The historical roots of Islam in Granada provide crucial context for understanding the contemporary situation of Muslims living there today. Granada, in southern Spain, possesses immense symbolic power as the final Muslim state in Western Europe. Founded by Muslims a millennium ago, it drew Muslim refugees during the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula during the Late Middle Ages. After its fall in 1492, it stood as a reminder of Christianity’s supposed triumph over Islam. Only with the transition to liberal democracy in the 1970s has Muslim-founded Granada truly begun to represent the new, multiethnic reality gripping contemporary Spain. The city stands at a historical and political crossroads: founded by Islam, conquered by Christians, peopled by descendants of both and, in the present day, site of a mass migration of Muslims northward into Europe. This paper asserts that the population of Muslim converts in contemporary Granada embody and elucidate this cosmopolitan legacy, overcoming divisions between Islam and the West.
Ramon Llull in his Book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men demonstrates prevailing attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in Christian-ruled Europe in the thirteenth century.