Name : Ümitcan Emül
Course Number : AFST 380R
Instructor Name : Dr. Moulay ' Ali Bouanani 3/10/2009
Topic: Different Religious Groups in Al-Andalus (according to lecture)
RESPONSE PAPER 4
The society of Al-Andalus was made up of three main religious groups: Christians, Muslims and Jews. The Muslims, though united on the religious level, had several ethnic divisions, the main being the distinction between the Berbers and the Arabs. Mozarabs were Christians that had long lived under Muslim rule and so had adopted many Arabic customs, art and words, while still maintaining their Christian rituals and their own Romance languages. Each of these communities inhabited distinct neighborhoods in the cities.
In the 10th century a massive conversion of Christians took place, so that muladies comprised the majority of the population of Al-Andalus by the century's end.The Berbers, who made up the bulk of the invaders, lived in the mountainous regions of what is now the north of Portugal and in the Meseta Central, while the Arabs settled in the south and in the Ebro Valley in the northeast. The Jews worked mainly as tax collectors, in trade, or as doctors or ambassadors. At the end of the fifteenth century there were about 50,000 Jews in Granada and roughly 100,000 in the whole of Islamic Iberia.
The treatment of non-Muslims in the Caliphate has been a subject of considerable debate among scholars and commentators, especially those interested in drawing parallels to the coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims in the modern world.