Apocrypha Majorca

The Mozarabs of the Balearics

150 years after the Muslim conquest of the Balearic Islands, there is still an important Mozarab population that conserves their churches and their Christian faith, and that practices it freely.

On December 26, 1057, the King Ali Iqbal al-Dawla of the Taifa of Denia granted the bishop of Barcelona, ​​Guislabert, a legal document , in which he gave jurisdiction over the dioceses and Christian faithful of his kingdom, which included the Balearic Islands, Denia and Alicante.

Documents about the life of the Mozarabs of the Iberian Peninsula, indicate that although they could freely practice their religion, they lived a kind of ghettos where they also had their churches. The condition imposed by the Muslims was that they could not build new churches or reform existing ones, besides paying a tax ( yizia ) for practicing their faith, something that Muslims did not have to do.
Being a Muslim had advantages and privileges that caused many Christians to Islamize, real or in a feigned way, without having to be forced.
If this happened in the Iberian Peninsula, it did not have to be different in the Balearic Islands.

As happened in the Iberian Peninsula, the Muslim conquest did not mean the displacement of the native population to repopulate with the population of the conquerors, but the change of the lords who ruled at that time, in the case of the Balearic Islands the Byzantines, by the new lords, the Arabs.

It is estimated that the contribution of North African and Arab population in the Iberian Peninsula could be at most 10%, so it is to be assumed that in the Balearic Islands this percentage was much lower, and concentrated mainly in the capital, Medina Mayurca (Palma).
While in the rest of the island, it was in its immense majority autochthonous population, who practiced their Muslim, Christian or Jewish religion, freely or in privacy, and spoke their own Romance language, as it happened 100 years ago in Majorca with Spanish language and the Majorcan language. Or as currently happens in Morocco, where after more than 1,300 years of Arabicio, 60% of its population still retains its Berber language.

During the centuries VIII to X (year 711 to year 903), when almost the whole Iberian Peninsula has succumbed to Islam, the Balearic Islands remains outside the Arab domain and retains its Christian faith, although according to some historians has some kind of vassalage with Muslim Hispania.

In the year 799 Balear Islands receives the protection of the Carolingian Empire, and throughout the ninth century will be part of it, along with the Catalan counties and Occitania, and will remain within Christianity.

At the beginning of the tenth century (year 903), the Muslims conquer the Islands. An important number of Balearic population flees towards Christian territory, mainly to the county of Empuries, with that maintained political and religious bonds.
Just as it happens in the Iberian Peninsula, Muslims respect the people of the book (Old Testament). Both Christians and Jews from Balearic Islands can continue to profess their faith.

In December 1057, after more than 150 years of the Muslim conquest, there are documents that prove that in the Balearic Islands there is still an important Christian population that conserves its churches and practices its faith freely.

In August 1114, a Christian fleet composed mainly of Pisans and Catalans attacked Majorca, taking control of the islands.
However, this conquest could not be consolidated, due to the Almoravid attack on Barcelona, ​​which caused the Catalan troops to leave the islands precipitously.

In 1116, the arrival of an Almoravid fleet to the islands, the remaining Christian troops (Pisans) fled, but not before taking away all the riches they could. You can still see the hipogrifo that the Pisans stole from Majorca and that today is preserved in the Duomo Opera Museum.
The Almoravids became the new Lords of the Islands.They were stricter in religious matters and more intolerant of Christians, which surely made life harder for the Mozarabs.
We must bear in mind that in the Iberian Peninsula, the Mozarabs, feeling pressured by the Arabs could flee to the Christian kingdoms, however for the Mozarabs of the Balearic Islands, being islands, this was practically impossible.

However, documents found in the peninsula, tell us about the difficult relationship of the Mozarabic (Christians) with the Almoravids, but they also tell us that over time, the strict Almoravid religiosity was relaxing and the relationship with the Mozarabic population was much easier.

In the Almoravid Balearic Islands, in which the Banu Ghaniya family ruled, were some episodes of instability in which Christian sectors were involved, and in which the Almoravid governor of the Islands was assassinated. Historians have related them to Christian slaves, but other historians like Rosselló Bordoy do not rule out that they are native Christians. The tendency of sectors politically interested has always been to despise any Mozarabic trace of the Balearic Islands, but historical documents and new findings contradict Catalanism time and time again.

In 1203, the Almoravid domain is replaced by the Almohads, the Almoravid governor Abdala Banu Ganiya is beheaded and his head sent to Morocco inside a box. The Almohads were more radical in their faith and more intransigent with Christianity. We could find a similarity between the Almohads and the current ISIL.

Many Mozarabs of the Iberian Peninsula are forced to abandon their faith, or marched to the Christian kingdoms. The documents of that moment tell us how the Mozarabs under the Almohad dynasty simulated their conversion to Islam, while in private they remained faithful to their Christian faith.

