Alternate History

Ismaji (Without Islam)

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Ismaji (Spanish: Ismají; Catalan: Ismaxí; Moorish: ⵉⵙⵎⵅ trans. Ismkh, "slave") is the name given to individual Moorish who remained in Iberia after the Catholic Reconquista but were not converted to Catholicism, unlike Morisques who had converted. It also denotes a style of Iberian architecture and decoration, particularly of Aragon and Castile, of the 12th to 16th centuries, strongly influenced by Moorish taste and workmanship.

The word Ismají is a Medieval Spanish corruption of the Moorish word Ismkh ⵉⵙⵎⵅ, meaning "slave", in a reference to the Moors who submitted to the rule of the Catholic kings. The Treaty of Grenade (1491) protected religious and cultural freedoms for Moorish and Jews in the imminent transition from the Kingdom of Grenade to a Province of Castile. After the fall in the Battle of Grenade in January 1492, Ismajis, unlike the Jews' Azuagirda Decree (1492) expulsion, kept the protected religious status along with Catholic converso efforts. However, in the mid-16th century, they were forced to convert to Catholicism. From that time, because of suspicions that they were not truly converted, or crypto-Moorish, they were known as Morisques. In 1610 those who refused to convert to Catholicism were expelled or killed. The distinctive Ismaji style is still evident in regional architecture, as well as in the music, art, and crafts, especially Hispano-Moresque ware, lustreware pottery which was widely exported across Europe.

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