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SAMPLE ARTICLE FOR ENDNOTES AND REFERENCES WITHIN BODY OF THE ARTICLE Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Muslims in Spain: Cultural, Economic, and Geographical Comparisons of Marranos and Moriscos
Abraham Lavender and Mohamed Aburadi
Florida International University
Students of crypto Judaic studies are aware, in varying degrees, of the history of the Jews in Spain, the interactions of the three mono-theistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Spain’s “Golden Age” from 711 C.E. to 1100 C.E. when Muslims from Morocco con-quered Spain and instituted religious tolerance, the reconquering of Spain by the Christians, the Spanish-Catholic Inquisition, and, for Jews, forced conversions to Christianity or expulsion from the country that had been their homeland for over one thousand years, even before Spain became Christian. Less is generally known about the place of Muslims in all of these situations, but an understanding of the comparisons between Jews and Muslims is necessary.
Jews in Spain: From Biblical and/or Roman Times to 711 C.E.
Scholars still debate the time of the first Jewish contact with, and possible settles in, Spain. Possibilities are that (1) Biblical Tarshish, dating to the time of Solomon (10th century B.C.E.), was in southern Spain, and might have had a small community of Jewish traders (Ezekiel 27: 12): “Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the mul-titude of all kinds of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs”; (2) that Jews living in the Roman Empire, before the destruction of the Second Temple of Soloman in 70 C.E., made their way to Spain, especially after Spain fell under Roman control at the end of the Punic War (202 B.C.E.), or (3) during early Christianity when Paul stated his intention (probably to try to convert Jews to Christianity) to visit Spain: “Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company” (Romans, 15:24). There were also Christian communities in Spain by this time period, and decrees had been issued against Jews, e.g., decrees from the Council of Elvira in the first quarter of the 300s, forbidding marriages between Jews and Christians. Nevertheless, as Assis writes (p. 9), indications are that Jews had good relations with non-Jewish populations, and were integrated into the social and economic life of Spain. Regardless of when Jewish communities in Spain began, it is evident that Jews were peacefully accepted in the larger society of pre-Christian Spain.
The major change for Jews, for the worse, began when the Visigoth “barbarians” began to rule Spain in the early 400s, and especially in 587 when the Visigoth royal family converted from Arianism to Catholicism (Katz, p 10). The state and the Catholic church now acted as one. At various times and in varying degrees, Jews could not hold public office, children of mixed Catholic-Jewish marriages were forced to practice Catholicism, Jews could not have sexual intercourse with Christian women, children of crypto-Jews were taken from their parents to be raised as Catholics, Jewish rites (including circumcision and Sabbath observance) were forbidden, Catholics aiding Jews were punished (usually economically or by excommunication), and in 613 C.E. Jews were forced to convert to Christianity or go into exile (many later returned to Judaism and/or to Spain). The enforcement of these various restrictions varied greatly, with some nobles, and many Visigoths who had remained Arians, not taking them seriously. Nevertheless, under the Visigoth Catholics treatment of the Jews gradually worsened over time.
Jews and Muslims Together in Spain: 711 C.E. to 1492 C.E.
Separated by only eleven miles across the Strait of Gibraltar, there undoubtedly were many informal Berber/Arab Muslim inter-actions with Spain. But, in 711 C.E. the Arab and/or Berber Muslims crossed the narrow strait from Morocco and easily and rapidly con-quered Spain, except for a small largely inaccessible region in the Picos de Europa region of northern Spain. Jews had been treated ter-ribly by the Christians, in what had been their homeland even before it became Christian, so in 711 many welcomed the Muslims, hoping for better treatment (Stillman, p. 53). Things were not perfect, but in general treatment was so much better that Jews not only welcomed the Muslims, but became partners with them in administering various areas of Spain. The improved conditions even encouraged Jews from other parts of Europe and from Muslim lands (from neighboring Mo-rocco to Babylon) to move to Spain (Assis, p. 12). Sachar writes that Western Christendom was “all but petrified in feudal immobility,” and that “During the eighth and ninth centuries, several thousand Moroccan and Egyptian Jews joined the far larger numbers of Moslem Berbers who migrated [mostly] to Andalusia” (pp. 3-4). Muslims, Christians, and Jews even intermarried, and a fair number of Spanish Christians converted to Islam or Judaism.
