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Moriscos (Spanish: , Catalan: , ; Portuguese: mouriscos , ; meaning "Moorish") were former Muslims who converted or were coerced into converting to Christianity, after Spain finally outlawed the open practice of Islam by its sizeable Mudejar population in the early 16th century.

The Moriscos were subject to systematic expulsions from Spain's various kingdoms between 1609 and 1614, the most severe of which occurred in the eastern Kingdom of Valencia. The overall success of the expulsion is subject to academic debate, although the large majority of those which were permanently expelled settled on the western fringe of the Ottoman empire and the Kingdom of Morocco. The last mass prosecution against Moriscos for crypto-Islamic practices occurred in Granada in 1727, with most of those convicted receiving relatively light sentences. From then on, indigenous Islam is considered to have been effectively extinguished in Spain.[1]


  • Demographics 1
    • In the Kingdom of Granada 1.1
    • In the Kingdom of Valencia 1.2
    • In Aragon 1.3
    • In Castile 1.4
    • In the Canary Islands 1.5
  • History 2
    • Huguenot support and the Ottoman threat 2.1
    • Expulsion 2.2
    • Moriscos in Spain after the expulsion 2.3
      • Mercheros 2.3.1
  • Moriscos and Population Genetics 3
  • Literature 4
  • Extended meaning 5
  • Descendants and Spanish citizenship 6
  • See also 7
  • Sources 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


Estimates of Morisco populations at the time of expulsion vary, many estimates being based on the number of recorded expulsion edicts (around 275,000). However, modern studies estimate around one million Moriscos present in Spain at the beginning of the 16th century.[2]

Of the Granada Moriscos, 80,000 are estimated to have dispersed in Andalusia and Castile during the deportation from the Kingdom Granada carried out as a result of the War of the Alpujarras.[3]

In the Kingdom of Granada

Granada was the last Muslim Kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, and by the late 15th century this region had the largest Morisco population, forming the majority of the region's population. Despite the fact that its people were overwhelmingly ethnically Iberian,[4] it remained the least Hispanized region of Spain. The inhabitants of the kingdom spoke the Arabic language fluently, and were well-versed in Islamic doctrine. Granada retained most of the cultural traits of Muslim Al Andalus: including dress, music, gastronomy, and festivals until Moorish customs were prohibited by the Catholic monarchs following their conquest of Granada in 1492. After their second revolt against Catholic oppression, in 1568-71, the Moriscos of Granada were deported to the various regions of the Kingdom of Castile, Extremadura and Andalusia.

In the Kingdom of Valencia

The second largest Morisco population was to be found in the Eastern Kingdom of Valencia,[5] where Moriscos accounted for about a third of the population. Vassals of estate-owners who protected them due to the high tax revenue they provided, Valencian Moriscos were also a relatively distinct population. The indigene community spoke Arabic although they were also fluent in the Castilian and Valencian languages. They were known for their practice of the Islamic faith despite their nominal adherence to the Catholic Church. Among other Morisco communities, they were known for their knowledge of the Qur'an and the Sunna, and Valencia "Alfaquíes" were known to travel throughout Spain as teachers for other Morisco communities. It was the Valencian Moriscos who, due to their coastal location, established relationships with the Ottoman and Barbary ships. Valencia had been the centre of production of Hispano-Moresque ware in the late Middle Ages and pottery continued to be a significant industry.

In Aragon

Moriscos accounted for 20% of the population of Aragon, residing principally on the banks of the Ebro river and its tributaries. Unlike Granada and Valencia Moriscos, they did not speak Arabic but, as vassals of the nobility, were granted the privilege to practice their faith relatively openly.