The displeasure with the radical attitude of the Almohads, not only affected the Christians, the Muslims did not agree with this religious fundamentalism.
In the taifa de Murcia we have Muhammad_ibn_Mardanis, the Wolf King, a Muslim who had in his army a large number of Christians, who fought with him against the Almohads.

In 1212, The Almohad defeat in the Battle of the Navas de Tolosa, signifies the beginning of the end of the Almohad power. They are expelled from the Iberian Peninsula, but not by Christian troops but by Hispanic Muslims, fed up with their religious fundamentalism.
Most returned to Africa, but some came to Majorca, as the Muslim governor of the islands, the Vali Abu Yahya, also belonged to this sect. And as it is related to us in the Tariq Mayurka, a document found a few years ago in the Maghreb (Arab version of the Christian conquest of Majorca) , Abu Yahya governed with wisdom until the Almohad refugees put the Vali of Majorca against the Andalusian population of the island.
So we can say that the Almohad repression against the Majorcan population, including Christians, did not really begin until this moment.

In this document he tells us the version of the Muslims in the capture of Majorca, and the social instability that lived the island by the Almohad attitude, we could even speak of pre-civil war.
Abu Yahya suffered at least one assassination attempt by Majorcan soldiers. Soldiers and civilians fled the city to the mountains for fear of reprisals.
In this same document, in the paragraph on internal disputes, he tells us about the displeasure of the Andalusian population. It does not speak of Arabs, Maghrebis or Berbers. With the term Andalusi, we can understand that it refers to the indigenous population prior to the Muslim conquest.

In December 1228, James I Together with the nobility and the clergy, start the preparation of the conquest of Mallorca and agree on the cast of the booty as contributed by each.
Although no documents have been found that prove, it is very likely that there were contacts between Nuño Sanchez, Count of Roussillon, and Ben Abet, a rich "Muslim" Mallorcan, who offered the Bay of Pollensa, of which he was Lord, for the disembarkation of the Christian troops.
Finally the disembarkation occurred in Santa Ponsa, since due to a storm could not reach Pollensa.

In Setember 1229, The Christian troops arrive in Majorca. The population of the island was in a situation of great instability due to the fanatic attitude of the new Almohad Lords.
The Christian chronicle relates that upon the arrival of James I, Abu Yahya, vali of Majorca, was about to end the life of 50 notables of the island and upon learning of the arrival of Christians, he freed them.
James I receives the help of Ben Abet in the form of supplies and information, and is also Ben Abet who gets the support of an important part of the population of Mallorca for Christians.

In December 1229, the Christians of James I conquered Majorca. After only 26 years of almohad domain.
Once Christianity took power on the islands, the Christian natives were able to freely practice their faith again, and drew their Christian images and symbols from the place where they had been hidden.
It is said that the Virgen de Lluch (the original was a Paleo-Christian carving), was unearthed after the Christian conquest, the current virgin is a different Gothic image than the original, the original could be a seated virgin, similar to the Virgin of Lloseta or the Virgin of Sant Llorens, who belong to the Romanesque. Both were also found after the Christian conquest.
The central pillar, which supports the main altar of the cathedral of Palma, of Byzantine origin, was also found after the Christian conquest.

These religious images and symbols were hidden at the arrival of the Almoravid and Almohad Muslim fundamentalist sects, between the 11th and 13th centuries. After the Christian reconquest, many of these images were recovered, creating miraculous legends about their appearance. This happened throughout the Iberian Peninsula and of course in the Balearic Islands as well.

Virgen de Lloseta
Virgin of Lloseta.
virgen de Sant Llorens
Virgin of Sant Llorenç
The original image of La Virgen de Lluch would have a similar shape to these two, which are part of what is called Virgin found ( Mare de Déu trobada ). They are Romanesque virgins from the 11th to the 13th centuries. Recall that throughout the tenth century Balearic is part or is linked to the Carolingian Empire, along with the Catalan counties, and that in the years 892 and 897, before the arrival of the Muslims, papal bulls make link Majorca and Menorca of the bishopric of Gerona. And that, as we said at the beginning of this work, there are documents that prove that in the 11th and 12th centuries there were still Christians in the Balearic Islands who conserve their faith and practice their religion.

In a work by the historian and old professor at the University of the Balearic Islands Álvaro Santamaría, he tells us about the ease with which many Muslims, after the Christian conquest, converted to Christianity. Probably, they never really left him.