However, both Christian and Muslim writings do suggest that the Jews aided the Muslims, and the “the idea of the fifth-column Jewish community letting the Muslim invaders into a city and holding it for them afterwards became a common accusation against the Jews” (Clarke, p. 115). S.M. Imamuddin even imagined “the Jews of Visi-gothic Spain waiting for the Muslims to come and rescue them” (Clarke, p. 200). Assis cautions, however, that blaming the Jews for the defeat of Christian Spain is an exaggeration (p. 44).
The relatively great freedom then experienced by Jews, resulting from the increased cultural diversity of different Jewish cultures now meeting in Spain (especially from Babylon), the rich cultural diversity which the Muslims brought to Spain (including the ancient Greek culture, preserved by Arabic scholars and brought to Europe for the first time by the Arab Muslims), the Arabic academic specialization in grammar and style, the introduction of rational philosophy, the im-portance given to mathematics (the Hebrew assignment of numerical values to words fit right into this emphasis), and Arabic contributions to medical knowledge and other contributions, encouraged the Se-phardic Jews to become heavily integrated into the Arabic culture. Arabic became the major intellectual language of the Spanish Jews, in science, philosophy, poetry, medicine, and business. Christian Spain was strongly influenced by “the daily presence among them of Muslims and of Jews trained in Arabic culture” (Hilgarth, p. 161).
The Arabic encouragement of medical knowledge interestingly gave the word two outstanding physicians who were also famous philosophers, out of the same town, born only nine years apart, one Jewish, Moses Ben Maimon (later Maimonides), and one Muslim, Ibn Rushd, best known in Europe as Averroes (his Arabic name was Abu Il-Walid Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Rusd). Maimonides, born in Cordoba in1135, was a physician, and is considered one of the greatest Jewish philosophers of all time. Ibn Rusd, born in Cordoba in 1126, wrote many famous original works, especially in philosophy and medicine. Maimonides wrote mostly in Arabic (a number of Jewish philosophers wrote in Arabic, but frequently with Hebrew characters).As Stillman has written, “Judeo-Arabic may be consider-ed the premier Diaspora language. For most of the last 1400 years, Arabic, in its Jewish form, was spoken by more Jews than any other language. From the seventh until the end of the seventeenth centuries, the majority of the world’s Jews lived in the Dar-al-Islam (Domain of Islam)(2005, pp. 41-42).
Jews were also active as translators involving Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, and Latin, thus played an important role in introducing great works in Arabic to European intellectuals. In addition, many prominent Jews adopted Arabic surnames, including the famous Abulafia family (Abu is Arabic for “father of”). Ibn, the Arabic word for son (related to the Hebrew Ben), also was used by over fifty prominent Spanish Jews as part of their surnames.
During the centuries of Islamic rule in Spain, however, because of both conflicts in Spain and political and military actions in North Africa between different Arab groups, different Islamic groups con-trolled Spain at different times. The ascetic Almoravides had most of the power for a long period in al-Andulus (Arabic for Andalusia in Southern Spain), but over time had pragmatically moderated their positions. By 1172, however, the Almohads, a fundamentalist Islamic group, had gained control of much of Muslim Spain, and both Jews (dhimmis) and Christians began to suffer restrictions. Maimonides’ family, for example, fled to Morocco and then to Egypt (with a more tolerant Islam) by 1168, and he died there in 1204. Ibn Rushd’s father, chief judge of Cordoba under the Almoravids, was replaced in 1146 by the Almohads. Ibn Rushd got in trouble because of his Aris-totelian views, was exiled, and brought back, but died in Morocco in 1198. In the words of Cantor:
“Between 900 and 1140 Muslim Spain, an extremely diver-sified society ethnically and religiously, but under firm con-trol of Arabic princes and united culturally by Arabic lan-guage and philosophic and scientific learning , flourished intellectually and economically…Then after the renewed invasion of the Iberian peninsula by Berber tribes from the North African Maghreb, who were fundamentalist in re-ligion and race conscious, internal deterioration of Muslim Spain set in during the late twelfth century” (p.185).
