The converted Muslims of Spain

Morisco cultural resistance and engagement with Islamic knowledge (1502–1610)

Authored by: Mercedes García-Arenal

Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415691321
eBook ISBN: 9781315794273
Adobe ISBN: 9781317744023


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It would be difficult to find a group of Muslims in early modern Europe of more interest to the social or cultural historian than those known as the “Moriscos,” i.e. the Muslims converted to Catholicism by Royal decree who lived in Spain through the entire sixteenth century until their expulsion in 1609–14. This was a group which was subjected to strenuous evangelizing and assimilating efforts by mainstream society but which was at the same time the victim of marginalization and stigmatization and, eventually, a process of expulsion with all the features of ethnic cleansing. Most contemporary European readers will feel a sense of deep discomfort when reading about the treatment of the Moriscos, reminiscent as a process and as a cultural and political problem of much of what occurs today in reaction to the immigration of Muslims into Europe.

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