"Work the necessary information to think that the process of conversion of both the free mulsumans and the captive Muslims was carried out with some fluidity and, apparently, without hostile environmental pressures." To this effect a synodal resolution establishes that baptism can be imparted without rainfall to those who request it, subjecting them to a period of trial, of reflection, for at least three days. " Repopulation and society in the kingdom of Majorca (1230-1343)

In this same work he tells us the following:

"Numerous" baptizati "are documented that in certain cases, for example the" Benasser ", the" Benamar ", the" Abenjohan "or the" Abenmartin ", preserve their lineage from the Muslim era although the arrom identification applied to them is disorienting Are Arromans or converts were Christians of Muslim Majorca only Islamized in the way of life? ... The normal thing is that the "baptizati", the converts, are designated with their first name and identification " baptizati "as, for example," Petrus baptizati " or "Johannes baptizati. " Repopulation and society in the kingdom of Majorca (1230-1343)
Unlike the Iberian Peninsula, in which the Mozarabs could flee to the Christian North, in the Balearics, being some islands, this was practically impossible. What entailed that an important mass of Christian population remained in the islands. And in the same way that the Majorcan Jews (xuetes), they pretended their conversion to Christianity by eating bacon (in Majorcan language, xuia) in the doorway of their house. The Mozarab Mallorcans pretend to convert to Islam, while in the intimacy they continue with their Christian rites.

If we read the different Christian chronicles about the conquest, a very important character appears in this story, although it has not been given the attention it deserves. This is Ben Abet, Lord of Pollença, he and his followers will provide a fundamental service for the triumph of Christians. They will provide supplies and inform about what happens inside the walls of Medina Mayurka. He is described by James I as an angel from heaven.
In the Arabic chronicle of the conquest, it is given the importance it deserves, they describe him as a traitor and an apostate. They are the followers of Ben Abet who arrest and deliver to the Christians to the group of Muslims who leave Medina Mayurka (Palma), to convince the rural population to unite against the Christians, and it is Ben Abet who, according to the Arabic chronicle, deceives the Muslims Telling them that Christianity and Islam are the same, so that they accept the new situation.
We should ask ourselves,Who is really Ben Abet, if not the head of the Mozarabic Christian resistance? Forced to convert to Islam by the Almohad fanatics, as also happened in the Iberian Peninsula. Recall that in the chronicle of Bernat Desclot , Ben Abet invites Nuño Sanchez, Count of Rosselló, to spend the Christmas holidays in his house in Pollensa (North of Majorca). And when the conquest has triumphed, he and his whole family converted to Christianity by adopting the Bennassar family name, and receiving important possessions both in rural areas and in the capital.

These houses and land that Ben Abet received were part of the portion of Nuño Sanz, in the division of Majorca. As I have already commented before, very probably Ben Abet and Nuño Sanz were partners and maybe friends. Before the arrival of Jaime I A Majorca were already contacts between them two to establish a strategy.

Lluch was already a Christian holy place long before the arrival of the Muslims. Lluch in Latin means sacred forest (Lucus).
It is documented that 35 years after the Christian conquest, in 1265, Valentí Ses Torres, in his testament, cedes the image of the Virgin of Lluch to the chapel of Lluch. Shortly after, in 1273, one Guillen Sacoma, tired of the inconvenience caused by the large number of pilgrims arriving in Lluch to adore the Virgin, returns the piece of land that surrounds the original chapel to its former owner, Bernat d 'Olm.

In the area of ​​Lluch-Pollensa it is proven that there were caves where Christian rites were performed during the Muslim period.

Throughout the Muslim period there is a background sound, like a rumor, that although it is not clearly seen, it is perceived to be there. It is the Christian aboriginal population, it has been despised and even ignored, especially by some politically interested sectors.
It is as if we submerge a float in the water. It is not seen on the surface, but it is glimpsed through the water, with a distorted shape. But as the force to keep it under water decreases, the float rises, and its image, as it approaches the surface, becomes less distorted until it floats.
In the same way, as the Catalanist forces are losing strength, as reason and common sense are imposed, We will see how the true history of the Christian population of the Balearic Islands will be revealed to us through the 300 years of Balearic Al-Andalus.

In the summer of 2015 were discovered in the ruins of the ancient Pollentia, north of Majorca, Christian tombs (translation) dating from the time of Muslim rule. Something that frontally contradicts the Catalanist theory about the non-existence of the Christian population at that time, since it not only proves that they existed but they also maintained their Christian rites.

arqueologia, tumbas cristianas en la Mallorca musulmana
Christian Tombs in Muslim Pollentia. Diario Ultima Hora.
One after another the absurd Catalanist theories are falling, however our educational system remains faithful to the doctrinaire Catalanist.

They say that history is written by the winners. But if you are a loser with enough money to buy renegades and traitors, and put them in strategic positions, such as education, politics, media, justice... You can rewrite history at your convenience.