Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain by Matthew Carr

By Matthew Carr

Blood and religion is a riveting chronicle of the expulsion of Muslims from Spain within the early seventeenth century. In April 1609, King Philip III of Spain signed an edict denouncing the Muslim population of Spain as heretics, traitors, and apostates. Later that 12 months, the whole Muslim inhabitants of Spain was once given 3 days to go away Spanish territory, on risk of death.In the brutal and worrying exodus that undefined, whole households and groups have been obliged to desert houses and villages the place that they had lived for generations, leaving their estate within the palms in their Christian acquaintances. through 1613, an envisioned 300,000 Muslims were faraway from Spanish territory.

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Its basic principle was defined in the thirteenth-century legal code known as the Siete Partidas (Seven-Part Code) drawn up by the Castilian king Alfonso X, which declared that “the Moor should live among the Christians in the same manner as . . ” It prohibited Muslims from building mosques in Christian towns or engaging in public acts of Islamic worship, but they were permitted to follow their religion in their own communities. A similar code drawn up by James I of Aragon for the Mudejars of the Uxó Valley in the thirteenth century went even further:We desire that all Muslims should continue under their sunna [Islamic religious laws] in their marriages and in all other matters.

4 The defence of the emirate was further undermined by a vacillating and collaborationist leadership that was often more concerned with securing its property and privileges than resisting the invader. These weaknesses were epitomised by the Nasrid ruler Mohammed XII, known to the Spanish as Boabdil, who alternated between mostly ineffective bouts of defiance and secret intrigues with the Christian enemy. The absence of assistance from North Africa sealed the emirate’s fate. One by one its towns and cities fell before the Christian advance, until at last Ferdinand and Isabella’s armies stood at the gates of the fabled Nasrid capital of Granada itself.

Some ecclesiastical writers refuted Muslim claims that Muhammad had ascended to heaven in the company of angels and declared that his body had been eaten by dogs or swine. Such polemics also circulated through Iberia, and some of them were specifically produced for a Spanish readership. ” Though some Spanish Muslims referred to themselves as Moors, the term was generally pejorative when used by Christians, and it acquired a range of negative cultural and religious associations that were often counterposed with the virtuousness and superiority of Christianity.

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