Sunday, February 4, 2024

what is the history of Islam in Portugal?

 The history of Islam in Portugal dates back to the 8th century when Muslim forces, mainly composed of Arabs and Berbers from North Africa, invaded and established control over the region. This period is known as the era of al-Andalus, which refers to the Muslim-ruled territories of the Iberian Peninsula, including what is now Portugal

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Early Islamic Conquest and Rule

The Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula began in 711 AD when Muslim armies crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and defeated the Visigothic Kingdom that ruled the region. By 722, the Muslims had colonized the territory of modern-day Portugal and integrated it into the Umayyad Empire
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 The region south of the Mondego River, along with the Alentejo and Algarve regions, remained under Islamic rule for several centuries
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Cultural and Scientific Contributions

Under Muslim rule, the region prospered and made significant advancements in various fields such as mathematics, medicine, engineering, and astronomy. The Islamic period also left a lasting impact on Portuguese language, architecture, agriculture, and cuisine. For instance, the use of azulejos (ceramic tiles) in Portuguese architecture and the introduction of crops like rice, peaches, and olives can be traced back to the Muslim presence in the region
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The Reconquista and Decline

The Christian Reconquista was a series of campaigns by Christian kingdoms to reclaim territory from Muslim rule. This process began in the early Middle Ages and culminated in the 13th century when the last Muslim strongholds in Portugal were recaptured
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 Despite the end of Islamic political control, the Muslim population remained in the region, and their cultural influence persisted.

Expulsion and Modern Presence

The Muslim presence in Portugal officially ended in 1497 with King Manuel I's Edict of Expulsion, which ordered the expulsion of Jews and Moors (Muslims) from Portugal
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 Today, the Muslim community in Portugal is relatively small, with most of the population originating from the Middle East, the Maghreb, Mozambique, and Bangladesh. The community enjoys the freedom to practice their religion and maintain their cultural practices
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Legacy and Rediscovery

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in rediscovering Portugal's Muslim past. This includes acknowledging the influence of Islamic culture on Portuguese society and recognizing the contributions of Muslims to the country's history
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 Despite the historical significance, the Islamic period is often only briefly studied in Portuguese schools, with more emphasis placed on the Christian reconquest
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In summary, the history of Islam in Portugal is marked by an early period of conquest and rule, significant cultural and scientific contributions, followed by a gradual decline due to the Reconquista, and an eventual expulsion of Muslims. The legacy of this period, however, continues to be felt in various aspects of Portuguese culture and society.

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