Genocide of Muslims in Spain
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On August 18, 1487 AD, the four-month siege of the strategic Spanish Muslim port of Malaga of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, ended with its occupation by the Christian forces, aided by mercenaries from other parts of Europe, who massacred the Muslims and sold the remnants into slavery. It was the first conflict in which ambulances, or dedicated vehicles for the purpose of carrying injured persons, were used by the Muslim defenders.
King Ferdinand II of Aragon invaded the Muslim territories with 20,000 horsemen, 50,000 infantrymen and 8,000 mercenaries, which were joined by artillery units. Mohammad XIII, Sultan of Granada made an attempt to relieve the fortress of Velez, but was forced to retreat to Granada where he found that he had been overthrown in favour of his nephew Abdullah. Seeing no hope of relief, Velez surrendered on 27 April 1487 on condition that the lives of the people would be spared, and they would keep their property and religion – promises which the Christians did not keep.
The fall of Malaga was a harsh blow to the Spanish Muslims, who were mercilessly massacred by the Christians, while the survivors, numbering round 15,000, were enslaved and their property confiscated. Five years later in 1492, through treachery and deceit, the Christians, assisted by mercenaries from other parts of Europe, attacked and occupied Granada itself, thereby ending almost 8 centuries of glorious Muslim rule in Spain.
Hundreds of thousands of Spanish Muslims fled to North Africa for safety, as their pleas to the Mamluks of Egypt and the Ottomans fell on deaf ears, because of infighting amongst these two great Mediterranean Muslim powers, who could have saved Granada and Spanish Muslims from the Christian onslaught.