Places like Muel, Zaragoza, were inhabited fully by Moriscos, the only Old Christians were the priest, the notary and the owner of the tavern-inn. "The rest would rather go on a pilgrimage to Mecca than Santiago de Compostela."[6]

In the Aragonese City of Monzón (Huesca), a peculiar tradition is still celebrated related to the Moriscos known as "El Bautizo del Alcalde" (The baptism of the mayor). It is celebrated on the 4th of December, the festival of Saint Barbara, patron of the City, and involves local politicians throwing chestnuts and sweets from the terraces of the Town Hall to the crowds below gathered in the main square. On the 4 of December 1643 (a few decades after the expulsion), Castilian troops reconquered the castle from the French during the Catalan Revolt. According to local sources, following the capture of the town, its inhabitants chose a Morisco as a mayor and since his Christian faith was doubted, he accepted to be baptized in public after which the town erupted in festivities.

In Castile

The Kingdom of Castile included also Extremadura and much of modern day Andalusia (particularly the Guadalquivir Valley). The proportion of its population in most of its territory was more dispersed except in specific locations such as Villarrubia de los Ojos, Hornachos, Arévalo or the Señorío de las Cinco Villas (in the southwestern part of the province of Albacete), where they were the majority or even the totality of the population. Castile's Moriscos were highly integrated and practically indistinguishable from the Catholic population: They did not speak Arabic and a large number of them were genuine Christians. The mass arrival of the much more visible Morisco population deported from Granada to the lands under the Kingdom of Castile led to a radical change in the situation of Castilian Moriscos, despite their efforts to distinguish themselves from the Granadans. For example, marriages between Castile Moriscos and "old" Christians were much more common than between the former and Granada Moriscos. The town of Hornachos was an exception, not only because practically all of its inhabitants were Moriscos but because of their open practice of the Islamic faith and of their famed independent and indomitable nature. For this reason, the order of expulsion in Castile targeted specifically the "Hornacheros", the first Castilian Moriscos to be expelled. The Hornacheros were exceptionally allowed to leave fully armed and were marched as an undefeated army to Seville from where they were transported to Morocco. They maintained their combative nature overseas, founding the Corsary Republic of Bou Regreg and Salé in modern day Morocco.

In the Canary Islands

The situation of the Moriscos in the Canary Islands was different than in Europe. They were not the descendants of Iberian Muslims but were Muslim Moors taken from Northern Africa in Christian raids (cabalgadas) or prisoners taken during the attacks of the Barbary Pirates against the islands. In the Canary Islands, they were held as slaves or freed, gradually converting to Christianity, with some serving as guides in raids against their former homelands. When the king forbid further raids, the Moriscos lost contact with Islam. They became a substantial part of the population of the islands, reaching one half of the inhabitants of Lanzarote. Protesting their Christianity, they managed to avoid the expulsion that affected European Moriscos. Still subjected to the ethnic discrimination of the pureza de sangre, they could not migrate to the Americas or join many organizations. Later petitions allowed for their equalization with the rest of the Canarian population.


Aljamiado text by Mancebo de Arévalo. c. 16th century[7]

In the medieval period al-Andalus Muslims who had come under Iberian Christian rule, as a result of the incremental Reconquista, were known as Mudéjars. The religious minorities were tolerated as inferiors. The victory of the Catholic Monarchs in the Battle of Granada in 1492 ended the last Islamic rule and al-Andalus territory on the Iberian peninsula. The pre-established Treaty of Granada (1491) guaranteed religious and cultural freedoms for Muslims and Jews in the imminent transition from Emirate of Granada to Province of Castile. The Alhambra Decree (1492) promptly rescinded the Jews' rights, expelling the observant Jews and leaving a population of conversos suspected of secretly practicing Judaism (crypto-Judaism) called Marranos. The Decree set a precedent for upcoming persecution and later expulsion of Muslims and Moriscos.

When Christian conversion efforts on the part of Granada's first archbishop, Hernando de Talavera, were less than successful, Cardinal Jimenez de Cisneros took stronger measures: with forced conversions, burning Islamic texts,[8] and prosecuting many of Granada's Muslims. In response to these and other violations of the Treaty, Granada's Muslim population rebelled in 1499. The revolt lasted until early 1501, giving the Castilian authorities an excuse to void the terms of the Treaty for Muslims. In 1501 the terms of the Treaty of Granada protections were abandoned.

