The Melungeons blog

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Melungeons :: An Untold Story of Ethnic cleansing in America :: (by Brent Kennedy) - Media Monitors Network

The Melungeons :: An Untold Story of Ethnic cleansing in America :: (by Brent Kennedy) - Media Monitors Network: "Historical records document that from 1492 through the early 1600's an estimated 500,000 Jews and Muslims were exiled from Spain and Portugal through a religious witch-hunt known as -- the Spanish Inquisition. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim exiles escaped to their ancestral homelands of Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. In fact, the well-known Barbary Coast Pirates (that is, Berber Coast Pirates) of North Africa sprang from this group. They, along with their Turkish compatriots, were renowned for their seagoing exploits as they sought revenge against the Spanish and Portuguese in ferocious Mediterranean sea battles.
Of course, they didn't always win: those pirates unfortunate enough to lose at sea often ended up as galley slaves beneath the creaking decks of Spanish and Portuguese ships bound for the New World. Ironically, slaves of the Christians once again.

Other Muslims----Berber in particular---Moriscos they were called made their way to the Canary Islands, India, France and other countries. And interestingly enough wherever these exiled Berbers went, they identified themselves as 'Portuguese,' even if they had originated in Spain. In fact, the term 'Portuguese,' became almost synonymous for both the Muslims and the Jews who had been exiled during the Inquisition.
Finally, as the Inquisitions grew in Power and severity, even Christianized Moors and Jews were forced in exile. these 'Conversos'-----the name given to both Muslim and Jewish coverts----were not trusted by either the Church or the government, and probably with good reason, since most had converted Catholicism only to avoid the death sentence. "


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