Today marked the end of the international congress ‘The Moriscos: History of a Minority’, organized in Granada by El Legado Andalusí Foundation. The event marked the 400th anniversary of the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain in 1609 through an infamous decree by Felipe III.
Between 1609 and 1614, over 300,000 moriscos were kicked out, starting with the morisco community of Valencia, followed by that of Andalusia, Catalonia, Aragon, Castilla, Extramadura and Murcia. These moriscos, it has to be said, were not ‘Arabs’ or ‘Berbers’…they were natives (because after some nine centuries -of their arrival at the Iberian Peninsula- and around 36 generations, you cannot be anything else!).
They were kicked out simply because they were ‘different’. They had a different faith, spoke a different language and dressed in a different way. They were accused of:
– Practicing Islam (and black magic) in secret;
– Disrespecting the Church and its symbols;
– Conspiring with the Ottoman Empire against Spain;
– Failing to ‘integrate’ into Spain.
The congress was a simple tribute to those people, their culture, their traditions, their struggle against oppression and, finally; their doomed fate. The congress also celebrated the legacy they left in the most unthinkable of places, like Peru!
The event saw the participation of professors, writers, researchers and enthusiasts from all over the world, and it was an honor to be present. Always proud about belonging to El Legado Andalusí.