In 1501 Castilian authorities delivered an ultimatum to Granada's Muslims: they could either convert to Christianity or be expelled. Most did convert, in order not to have their property and small children taken away from them. Many continued to dress in their traditional fashion, speak Arabic, and secretly practiced Islam (crypto-Muslims). With the decline of Arabic culture, many used the aljamiado writing system, i.e., Castilian or Aragonese texts in Arabic writing with scattered Arabic expressions. In 1502, Queen Isabella I of Castile formally rescinded toleration of Islam for the entire Kingdom of Castile. In 1508, Castilian authorities banned traditional Granadan clothing. With the 1512 Spanish invasion of Navarre, the Muslims of Navarre were ordered to convert or leave by 1515.

Portrait assumed to be of Leo Africanus (Sebastiano del Piombo, around 1520)

However, King Ferdinand, as ruler of the Kingdom of Aragon, continued to tolerate the large Muslim population living in his territory. Since the crown of Aragon was juridically independent of Castile, their policies towards Muslims could and did differ during this period. Historians have suggested that the Crown of Aragon was inclined to tolerate Islam in its realm because the landed nobility there depended on the cheap, plentiful labor of Muslim vassals.[9] However, the landed elite's exploitation of Aragon's Muslims also exacerbated class resentments. In the 1520s, when Valencian guilds rebelled against the local nobility in the Revolt of the Brotherhoods, the rebels "saw that the simplest way to destroy the power of the nobles in the countryside would be to free their vassals, and this they did by baptizing them." [9] The Inquisition and monarchy decided to prohibit the forcibly baptized Muslims of Valencia from returning to Islam. Finally, in 1526, King Charles V issued a decree compelling all Muslims in the crown of Aragon to convert to Catholicism or leave the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal had already expelled or forcibly converted its Muslims in 1497 and would establish its own Inquisition in 1536).

Faced with the threat of death or expulsion, thousands of Iberian Muslims converted to Christianity and became known as Moriscos. Many of these Moriscos became devout in their new Christian faith,[10] and in Granada, many Moriscos became Christian martyrs, as they were killed by Muslims for refusing to renounce Christianity.[11] In 16th century Grenada, the Moriscos chose the Virgin Mary as their patron hallow and developed Christian devotional literature with a Marian emphasis.[12]

Before the reign of King Philip II, some Moriscos rose to positions of wealth and prominence and wielded influence in society. Moreover, Aragonese and Valencian nobles in particular were interested in keeping their Morisco vassals under personal control; they tried to protect them from Inquisitorial prosecution by advocating patience and religious instruction. However, in 1567 Philip II changed tack. He directed Moriscos to give up their Arabic names and traditional dress, and prohibited the use of the Arabic language. In addition, the children of Moriscos were to be educated by Catholic priests. In reaction, there was a Morisco uprising in the Alpujarras from 1568 to 1571.

Spanish spies reported that the Ottoman Emperor Selim II was planning to attack Malta in the Mediterranean below Sicily, and from there advance to Spain. It was reported Selim wanted to incite an uprising among Spanish Moriscos. In addition, "some four thousand Turks and Berbers had come into Spain to fight alongside the insurgents in the Alpujarras",[13] a region near Granada and an obvious military threat. "The excesses committed on both sides were without equal in the experience of contemporaries; it was the most savage war to be fought in Europe that century."[13] After the Castilian forces defeated the Islamic insurgents, they expelled some eighty thousand Moriscos from the Granada Province. Most settled elsewhere in Castile. The 'Alpujarras Uprising' hardened the attitude of the monarchy. As a consequence, the Spanish Inquisition increased prosecution and persecution of Moriscos after the uprising.

