It is said that almost every move made by the Spanish in this sad story was influenced by the church. It is a story worth reading.
THE Spanish monarchy wanted a Christian State under one set of laws. The Moriscos were considered infidels
For hundreds of years, the Moors in Spain
But in 1492, the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella conquered Granada, the last part of Iberia still under Muslim control. The terms of its surrender granted the Moorish population there rights similar to those of the Mudéjar. However, Catholic leaders soon increased their persecution and pressure on the Muslim minority within their domain to convert. The Moors protested this violation of prior accords, and in 1499, they revolted. Government troops put down the uprising, but thereafter Muslims in one area after another were made either to convert or to emigrate. Spaniards called those who converted and remained in Spain Moriscos.
“NEITHER GOOD CHRISTIANS NOR LOYAL SUBJECTS”
By 1526, Islam was banned throughout Spain, yet many Moriscos secretly continued to practice their religion. For the most part, as a people, they retained their cultural identity.
At first, the Moriscos’ lip service to Catholicism was tolerated. They did, after all, perform a vital function as artisans, craftsmen, laborers, and taxpayers. Still, the Moriscos’ general refusal to assimilate was resented, and they suffered discrimination from both the government and the common people. Such prejudice may have been fueled by the growing suspicions in the church regarding the sincerity of their conversion.
Soon, toleration was replaced by coercion. In 1567, the decision of King Philip II to forbid the Moriscos’ language, dress, customs, and traditions was published. This measure provoked new rebellion and bloodshed.
It is estimated that some 300,000 Moriscos were forced to flee Spain amid great suffering
Spain’s rulers, according to historians, became convinced that “Moriscos were neither good Christians nor loyal subjects.” For that reason, they were accused of conspiring with Spain’s enemies
^ par. 4 Moriscos means “Little Moors” in Spanish. Historians use the term in a nonderogatory way to refer to people of Muslim background who converted to Catholicism and stayed in the Iberian Peninsula after the fall of the last Muslim kingdom there in 1492.
^ par. 12 Historians also speculate that at least one of Spain’s rulers stood to profit greatly from confiscation of Morisco estates.