Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain by Matthew Carr
--David Levering Lewis, author of God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215
Seldom does a centuries-old story have such remarkable contemporary resonance. In April 1609, King Philip III of Spain signed an edict denouncing the Muslim inhabitants of Spain as heretics, traitors, and apostates. Later that year, the entire Muslim population of Spain was given three days to leave Spanish territory, on threat of death.
In the brutal and traumatic exodus that followed, entire families and communities were obliged to abandon homes and villages where they had lived for generations, leaving their property in the hands of their Christian neighbors. In Aragon and Catalonia, Muslims were escorted by government commissioners who forced them to pay whenever they drank water from a river or took refuge in the shade. For five years the expulsion continued to grind on, until an estimated 300,000 Muslims had been removed from Spanish territory, nearly 5 percent of the total population. By 1614 Spain had successfully implemented what was then the largest act of ethnic cleansing in European history, and Muslim Spain had effectively ceased to exist.
Blood and Faith is celebrated journalist Matthew Carr's riveting chronicle of this virtually unknown episode, set against the vivid historical backdrop of Muslim Spain. Here is a remarkable window onto a little-known period in modern Europe--a rich and complex tale of competing faiths and beliefs, of cultural oppression, and of resistance against overwhelming odds.