History

On the Social and Cultural History of the Moriscos

Following the reconquest of Granada in 1492, the Muslim minority in Spain, known derogatorily as Moriscos, were subjected to harsh measures in the form of edicts and restrictions. Forced to live in a hostile environment, which happened to be their homeland, they developed their own attitude, accompanied by passive resistance and sporadic revolt. This attitude was expressed in an extensive, clandestine and mostly anonymous literature known as the Aljamiado literature, which was for the most part written in the Romance in Arabic script. Although the Moriscos preserved a sentimental attachment to Arabic as their own language, they were no longer able to use it. This literature was, for the most part, inspired by Arabic models that not only expressed defiance towards the oppressor, but also reiterated Islamic values. Written mostly during the XV and XVI centuries, the Aljamiado literature is significant for the study of cultural change, offering valuable data for the historian, religious scholar, sociologist, anthropologist, philologist, belle - lettrist, and civil and human rights advocate, who would gain insight into the fate of a deprived and persecuted minority living in a hostile environment.

Slavery is one of the most controversial and arresting topics in human history. The question of Islam in relation to slavery has been an issue of concern among scholars for a long time. It became a question in which many Orientalists found a convenie

Slavery is one of the most controversial and arresting topics in human history. The question of Islam in relation to slavery has been an issue of concern among scholars for a long time. It became a question in which many Orientalists found a convenient gap to pass through in their attacks against the system of governance and justice in Islam. This self-righteous criticism against the attitude of Islam towards slavery is part of a long Western tradition of scholarship based on stereotyping, overstating, and selectivity of Islam in particular and the Orient in general. Most of the time, the statements of these scholars are presented in a sugar-coated style of language that is more dangerous than if they were presented in a critical, open, and direct language. Thomas Carlyle, Renan, Goldziher, Macdonald, von Grunebaum, Gibb and Bernard Lewis are good examples and representatives of this tradition.

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