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Consolidación, evolución y arraigo del imaginario moro en la perspectiva hispano-cristiana-española

by ROLDAN, GRACIA M

Abstract (Summary)
My investigation studies the consolidation and development of the figure of the Moor in the Spaniard’s collective imagination. The historical common perception of Muslims has been formed by very negative social constructs, which were based on, and sustained by, socio-political considerations. Our concerns for cultural identity cause us to revise not only history but also our human condition. It becomes necessary to uproot the notions of purity and superiority, which are solid pillars of western ethnocentrism. For this purpose, we need to recall historical events and turn our gaze toward three key moments which came to justify the origin of this rejection of Arab-Muslim culture: 1. Entrance: The “invasion” of the Moors in Iberian Peninsular in the year 711. 2. Exit: The War of Granada and the Expulsion of the Moors. 3. Reentrance: The moors migratory phenomena in Spain. Contemporary Spanish Society, due to a series of negative stereotypes which have been historically sustained, has inherited a distorted opinion of the Arab world. This, when reinforced by mass media, tends to become uncontrolled fanaticism: fear of another “invasion,” of an alteration of the national identity, of unemployment, of terrorism, etc. Recent government declarations such as, “Immigration is the number one problem for national unity,” goes a long way to fostering a general view of fear and rejection. Thus, immigration/delinquency become part of the collective imagination and is used as if the two terms were equivalent. It is the Muslim community which despite being in the majority immigrant population in Spain suffers the greatest rejection. It is this community which lives under the most precarious conditions and greatest cultural “Rootless ness”. For the purpose of this thesis we pose a highly concrete question: Why is it that in Spain, Muslim immigrants represent a perceived threat which converts this community into the greatest obstacle to national unity, tolerance, and assimilation? As a literary answer to this question we will use a comparison/contrast study between three contemporary texts: Las voces del estrecho de Andrés Sorel, El techo del mundo de Julio Llamazares y Fátima de los naufragios de Lourdes Ortiz, with others text authored during the Middle Ages, particularly the work of Alfonso X, and other visions that summarize the period relative of the Guerra de Granada and the Expulsion of the moors. The understanding of the factors that connect immigration to negative concepts such as illegality, conflict, and delinquency, requires an identity study. As an applicable theoretical approach we propose the views about identity held by the authors Edward Said in his text Orientalism, Amin Maalouf in In the name of identity, and Julia Kristeva’s Strangers to Ourselves.
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School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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