Huguenot support and the Ottoman threat

French Huguenots were in contact with the Moriscos in plans against the House of Austria (Habsburgs), which ruled Spain in the 1570s.[14] Around 1575, plans were made for a combined attack of Aragonese Moriscos and Huguenots from Béarn under Henri de Navarre against Spanish Aragon, in agreement with the king of Algiers and the Ottoman Empire, but these projects floundered with the arrival of John of Austria in Aragon and the disarmament of the Moriscos.[15][16] In 1576, the Ottomans planned to send a three-pronged fleet from Istanbul, to disembark between Murcia and Valencia; the French Huguenots would invade from the north and the Moriscos accomplish their uprising, but the Ottoman fleet failed to arrive.[15]

During the reign of Sultan Mohammed ash-Sheikh (1554–1557), the Turkish danger was felt on the eastern borders of Morocco and the sovereign, even though a hero of the holy war against Christians, showed a great political realism by becoming an ally of the King of Spain, still the champion of Christianity. Everything changed from 1609, when King Philip III of Spain decided to expel the Moriscos which, numbering about three hundred thousand, were converted Muslims who had remained Christian. Rebels, always ready to rise, they vigorously refused to convert and formed a state within a state. The danger was that with the Turkish pressing from the east, the Spanish authorities, who saw in them [the Moriscos] a "potential danger", decided to expel them, mainly to Morocco….
— Histoire du Maroc: Le Maroc et L'Occident du XVIe au XXe SiecleBernard Lugan,

Toward the end of the 16th century, Morisco writers challenged the perception that their culture was alien to Spain. Their literary works expressed early Spanish history in which Arabic-speaking Spaniards played a positive role. Chief among such works is Verdadera historia del rey don Rodrigo by Miguel de Luna (c. 1545–1615).[17]


Embarkation of Moriscos in Valencia by Pere Oromig

At the instigation of the Duke of Lerma and the Viceroy of Valencia, Archbishop Juan de Ribera, Philip III expelled the Moriscos from Spain between 1609 (Valencia) and 1614 (Castile).[18] They were ordered to depart "under the pain of death and confiscation, without trial or sentence... to take with them no money, bullion, jewels or bills of exchange... just what they could carry."[19] Estimates for the number expelled have varied, although contemporary accounts set the number at around 300,000 (about 4% of the Spanish population). The majority were expelled from the Crown of Aragon (modern day Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia), particularly from Valencia, where Morisco communities remained large, visible and cohesive; and Christian animosity was acute, particularly for economic reasons. Some historians have blamed the subsequent economic collapse of the Spanish Eastern Mediterranean coast on the region's inability to replace Morisco workers successfully with Christian newcomers. Many villages were totally abandoned as a result. New laborers were fewer in number and were not as familiar with local agricultural techniques. In the Kingdom of Castille (including Andalusia, Murcia and the former kingdom of Granada), by contrast, the scale of Morisco expulsion was much less severe. This was due to the fact that their presence was less felt as they made up a considerably smaller percentage of the total population, as well as the government ordered internal dispersion of Morisco communities after the War of the Alpujarras, making them a less distinct group that soon began to merge with and disappear into the wider society.

Expulsion of the Moriscos from Vinaros.

Although many Moriscos were sincere Christians,[10] adult Moriscos were often assumed to be covert Muslims (i.e. crypto-Muslims),[20] but expelling their children presented Catholic Spain with a dilemma. As the children had all been baptized, the government could not legally or morally transport them to Muslim lands. Some authorities proposed that children should be forcibly separated from their parents, but sheer numbers showed this to be impractical. Consequently, the official destination of the expellees was generally stated to be France (more specifically Marseille). After the assassination of Henry IV in 1610, about 150,000 Moriscos were sent there.[21][22] Many of the Moriscos migrated from Marseille to other lands in Christendom, including Italy, Sicily or Constantinople,[23] with only about 35,000 remaining permanently in France; others also left Marseille for North Africa.[24]

The overwhelming majority of the refugees settled in Muslim-held lands, mostly in the Ottoman Empire (Algeria, Tunisia) or Morocco. However they were ill-fitted with their Spanish language and customs.

