We have had enough theoreticians (plentiful) of purity –and superiority, of course- of the Arabian “race”:
“the contagion is highlighted in you: you have been corrupted by some miscegenation” (al-Yahiz, Libro de los ávaros, 211, Madrid, 1984).
Hadithes of the Prophet were even forged to justify the superiority of people, nations, ethnicities or even cities (Persians, Fars, Merv).
Data for a revision
Proximity and relationship throughout many centuries in various ways (confrontation or coexistence) have not caused benign results, but rather what Sánchez Albornoz designated as antibiosis, by opposition to Américo Castro vindictive symbiosis; in other words, the opponents of rejection, negation, ignorance towards North Africans. And from them towards our direction.
The appropriate division of the world up into the goodies and the baddies makes things easier and an old and long defeated imperialism is a good scapegoat as receptacle of present rubbish, or as a screen whose lights and shadows are good for distracting the attention of current and alive misfortunes.
Ignorance holds any of the present or past prejudices around the Moors (laziness, dirtiness) just like the opposite side, in vogue these days, which consists of presenting them (or presenting themselves) like perennial victims – therefore creditors- whatever the circumstances are. A good illustrative example of the first attitude is provided by M. García- Arenal when he reminded that the judges of the Inquisition of Cuenca, during their anti-morisco repression, did outlandish considerations beyond reality of the ilk: “having and believing that it is not a sin that a single man have carnal access with a single woman like the Moors have and believe”; along the lines of the mythology of the sensuality awarded to Muslims at the time, even in such an isolated places like the Indies. But not less meaningful of the prevailing confusion is the fallacious utilization of fixed accusation of anti-Muslim intolerance to approach what is strictly due to, for example, an administrative delay- justified in all other respects- to commence the construction of a mosque in Granada.
With the expulsion of the Moriscos, first from Granada and then from the whole country: they were supposed to respond in the most possibly radical manner to a un-assimilable minority, which was unwilling to integrate and whose links and collusion with the enemy of the time, not passive at all, were common knowledge, offering them conversion (sincere) along with consequent cultural absorption, or exile. If somebody, with commendable naivety or manifest bad faith, is shocked insisting on judging the past with blinders of our present time, it will suffice it to say that back then- the XVI century- in the North of Africa there were not more Christian population left than the captives caught by pirates, since it was already a long time – over 4 centuries- that natives had been led to Islamize – when not forced, while local cultures (Berber and Neo-latin) were crushed and supplanted by the Arabian urban civilization, leaving the Berber world isolated at the mountains; fair to say outside history.
The treatment inflicted to the Moriscos could be harsh and even cruel, but not unwarranted, particularly including the elements of trial and action that political authorities, religious ideologist had as well as the ordinary people after them: from contemporary technology which aggravated suffering, to basics of humanism and respect to the dignity of people which happened long after and that – certainly- have not yet spread beyond the borders of numerous Muslim countries.