Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Day Worth Remembering: The Spanish Inquisition and the Moors

Four hundred years ago today, King Philip III signed an order to expel 300,000 Moors who had converted from Islam to Christianity. The purge happened during the height of the Spanish Inquisition, an ecclesiastical court established to direct attacks against converts from Judaism and Islam. They also tried to wipe out any existing memory of Moorish rule in literature, and architecture.

North African Moors conquered Spain in the 8th century. The Muslim's armies were only expelled around 800 years later. The victory of the Catholic monarchs King Ferdinand of Casstile and Queen Isabella of Aragon likely changed the course of world history and ushered in the consolidation of western dominance and discovery of the "New World". Many Spanish Muslims today argue that the government should apologize for the wrongs committed during the ethnic cleansing campaign 400 years ago.

Unfortunately, the significance of today may be lost on many, but certainly not on those of us who understand how historical events in Spain centuries ago have literally shaped the way we exist today.

Below, is a video illustrating the rise and fall of Islam in Spain.

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