Disembarking of the Moriscos at Oran port (1613, Vicente Mostre), Fundación Bancaja de Valencia

Scholars have noted that many Moriscos joined the Barbary Corsairs, who had a network of bases from Morocco to Libya. In the Corsair Republic of Sale, they became independent of Moroccan authorities and profited off of trade and piracy. Also, Morisco mercenaries in the service of the Moroccan sultan, using arquebuses, crossed the Sahara and conquered Timbuktu and the Niger Curve in 1591. Their descendants formed the ethnic group of the Arma. A Morisco worked as a military advisor for Sultan Al-Ashraf Tumanbay II of Egypt (the last Egyptian Mamluk Sultan) during his struggle against the Ottoman invasion in 1517 led by Sultan Selim I. The Morisco military advisor advised Sultan Tumanbay to use infantry armed with guns instead of depending on cavalry. Arabic sources recorded that Moriscos of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt joined Ottoman armies. Many Moriscos of Egypt joined the army in the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt.

However, modern studies in population genetics have attributed unusually high levels of recent North African ancestry in modern Spaniards to Moorish settlement during the Islamic period[25][26][27] and, more specifically, to the substantial proportion of Morisco population which remained in Spain and avoided expulsion.[28][29]

Moriscos in Spain after the expulsion

It is impossible to know how many Moriscos remained after the expulsion, with traditional Spanish historiography considering that none remained and initial academic estimates such as those of Lapeyre offering figures as low as ten or fifteen thousand remaining. However, recent studies have been challenging the traditional discourse on the supposed success of the expulsion in purging Spain of its Morisco population. Indeed, it seems that expulsion met widely differing levels of success, particularly between the two major Spanish crowns of Castile and Aragón and recent historical studies also agree that both the original Morisco population and the number of them who avoided expulsion is higher than was previously thought.[30]

One of the earliest re-examinations of Morisco expulsion was carried out by Trevor J. Dadson in 2007, devoting a significant section to the expulsion in Villarrubia de los Ojos in southern Castille. Villarubia's entire Morisco population were the target of three expulsions which they managed to avoid or from which they succeeded in returning from to their town of origin, being protected and hidden by their non-Morisco neighbours. Dadson provides numerous examples, of similar incidents throughout Spain whereby Moriscos were protected and supported by non-Moriscos[30] and returned en masse from North Africa, Portugal or France to their towns of origin.

A similar study on the expulsion in Andalusia concluded it was an inefficient operation which was significantly reduced in its severity by resistance to the measure among local authorities and populations. It further highlights the constant flow of returnees from North Africa, creating a dilemma for the local inquisition who did not know how to deal with those who had been given no choice but to convert to Islam during their stay in Muslim lands as a result of the Royal Decree. Upon the coronation of Philip IV, the new king gave the order to desist from attempting to impose measures on returnees and in September 1628 the Council of the Supreme Inquisition ordered inquisitors in Seville not to prosecute expelled Moriscos "unless they cause significant commotion." [31]

An investigation published in 2012 sheds light on the thousands of Moriscos who remained in the province of Granada alone, surviving both the initial expulsion to other parts of Spain in 1571 and the final expulsion of 1604. These Moriscos managed to evade in various ways the royal decrees, hiding their true origin thereafter. More surprisingly, by the 17th and 18th centuries much of this group accumulated great wealth by controlling the silk trade and also holding about a hundred public offices. Most of these lineages were nevertheless completely assimilated over generations despite their endogamic practices. A compact core of active crypto-Muslims was prosecuted by the Inquisition in 1727, receiving comparatively light sentences. These convicts kept alive their identity until the late 18th century.[32]

The attempted expulsion of Moriscos from Extremadura was deemed a failure, with the exception of the speedy expulsion of the Moriscos of the town of Hornachos who would become the founders of the Republic of Salé in modern day Morocco. Extremaduran Moriscos benefited from systematic support from authorities and society throughout the region and numerous Moriscos avoiding deportation while whole communities such as those of Alcántara temporarily shifted across the border to Portugal only to return later. The expulsion between 1609-1614 therefore did not come close to its objective of eliminating Morisco presence from the region.[33]

Similar patterns are observed in a detailed examination of the Expulsion in the south eastern Region of Murcia, large swathes of which were of Morisco majority. Morisco integration had reached high levels at the time of expulsion, they formed a strong socio-economic block with complex family ties and good neighbourly relations. This resulted in the possibility of return, with few exceptions, to be offered and taken by a majority of Moriscos expelled. Although some were initially persecuted upon return, by 1622 they were no longer given any trouble from authorities.[34]

