-Andalus, the former Muslim kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula.
Revisionist History, Lipstick on a Pig:
Madrid – On September 22, 1609,Âof Spain’s King Philip IIIÂ launched theÂ of the country’s 300,000 Moriscos, asÂ converts to Christianity were known. The firstexpulsion orders gave the Moriscos of the eastern region of three days to get to the nearest port, with no luggage other than what they could carry, after which delay they faced reprisals including death.
AsÂmarks the 400th anniversary of the launch of the massexpulsion on Tuesday, it is widely regarded as an early example of ethnic cleansing and as a major loss that delayed the country’s development.
The government, however, is not commemorating the event that officialÂ Spain feels “uncomfortable” about, as novelist Juan Goytisolo put it.
Muslims known as Moors ruled parts of the Iberian Peninsula from the 8th to the 15th century.
Contrary to popular belief, most of theÂ Muslim conquerors and settlers were not Arabs, but North African Berbers (), and Â many Spaniards of indigenous origin also converted to Islam.
Muslim Spain, which was known by the name of al-Andalus, was a beacon of high culture in medieval Europe, with its civilization peaking in the 10th century. (The myth of the Mohammedan “Golden Age”, read it here..)
The weakening and divisions among Spain’s Moorish kingdoms facilitated the Christian reconquest of the country, which was completed with the defeat of Granada to Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.
Mohammedan train bombing in Madrid, which brought about Socialist appeasement and pandering…
That same year, the royal couple expelled all Jews from a kingdom they wanted to unite under a homogenous Christian identity.
Muslims were told they could continue practising their faith, but the promise was only kept for a few years’ time. Â In the 16th century, not only were Muslims forced to convert to Christianity, but they were pressured to abandon the Arabic language,Â Muslim dress, customs, and all traces of their original culture.
Yet many of the Moriscos continued to practise Islam in secret, contributing to doubts about the sincerity of their Christian faith and making the Inquisition persecute them.
There were also doubts about their loyalty to the crown, with Philip IIIÂ fearing that they might aid a potential Ottoman invasion ofSpain.
Finally, when the king suffered a de-facto defeat in a war against Dutch Protestants in 1609 and needed to compensate for it with a victory over an internal enemy, the Moriscos were ordered to leave.
The expulsions began inÂ Valencia, where the converts made up as much as 30 per cent of residents.
TheÂ expulsion of the Moriscos fromÂ Spain, which lasted from 1609 to 1614, was one of the biggest in the country’s history, concerning about 4 per cent of the then population.
The exodus took place in brutal conditions, with up to 12,000 people dying in the process.
Most of the Moriscos were shipped to North Africa, where they created wealth and contributed to the culture of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Some even crossed the Sahara to Mali or Benin.
Others leftÂ Spain for France in order to travel on to Istanbul, while some went as far as Latin America.
Some of the Moriscos resorted to different strategies to stay inÂ Spain, such as bribes, marrying Christians with noÂ Muslim ancestors, entering convents or staging insurgencies, which were promptly repressed.
The departure of the Moriscos was “a real economic disaster for several regions,” Arab studies professor Luis Fernando Bernabe said.
The Moriscos were craftsmen, traders, agricultural labourers, experts in irrigation techniques, and the backbone of the silk industry, which was lost after they left. (take that with a grain of salt)
Still today, vestiges of the Moriscos’ rich heritage can be seen in regions such asÂ Valencia, ranging from agricultural fields in mountainous terrain to olive and almond plantations and solid buildings.
Academic congresses, exhibitions, book launches and documentary films are marking the anniversary of theÂ expulsion.
Yet no official expression of regrets is planned, despite Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero having launched the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilizations project to improve understanding between the West and theÂ Muslim world.
After the reconquest,Â Spain began to see itself as having only a Christian cultural identity, and many of today’s Spaniards use the word “Moor” pejoratively to refer to Moroccan immigrants.
TheÂ expulsion of the Moriscos was an act of “civilizational and religious hatred” which created a perception of Muslims as aliens, Arab culture expert Gema Martin Munoz observed.
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Golden Age, Golden Myth