The war against Islam and the Muslims at home: the Mudejar predicament in the Kingdom of Valencia during the reign of Fernando «El Católico»
Meyerson, Mark D.
Sharq Al-Andalus, No.3 (1986)
Fernando’s ¡nternal policy of fostering the communities of Muslims, or Mudejars, in the territories of his own Crown of Aragón seems at odds with a foreign policy which invoived crusades against the Islamic states of Granada and the Maghrib, and encounters with the Ottoman Turks further east. This contradiction can be explained partly by the unión of two Crowns with somewhat divergent interests. Whereas Isabel’s Castile supplied the Ímpetus and the majority of the manpower for the crusades, still vital in Aragón were the habits of Mediterranean frontier life, which admitted the necessity of minority enclaves and ¡mpelled Catalán and Valencian toward the Maghrib and Granada for commerce. Nevertheless, as he engaged in a protracted struggle with Islam, Fernando was not blind to the potential Muslim menace at home, particularly in the kingdom of Valencia, where the Mudejars comphsed roughly thirty per cent of the population. There, the history of Mudejar rebellion and ambivalent loyalty to the Crown afforded the king little cause for comfort. Moreover, earlier anti-Muslim violence on the part of Christians suspicious of Mudejar intentions suggested a possible threat to the public order.