"Moriscos in Granada", drawn by Christoph Weiditz (1529)

Recent genetic studies of North African admixture among modern-day Spaniards have found high level of North African (Berber) and Sub-Saharan African admixture among Spanish and Portuguese populations as compared to the rest of southern and western Europe, and such admixture does not follow a North-South gradient as one would initially expect, but more of an East-West one.[35]

While the descendants of those Moriscos who fled to North Africa have remained strongly aware and proud of their Andalusi roots, the Moriscos' identity as a community was wiped out in Spain, be it via either expulsion or absorption by the dominant culture. Nevertheless, a journalistic investigation over the past years has uncovered existing communities in rural Spain (more specifically in the provinces of Murcia and Albacete) which seem to have maintained traces of their Islamic or Morisco identity, secretly practicing a debased form of Islam as late as the 20th century, as well as conserving Morisco customs and unusual Arabic vocabulary in their speech.[36]

The ineffectiveness of the expulsion in the lands of Castile nevertheless contrasts with that of the Crown of Aragón (modern day Catalonia, Aragón and Valencian Community in Eastern Spain. Here the expulsion was accepted much more wholeheartedly and instances of evasion and/or return have so far not been considered demographically important. This explains why Spain was not affected on the whole by the expulsion whereas the Valencian Community was devastated and never truly recovered as an economic or political powerhouse of the kingdom, ceding its position, within the Crown of Aragón, to the Catalan counties to the north, which never had a sizeable Morisco population to begin with.[37]


The Mercheros or Quinquis are a population, mostly in Northern Spain, who until the 20th century held a nomadic lifestyle similar to that of Gitanos. They survived as tinkerers or horse traders, often being accused of petty crime. The origin of the Mercheros is uncertain, but one of the hypothesis is that they descend from Moriscos expelled from their villages.[38]

Moriscos and Population Genetics

Spain's Morisco population was the last population who self-identified and traced its roots to the various waves of Muslim conquerors from North Africa. Historians generally agree that, at the height of Muslim rule, Muladis or Muslims of pre-Islamic Iberian origin were likely to constitute the large majority of Muslims in Spain. However, it is difficult to make such an assertion about the Morisco minority by the 15th and 16th century. Modern population genetics generally assume Moriscos to have had both significant Iberian and North African ancestry, even if, after centuries of presence and intermarriage in the Iberian peninsula they were unlikely to differ significantly in ethnic terms from the wider Spanish population. For this reason, studies in population genetics which aim to ascertain Morisco ancestry in modern populations search for Iberian or European genetic markers among contemporary Morisco descendants in North Africa,[39] and for North African genetic markers among modern day Spaniards.[28]

A wide number of recent genetic studies of modern day Spanish and Portuguese populations have ascertained an unusually high level of North African admixture, which is generally attributed to Islamic rule and settlement of the Iberian peninsula.[40] Common North African genetic markers which are relatively high frequencies in the Iberian peninsula as compared to the rest of the European continent are Y-chromosome E1b1b1b1(E-M81)[26][41] and MtDna Haplogroups L and U6. Studies coincide that North African admixture tends to increase in the South and West of the peninsula, peaking in parts of Andalusia,[42] Extremadura, Southern Portugal and Western Castile. Distribution of North African markers and largely absent from the North East of Spain as well as the Basque country. The uneven distribution of admixture in Spain has been explained by the extent and intensity of Islamic colonization in a given area, but also by the varying levels of success in attempting to expel the Moriscos in different regions of Spain[28]} , as well as forced and voluntary morisco population movements during the 16th and 17th centuries.[43]

As for tracing Morisco descendants in North Africa, to date there have been few genetic studies of populations of Morisco origin in the Maghreb region, although studies of the Moroccan population have not detected significant recent genetic inflow from the Iberian peninsula. A recent study of various Tunisian ethnic groups has found that all were indigenous North African, including those who self-identified as Andalusians.[39]


Many Moriscos joined the Barbary pirates in North Africa.