Indeed, the Muslims in Spain were “a diverse genetic mixture of Middle East Arabs and Berber tribes” with “divergent and fiercely-held interpretations of Islam” which led to a “perpetual instability” (Read, p. 30). Thomson and ’Ata’ur-Rahim, for example, note that the Almohads, “seeking to sweep away the decadence of sedentary life,” after winning power in 1172 rapidly pushed for “a profound return to the practice of Islam in all its simplicity and depth, especially in the provinces of Andalucia, Granada and Murcia…. Islam flourished as it had when it first came to the Iberian peninsula” (pp. 103, 105). Diversity and change became even stronger in Spain.
In the meantime, however, ever since Muslims had conquered Spain in 711, Christians, with help from France, had continued to try to push the Muslims out of Spain (Reconquista), generally moving from northern Spain southwards. As Jews began to suffer more in the South under fundamentalist Islam, and as Christians regained more power in parts of northern Spain, Jews were again welcomed in the north because they had language skills, cultural knowledge, and pro-fessional and diplomatic skills that the Christians now needed. As a result of these changes, many Jews left Andalusia and moved to the middle and northern areas of Castile and Aragon. The “welcome when needed and kick out when not needed” cycle began again.
“The Almohad invasion of 1146 virtually destroyed Andalusian communities and great centers of Jewish life were restricted to Christian Castile and Aragon, where they flourished…” (Wigoder, p. 566). By 1212, the tide has turned in favor of Christians, and Muslim cities began to fall until 1260 when only Granada remained Muslim.
At least for a while Christians needed the Jewish contributions enough to tone down their anti-Semitism, but Jews were still sus-pected of being allies with Muslims, and Christian anti-Semitism was still serious. Major anti-Semitic riots, with numerous deaths of Jews, took place in some areas and Jewish rights were curtailed in some areas, while in other areas Jews received more rights.
In 1250, Pope Innocent IV issued a papal bull, reconfirming that Jews still had an inferior status. The bull stated that Jews could not build a synagogue without permission, and could not proselyte, associate with, live under the same roof with, eat or drink with, or use the same bath as, Christians. Jews lived almost totally in Juderias, Jewish areas of cities, towns, or villages. Restrictions and violence continued. In 1355, for example, at least 8,000 Jews died in Toledo through famine and war, and many smaller communities were totally destroyed. Persecution, often violent, continued.
On June 4, 1391, a mob attacked the Juderia in Seville and murdered 4,000 Jews: “The gates of the juderia were set on fire and many died. Apostasy was common and Jewish women and children were even sold into slavery with the Muslims” (Schwarzfuchs, p. 76). In Cordova the Juderia was burned down with at least 2,000 deaths, and the murdering spread on to Jaen, Toledo, Valencia, Palma (Majorca), Barcelona, Girona, and Lerida. Hundreds were murdered, and many converted to Catholicism to save their lives. “Many small communities were converted en masse” (p. 76). For those who sur-vived and converted, life remained the same in some ways because they generally lived close to a surviving Jewish community, but this also raised suspicions which would have serious consequences. Women formed an informal education system in the homes to replace the now unaccessible formal education, but practices such as attend-ing church were crucial to decrease suspicions (Melammed, p. 198). Women, as head of the home, played a very important role.
The final end of the Jews in Spain had begun, with the 1391 persecutions building up to 1478 when Ferdinand and Isabella asked and received permission from the Pope to begin the Spanish Inqui-sition, and to the final expulsion or forced conversions of 1492. Some Jews settled in Malaga, Almeria, and Granada in southern Andalusia, and were well treated by the Muslims, but many left Spain. Many Jews did convert to Catholicism, but most of these “conversos” were suspected of not being sincere converts. However, many of the converts married into prominent Old Christian families, including nobility families, and succeeded very well socially and financially. This caused even more hatred toward “the Jews.”
So many of the upper class Jews converted that “the poorer and more devout shop-keepers and artisans” became the majority” (Sachar, p. 59). He also writes that even by the 1420s “perhaps as many as a third of the remaining Jews in Aragon and Castile rushed to yield themselves to a process that already had been wrecking havoc among them for over a century” (p. 71). The Inquisition was also after money, and hence “The rich Jewish conversos were often the first to suffer” (Thomson and ’Ata ’ur-Rahim, p. 122). In 1486, a few con-versos murdered an Inquisitor, and the “wholesale persecution of the Jews and the Muslims in Spain now began in earnest” (p. 119).
On March 31, 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella issued the Edict of Expulsion against the Jews, with rules that all Jews must leave Spain by July 31, 1492. Former followers of Judaism who remained in Spain continued to be treated as insincere converts and suspects, and persecutions continued in Spain.
