What Was Europe Like Under Moorish Rule?

There was a period in Moorish Spain where Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived in relative harmony and cooperation. Christians and Jews were considered dhimmis and were second-class citizens who had to pay a tax and had some restrictions on worship, trade, and interaction. But these were often loosely applied or unenforced, and there certainly was a period under the Caliphate of Córdoba where there was general interfaith tolerance and saw a flourishing of learning and culture in Al-Andalus.

This has given rise to something of modern myth that Muslim Spain was some kind of paradise of interfaith cooperation, where wise and tolerant Muslim leaders presided over a wonderland of art and learning until the primitive Christians reconquered Spain, oppressed Jews and Muslims, forced their conversion, and ushered in the horrors of the Inquisition. This is a pretty story, but it is far from accurate.

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