Miguel de Cervantes' writings, such as Don Quixote and Conversation of the Two Dogs, offer ambivalent views of Moriscos. In the first part of Don Quixote (before the expulsion), a Morisco translates a found document containing the Arabic "history" that Cervantes is merely "publishing". In the second part, after the expulsion, Ricote is a Morisco and a former neighbor of Sancho Panza. He cares more about money than religion, and left for Germany, from where he returned as a false pilgrim to unbury his treasure. He admits, however, the righteousness of their expulsion. His daughter Ana Félix is brought to Berbery but suffers since she is a sincere Christian.

Extended meaning

In historical studies of minoritisation, the term "Morisco" is sometimes applied to other historical crypto-Muslims, in places such as Norman Sicily, 9th-century Crete, and other areas along the medieval Christian-Muslim frontier.

In the racial classification of colonial Spanish America, morisco was used as a term for the child of a mulatto and Spaniard.

Descendants and Spanish citizenship

In October 2006, the Andalusian Parliament asked the three parliamentary groups that form the majority to support an amendment that would ease the way for Morisco descendants to gain Spanish citizenship. The proposal was originally made by IULV-CA, the Andalusian branch of the United Left.[44] Spanish Civil Code Art. 22.1, in its current form, provides concessions to nationals of the Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, and Portugal as well as to the descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled by Spain. It allows them to seek citizenship after two years rather than the customary ten years required for residence in Spain.[45]

This measure could potentially benefit as many as five million Moroccan citizens, based on calculations of the estimated number of Moroccans of both Andalusi (Muslims who left during the reconquest) and Morisco origin. It could also benefit an indeterminate number of people in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey.[46] However, finding proof of Morisco ancestry is not easy, unlike what happens with Sephardic Jews, who still speak a language closely related to Spanish. On January 12, 2015, the Spanish government decided and stated that it will not give Spanish citizenship to the descendants of Moriscos.[47]

Since 1992 some Spanish and Moroccan historians and academics have been demanding equitable treatment for Moriscos similar to that offered to Sephardic Jews. The bid was welcomed by Mansur Escudero, the chairman of the Islamic Council of Spain.[48]

See also


  • Moriscos of Spain: Their Conversion and Expulsion, by H. C. Lea, (London 1901)