The Sephardic Jews living in Spain had frequently lived among the Muslims, were less segregated, and generally were much less oppressed than the Ashkenazi Jews living in Christian Europe. They had been “strongly influenced by Arabic and Greek philosophy and science” (Alfassa, p. 161), and had helped the Arabs introduce ancient Greek knowledge into Europe. They had participated in, and strongly benefitted from, the Golden Age. Fletcher, from one perspective, states that “Islamic Spain would come in time to offer the fruits of a higher civilization to barbarian Europe beyond the Pyrenees. European acceptance of this legacy, hesitant at first and then full-hearted, decisively affected Western civilization” (p. 1). But, a few writers question the “Golden Age” concept. For example, Yehouda Shenhav refers to a Golden Age “that existed or ostensibly existed” (p. 148). There also has been a strong debate over “con-vivencia” (the three religions living together in harmony).
Although not perfect, the relative religious tolerance and limited interfaith interactions that has been available in Spain during the Golden Years of tolerant Islamic leaders helped lead to what the late eminent Sephardic scholar Daniel J. Elezar described as “the Sephar-dic Way – classic rather than romantic, Mediterranean rather than Eastern European, cosmopolitan rather than parochial…the involve-ment of Jews in the world without sacrificing their Jewishness” (p. 1). Elazar contrasts this with the Ashkenazi Judaism which developed in Eastern Europe, with severe Christian persecution, rigid segregation, ghettos, and pogroms. Elazar describes the Sephardic perspective:
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, contribution of Sephardic Jewry was its approach to the theory and practice of Judaism. Iberian Jewry reworked the Jewish materials it inherited from Eretz Israel, Babylonia and North Africa into classical forms, thought through and organized syste-matically, whether in halakhah, philosophy or mysticism, to offer a balanced theory and practice, not given to excess, seriously Jewish, yet worldly and cosmopolitan. Classic Sephardic Judaism was designed by men who lived in the larger world and were active in its affairs, most of whom wanted a Judaism no less rigorous than their Ashkenazi brethren in its essentials, but flexible in its interpretations and applications. Their Judaism would play an isolating function only where critically necessary and not prevent Jews from playing their role in what had been in Spain prior to 1391 a multi-religious society.
Elazar notes that this Sephardic perspective did not involve a severe rupture with tradition, but also did not “turn tradition into something frozen, or worse, reshaped by a deliberate ideology of rigidity” (p. 4). Instead, there was the belief that “they must formally be faithful to the traditions of their fathers although reserving to themselves the right to determine how they individually will maintain those traditions” (p. 4).
No More Jews – The Muslims Stay, For a While
In the meantime, as mentioned earlier, Muslims had also begun to be victims of increased persecution as Christians from northern Spain reconquered parts of Spain. Christians gave more importance to the concept of Mudejar: “A Muslim who, after the surrender of a territory to a Christian ruler, remained there without changing religion, and was in a relationship of vassalage under a Christian king” (Harvey, p. 2). The term “was originally used by the true Muslims as a term of ridicule for those Muslims who made pacts with the Trinitarian Christians, and even fought their Muslim brothers with the aid of Christians,” but it later became a neutral term (Thomson and ’Ata ’ur-Rahim, p. 109). They generally adopted a policy “to live discreetly and unperceived” (Harvey, p. 68).
But, Muslims who refused to surrender, and were defeated, were generally expelled, with the place of refuge “almost always [being] somewhere in the Kingdom of Granada” (Harvey, p. 12), the Muslim stronghold in southern Spain. In 1264, the Revolt of the Mudejars occurred in the Guadalquivir River area (from Arabic al-wadi al-kabir, the Great River) in the general areas of Seville and Cordova, the last in a series of battles “to recover their ancestral homes.” The revolt failed, and “Most of the Muslim population, if they survived, had to leave, and these areas were settled by reliable Christians, often from far away” (Harvey, p. 54). Mosques became churches. (The major exception was the small town of Hornachos (p. 71), an isolated area in Extremadura, about eighty miles north of Seville. At the end of the 1500s, the village had more than 10,000 inhabitants, and was the most important Morisco center in Spain. In 1609, the former-Mudejars-now-Moriscos were expelled, and most settled in Morocco).
