‘Once Upon a Time Our Home Was in Spain’; Comparing Diaspora Discourses among Morisco Descendants and Sephardim Today

in Jewish-Muslim Relations in Past and Present
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This paper develops a comparative perspective between two contemporary diaspora movements that claim being descendants from Jews and Muslims expelled from the Iberian Peninsula by the end of the Middle Ages. In particular, the research considers a group of Tunisian descendant of Moriscos and another of Israeli Sephardim. Instances of Moroccan Moriscos as well as of Tunisian Sephardim have occasionally been used to widen the picture. The article critically discusses the ways in which these groups look at the past, and how they articulate their diaspora invocations. By doing, so it perceives diaspora discourses as being crucially embedded in the social and political milieus that produces them. In that, the article is an illustrative account of modern perceptions of the ‘other’ within Muslim-Jewish relations today, vis-à-vis mythologized constructions of Spain and more generally of Western Europe. Overall, it attempt to scrutinize Morisco and Sephardim diaspora claims in light to their relationship to Spain, the past and to their religious others.

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