Expulsion of Muslims in 1609 Spain


MPA (400+ posts)
Whenever there is a crisis, politicians and the powerful elite create an internal crisis, False enemy within. For us, it was sectarian Sunni, and Shia conflicts and the latest example of creating an internal crisis was May 9th and the arrest of the most popular leader as a diversion.

To what degree was this idea that Columbus's voyage would be a way to outflank Islam explicit in the way he lobbied Ferdinand and Isabella to support him—if we know?

Famously, he went to a lot of people to try to get them to fund his voyages. And during that process, he did cite what he saw as the existential battle between Christendom and Islam as one of the reasons for his voyages.

And this worked with Isabella and Ferdinand in part because of the politics of European rulership. They controlled property in Italy, specifically Sicily, that the Ottomans, or so they thought, were poised to invade, at various points. And of course, there were still many Muslims in Spain after the conquest of Granada; the sovereigns saw those Muslims that remained as a potential fifth column—internal enemies, maybe allies to the Ottoman Empire, the Mamluks, or Muslim powers in North Africa.

They sort of felt like Islam was breathing down their necks.
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