The fall of Granada, the last Muslim area of Spain, ended all Christian fears of Jews and Muslims joining together against Spain. As Schwarzfuchs writes, “When the last bastion of Muslim power in Spain fell…the urge toward complete religious unity of the kingdom was reinforced” (2007, p. 79).
The conquest of Muslim Granada, the expulsion of the Jews, and the goal of Columbus’ trip to find wealth and converts in new lands, all in 1492, were related. Spain’s goal was to become a one-religion world power, and to expand that one religion, Catholicism. The new Christian elite power in Granada was encouraging the Muslim elite to emigrate to North Africa, hoping “that the Muslim masses would not be able to organize” (Harvey, p. 328). By 1498, a large number of Christian immigrants were moving into Granada. Neighborhoods were being segregated. Many restrictions were being put on Muslims with a religious rationale, but the effects were social and economic.
The first conflict was over elches, Christians who had converted to Islam. Their right to remain Muslims had been protected in the Capitulations (Clause 30), but Christian leaders were upset with those who had rejected Christianity and now practiced Islam. Harvey notes that this “attitude toward Christian renegades was an exact mirror image of the Muslim attitude to Muslim renegades. Under no circum-stances “would Islamic law condone a Muslim exercising his free will and becoming a Christian” (p. 331). From a pragmatic perspective, the negative reaction toward Christian clerics was even stronger if the conversions were forced, as with crypto-Jews and crypto-Muslims. Cardinal Francisco Jimenez de Cisneros was not sympathetic to the Muslims because, as Harvey describes it, of his “forceful personality and aggressively militant Christianity” (p. 329).
Cisneros with his “stubborn intransigence” drove the Muslims of Granada into armed insurrection, destroying efforts to establish a modus vivendi between Catholics and Muslims. Others, who had trust with the Muslims, were able to restore order without great bloodshed, but the conflict had effects in the nearby Alpujarras mountains, with local Muslim revolts. But, the Catholic forces defeated the Muslim forces, generally area by area, with some of the Muslims converting to Christianity as part of peace settlements, until only Granada was left. “Granada was now on its own…Throughout 1490 and 1491 the noose tightened on the city: famine became more and more acute as supplies were systematically cut off. On 25 November 1491 Ibn al-Mulih signed the documents of surrender” (Kennedy, p. 303).
Catholic leaders used the Muslim uprisings to renege on the ca-pitulations of 1491. Muslims who had participated in the revolts were pardoned if they converted to Christianity: “All went peacefully, and they all turned Christian, up to fifty thousand souls. All the mosques of Granada, both large and small, were consecrated and turned into churches” (Harvey, p. 335). The leaders also modified or rescinded the Mudejar status in Granada and some other places. Mudejars were Muslims who had been allowed to continue living in Andalusia as Muslims, but that was to end in 1499 in Granada, by far the major Muslim area, and to end in other locations later, with forcible con-versions being the practice in Aragon and Valencia in the 1520s.
The Capitulatons of 1491, by which control of Granada, the last Muslim area, was transferred to Spain, had a number of clauses (Harvey, pp. 314-321). Clause 5 stipulated that the son of the Muslim leader (Boabdil; in Arabic, Muhammad XII Abu’ Aabd Allan) would be returned. Most of the clauses were to ensure that Muslims who remained in Spain would have religious freedom and be judged according to sharia law, not be forced to become Christian, and not be involuntary conscripted for military service. Jews were also the subject of some clauses: not have power or command over the Moors, not be collectors of any tax, and that “those who do not become Christians cross to North Africa within three years counting from December 8 of this year”.
On November 29, 1492, the treaty was ratified by Ferdinand and Isabella, with solemnswearing to God that Muslims would have full liberty of faith, work, and trade. In 1499, the promises were unilater-ally revoked, and the enforcement of the Inquisition was under the power of the Catholic clergy. Queen Isabella personally decreed that all Muslims must convert to Christianity or leave Spain, and many Arabic books were burned in Granada. There was a Muslim rebellion in Granada from 1499 to 1501, and in 1502 official toleration of Islam in Castile was rescinded (in Aragon the large Muslim population con-tinued to be tolerated). This toleration would be rescinded in 1526, following the Revolt of the Brotherhoods in Valencia.
