In 1609, King Philip the Third of Spain issued a decree expelling the Moriscos from his country. The Moriscos were those Moors who remained in Spain after the re-conquest of 1492. The main condition of their remaining at that time was that they reject Islam and take up Christianity instead. For almost two centuries, the Christians and Moriscos lived an awkward coexistence. Neither community trusted the other. Partly because of the protestations of Archbishop Ribera of Valencia, the king’s ministry, including his principal adviser, the Duke of Lerma , eventually agreed that the Moriscos should be taken from Spain to North Africa, a land completely alien to them. This was the most brutal holocaust ever committed, at least up until then. It has been since exceeded by the indescribably inhuman holocaust against the Jews, undertaken by the Third Reich. We remember the latter today, the 27 January, which is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
My third novel, Expulsion, is the story of the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain. It shows these hideous events and the build up to them in their true light. It is yet to be published but is not that far away