Europe's Problem with Islam... 500 Years Ago: Morisco Identity & Aljamiado Literature in Early Modern Spain


In 1609 the Spanish crown began the expulsion of over 400,000 Moriscos — Spanish Christians descended from native Muslims who were forcibly converted to Christianity nearly a century earlier. These people, who knew no other home, were uprooted, deprived of their property, and sent into exile in far off and often hostile Islamic lands.
In the century they lived as Christians in Spain, the Moriscos endured prejudice and abuse, the prohibition of the use of Arabic, of the veil, their traditional clothes, dances and customs, popular suspicion, discriminatory tax laws, and ethnic hatred. Expected to live as Christians, they were given virtually no ministry or instruction. Yet, some embraced their new faith and served the Church, and king; others retrenched doggedly persisting in their faith, even as the Inquisition hunted them done. Still others developed a hybrid religion combining Islam, Christianity and the veneration of the Virgin Mary. All to no avail.
Long lost in historical obscurity, historians are now discovering the wealth of Morisco history and culture - notably the rich literature they produced in Aljamiado — Spanish written with Arabic characters.

Join three scholars for an event that surveys experience of these forgotten European Muslims, their literature and culture, and their post-exile fate.
Brian A. Catlos (Religious Studies: CU Boulder) • “Between Christianity and Islam: The Moriscos of Early Modern Spain”
Sabahat Adil (Asian Languages & Civilizations: CU Boulder) • Marginally Situated: Moriscos and the Muslim World"
Núria Martínez-de-Castilla Muñoz (Arabic and Islamic Studies: Universidad Complutense de Madrid) • “Aljamiado: A Secret Culture of Golden Age Spain”

Monday, May 16 • 6:30pm
Grand Assembly Hall
Chautauqua Historical Park, Boulder
to be followed by a free reception & cash bar

Free and Open to the Public
Tickets available until May 9 ONLY