With Queen Isabella’s 1499 decree that all Muslims must con-vert to Christianity or leave Spain, large numbers of Moriscos did convert. But, they continued to speak Arabic or Berger languages, andwear Moorish clothing, contributing to the general suspicion that the Moriscos were insincere converts and secret Muslims. But, the goal was still forced conversions in Granada. “It is estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 Muslims were forcibly baptized in the mass baptism of Granada begun in 1499...The last community of Muslims in Spain was thus smashed and fragmented within a very short period of time” (Thomson and ’Ata’ur-Rahim, pp. 168-169).
By 1501, it was assumed that the kingdom of Granada had be-come a realm of Christian Moors – the Moriscos (Kamen, p. 105). Persecution intensified, including the taking of children from their parents to be raised as Catholics. In Castile, for example, “all males under the age of fourteen and all females under the age of twelve were separated from their families and handed over to the Roman Catholic Church to be brought up as Trinitarian Christians” (Thomson and ‘Ata ’ur-Rahim, p. 174). After Granada was converted, the force was extended to Castile, and areas of northern Spain. As Lea writes, “Thus was Valencia Christianised and pacified; the Moriscos, as we may now call them, were disarmed, the pulpits used by their alfaquies were torn down, their Qur’ans were burnt and orders were given to instruct them completely in the faith, orders as we shall see, perpetually repeated and never executed” (p. 95). But, just as with the Jews, not all was over. As Lea writes, “The clerical writers of this period marvel at the ‘devilish and inexpugnable obstinacy’ with which the Muslims held to their beliefs, and resisted the ‘kindly efforts made for their salvation’” (p. 110).
Spain was becoming an international power, but it was under-populated and weak, and it now had two large groups whose religious loyalty it questioned. Jews and Muslims were “the most industrious classes in Spain,” (Alfassa, p. 27), but their successes only increased envy and prejudice. Limpieza de sangre (purity of blood) was invoked against both Jews and Muslims, closing off many important positions. Even some “valid” Old Christians sometimes had to prove that they “had no Jewish or Muslim ancestry, [that they] were not contaminated by even a single drop of non-Christian blood” (Zerubavel, p. 99).
In 1567, King Phillip II issued a decree ending all toleration of Moorish culture, banning Arabic or Barber languages, prohibiting Moorish dress, ordering the destruction of all books and documents in Arabic script, requiring Moriscos to adopt Christian names, and requiring that Morisco children be educated only by Catholic priests.
Phillip II’s new approach to Moriscos led to a rebellion of Mo-riscos in the former Kingdom of Granada. The Morisco Revolt, also known as the War (or Revolt) of Las Alpujarras, from 1568 to1571, led to the repudiation of Christianity, and the proclamation of the reestablishment of the Caliphate of Corboda. The Muslims were defeated in 1571, even though Muslim troops had increased from 4,000 to 25,000 (with help from Berber and Turkish soldiers). The Alpujarras rebellion was the last desperate attempt by the Muslims of Spain to preserve their faith. The Inquisition forces defeated the men and “had four hundred women and children butchered in cold blood” because their captors wanted them for themselves, while forty-five hundred others were preserved as slaves. “It has been estimated that 60,000 Moriscos were killed during the mass elimination of Muslims in Southern Spain between 1567 and 1571” (Lea, p. 255).
With the defeat of the Muslims in 1571, nearly all of the Mus-lims of Alpujarras (the mountainous area south of Granada) were deported to Castile and western Andalusia, and Catholics from northern Spain were brought in to repopulate about 270 villages and hamlets which had been abandoned by the exiled Muslims. Philip II dispersed about 80,000 Muslims from Granada to other parts of Spain, expecting the Granada Muslims to be assimilated to the areas where they were now a distinct minority. In many cases, there was an opposite effect, with the strong Muslims from Granada, angry about their treatment, bringing weak Muslims back to Islam.
On September 22, 1609, the Edict of Expulsion was published, because the king had decided to expel all the remaining Moriscos to Barbary. About 15,000 were exiled within three months, while thou-sands of others fled into the mountains, with many of these suffering death by Inquisition forces. So ended the Muslim power in Spain.
Most of the Muslim exiles went to other Muslim areas in North Africa (especially Morocco), and contributed greatly to those areas.
