By Francisco Núñez Muley
Conquered in 1492 and colonized via invading Castilians, the town and nation of Granada confronted radical adjustments imposed through its occupiers during the first half the 16th century—including the compelled conversion of its local Muslim inhabitants. Written by way of Francisco N??ez Muley, one of the coerced Christian converts, this impressive letter motels a clear-sighted, impassioned protest opposed to the unreasonable and strongly assimilationist legislation that required all switched over Muslims in Granada to decorate, communicate, consume, marry, have a good time fairs, and be buried precisely because the Castilian settler inhabitants did.Now on hand in its first English translation, N??ez Muley’s account is a useful instance of the way Spain’s former Muslims made lively use of the written notice to problem and brazenly withstand the steadily illiberal regulations of the Spanish Crown. well timed and resonant—given present debates relating Islam, minorities, and cultural and linguistic assimilation—this version presents students in more than a few fields with a brilliant and early instance of resistance within the face of oppression.
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Extra info for A Memorandum for the President of the Royal Audiencia and Chancery Court of the City and Kingdom of Granada
330r; p. 99)]. According to the decree, the Moriscos of Granada were ordered, inter alia, to learn Castilian and cease speaking Arabic entirely within a period of three years. They were similarly given a period of thirty days to submit all of their Arabic legal documents to be examined, and a period of two years to wear out their traditional clothing and begin wearing only Castilian-style clothing. The women were compelled to cease wearing their veils in public immediately, and families were required to leave the doors to their homes open and cease bathing in their homes or public bath houses so that Christian authorities could be sure that they were not engaging in any sort of Muslim prayer or other ritual.
Editor’s Introduction 43 While the public baths of Granada do not emerge from the Memorandum as particularly sanitary places (although there is reason to believe that Núñez Muley may actually be exaggerating this point a bit, as his argument—that no Muslim would think of praying there—depends upon convincing his reader of the foulness of the baths), they do appear to have been central to Granadan social life. And given the fact that Granadan Moriscos were prohibited from bathing or washing in the privacy of their homes—as ritual washing is part of Muslim prayer—the baths were also necessary to ensure the health of the community.
33. Said, Culture and Imperialism, 262. Said in fact has much to say about the energy with which non-Western officials, intellectuals, and students at various levels of development frequently sought guidance from and within the West during the nineteenth century: “The primary purpose of . . early [Eastern] missions to the West was to learn the ways of the advanced white man, translate his works, pick up his habits. Recent studies on the subject . . show how the imperial hierarchy was imparted to eager students from the East along with information, useful texts, and profitable habits” (262–63).