  1. ^ The Moriscos who remained. The permanence of Islamic origin population in Early Modern Spain: Kingdom of Granada, XVII-XVIII centuries: Vínculos Historia (In Spanish)
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  6. ^ Geografía de la España morisca, page 106, Biblioteca de Estudios Moriscos, Henry Lapeyre, Universitat de València, 2011, ISBN 843708413X, 9788437084138. It quotes Enrique Cock, Relación del viaje hecho por Felipe III en 1585 a Zaragoza, Barcelona y Valencia, Madrid, 1876, page 314
  7. ^ The passage invites Spanish Moriscos or crypto-Muslims to continue fulfilling Islamic prescriptions and disguise (taqiyya), so they would be protected while showing public adherence to the Christian faith.
  8. ^ Daniel Eisenberg, "Cisneros y la quema de los manuscritos granadinos", Journal of Hispanic Philology, 16, 1992, pp. 107-124,*/ retrieved 2014-08-18
  9. ^ a b Henry Kamen, Spanish Inquisition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997, p. 216)
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  13. ^ a b Kamen, Spanish Inquisition, p. 224.
  14. ^ Divided by FaithBenjamin J. Kaplan, , p.311
  15. ^ a b The Moriscos of Spain: Their Conversion and ExpulsionHenry Charles Lea, , p. 281
  16. ^ , p. 343Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614L. P. Harvey,
  17. ^ "Miguel de Luna", CervantesVirtual
  18. ^ L. P. Harvey. Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614. University Of Chicago Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-226-31963-6.
  19. ^ H.C Lea, The Moriscos of Spain; op cit; p.345
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  21. ^ Bruno Etienne, "Nos ancêtres les Sarrasins", in « Les nouveaux penseurs de l’Islam », Nouvel Observateur, hors série n° 54 du April/May 2004, pp. 22–23
  22. ^ Francisque Michel, Histoire des races maudites de la France et de l'Espagne, Hachette, 1847, p.71
  23. ^
  24. ^ Anwar G. Chejne, Islam and the West: The Moriscos, a Cultural and Social History, SUNY Press, 1983, p.13. Quote: " may be assumed that some 35,000 managed to remain."
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  31. ^ La expulsión de los moriscos de Andalucía y sus límites. El caso de Sevilla (1610-1613)Michel Boeglin: (In Spanish)
  32. ^ Experto descubre "linajes ocultos" de moriscos que se quedaron en Andalucía, a pesar de la orden de expulsión News Agency: Europa Press (In Spanish)
  33. ^ The expulsion of the Moriscos from Extremadura (1609-1614)Sánchez Rubio, Rocio; Testón Núñez, Isabel; Hernández Bermejo, Mª Ángeles:
  34. ^ Mito y realidad en la expulsión de los mudéjares murcianos del Valle de RicoteLisón Hernández, Luis:
  35. ^ The Genetic Legacy of Religious Diversity and Intolerance: Paternal Lineages of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Iberian PeninsulaAdams et al.:
  36. ^ La Vanguardia, 12-Nov-2006. Los últimos de Al Andalus. En la sierra del Segura se mantiene el recuerdo de descendientes de moriscos que practicaban costumbres musulmanas. (Page 1) - (Page 2) (In Spanish)
  37. ^ Nueva mirada sobre la expulsión de los moriscos aragoneses y sus consecuenciasGregorio Colás Latorre:
  38. ^ (Spanish) Minorías malditas: La historia desconocida de otros pueblos de España, chapter 3, Javier García-Egocheaga Vergara, ISBN 84-305-3620-5, Tikal Ediciones (Ed. Susaeta), Madrid, 2003.
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  44. ^ Propuesta de IU sobre derecho preferente de moriscos a la nacionalidad (Spanish)
  45. ^ Código Civil (Spanish)
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^ La Junta Islámica pide para descendientes de moriscos la nacionalidad española (Spanish)

Further reading

  • Barletta, Vincent. Covert Gestures: Crypto-Islamic Literature as Cultural Practice in Early Modern Spain. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.
  • Domínguez Ortiz, Antonio and Bernard Vincent. Historia de los moriscos: Vida y tragedia de una minoría. Madrid: Alianza, 1978.
  • Drummond Braga, Isabel M. R. Mendes. Mouriscos e cristãos no Portugal quinhentista: Duas culturas e duas concepções religiosas em choque. Lisbon: Hugin, 1999.
  • García-Arenal, Mercedes. Los moriscos. Madrid: Editora Nacional, 1975.
  • Harvey, L. P. Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
  • Mary Elizabeth Perry, The Handless Maiden: Moriscos and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Spain, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2005.
  • Gerard A. Wiegers. Islamic Literature in Spanish and Aljamiado: Iça of Segovia (fl. 1450), His antecedents and Successors. Leiden: Brill, 1994.
  • Bernabé Pons, Luis F., Los moriscos. Conflicto, expulsión y diáspora, Madrid: Catarata, 2009.
  • Gárcia-Arenal, Mercedes, and Wiegers, Gerard (eds.): The Expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain: A Mediterranean Diaspora. Brill, Leiden & Boston 2014. ISBN 978-90-04-25920-1 (Print); ISBN 978-90-04-27935-3 (eBook)

External links

  • Alhadith, a web resource at Stanford University for students and scholars of Morisco language and culture
  • 1911 Encyclopædia
  • The expulsion of Muslims from Spain by Professor Roger Boase
  • Columbia Encyclopedia
  • Aljamiado-morisco manuscripts
  • Treaty of Granada
  • Moriscos culture influence in Morocco. Study in Spanish with Arabic translation
  • ´The Moriscos of Spain, their conversion and expulsion´ by Lea, Henry Charles
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