Jewish exiles did not have a nation to welcome them, but some went to northern Italy and Amsterdam, among the few welcoming Christian areas. But, as Haddad notes (1991), “the Jews were wel-comed when they were run out of Spain,” and most of them went to Muslim areas, stretching from Morocco across North Africa to the Levant and on to Turkey. The largest number went to Turkey, wel-comed by Sultan Beyazit II (Ottoman Empire) who criticized Ferdi-nand and Isabella for exiling such “skilled and grateful” subjects (Brink-Danan, p. 9). Elazar also writes of the Ottoman Empire that “It was there that the Hispanic Sephardim, the Spaniolim, had their Silver Age, which flourished as long as the Ottoman Empire flour-ished and declined as the empire declined” (p. 2). Ironically, the decline of the Ottoman Empire (and the Mediterranean) was largely because of the other significant event in 1492: the western European Christian discovery and conquest of the Americas which brought much power and significant new wealth to Western Europe.
The numbers of Jews or Muslims who were killed because of the Inquisition, or went into exile, or seriously converted to Christianity, or practiced in secrecy, are still debated. In this brief article, we have referred to various numbers, but they should be read cautiously. Gitlitz, summarizing diverse results (with a1491 population of Spain as between seven and nine million), estimates 125,000 to 200,000 Jews in 1491; 225,000 pre-1492 conversos; 25,000 to 50,000 converts in 1492; and 100,000 to 160,000 expelled from Spain in 1492 (p. 73-76). Patai (p. 79) concluded that the world Sephardic population went from 1,700,000 in 1300 to 1,000,000 in 1500, partly a result of Spain. Carr (p. ix) concludes that about 350,000 Muslims were exiled between 1609 and 1614, after many had been killed, exiled, “vol-untarily” left earlier, or went in hiding. A 2008 DNA study (Adams et al.) concluded, using a sample of 1,140 males from Iberia, that 19.8% of the males in Spain today have a Jewish ancestry and 10.6% have a North African (mostly Arab or Berber) ancestry on the male line. Some of the Jewish ancestries might date back earlier (e.g., the Phoenicians), but the numbers are at least suggestive. Both Jews and Muslims were subject to the limpieza de sangre (purity of blood) laws, with “polluted” blood, but many still married Christians.
In 1660-61, not long after Spain expelled its last Muslims in 1609, Baruch Spinoza, of an exiled Portuguese Jewish family, began Ethics, strongly opposing traditional religion; in 1689, John Locke, in Letters Concerning Toleration, wrote “neither Pagan nor Mahometan, nor Jew, ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the common-wealth because of his religion”; in 1791 the U.S. Bill of Rights stated that governments should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (words popularized by Thomas Jefferson). A new age was struggling to begin.
Adams, Susan M., Joao Lavinha, Karl Skorecki, Doron M. Behar, Mark A. Jobling, et al. December 12, 2008. “The Genetic Legacy of Reli-gious Diversity and Intolerance: Paternal Lineages of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula.” American Journal of Humana Genetics, 83, pp. 725-736.
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In the above map, the four solid red lines show the dividing lines between Christian areas (above a specific line) and Muslim areas (below a specific line) for four dates: 711, when Muslims conquered all of Spain except the small area in northern Spain, Picos de Europa; 1050; 1150; and 1250. The Christian reconquest from north to south was completed in 1609. The 711 line is from McJoynt, and the others are from Fletcher. The locations are those in this article, plus Fermoselle, the topic of Milgrom’s article in this volume (pp. 7-34).
Dr. Abe Lavender, conductingMohamed Aburadi, in front
research in Barcelona, Spainof JOSPIC-J’s office, FIU
Ashkenazim and Sephardim/Mizrahim Population Estimates
The 1170-1970 numbers are from Patai (1991, p. 79), based partly on Arthur Ruppin’s data of 1931. The 2010 total population is from Sergio Della Pergola (World Jewish Population, 2010, North American Jewish Data Bank). The 2010 percents are estimates based on different data bases. The vast majority of Sephardim/Mizrahim now live in Israel, have a relatively high birthrate, and form the majority of Israel’s Jewish population.
Special thanks to….
Elmer Rodriguez, from Lima, Peru, student at Florida International University, JOSPIC-J Research and Technical Assistant, with his friend Thomas Jefferson in Washington D.C.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802
Gaston Rossato, born in Cordoba, Argentina, graduate of Florida International University, JOSPIC-J Administrative Assistant