The Moorish Empire begins

On April 29, 711 (the year, not the store), the Moorish leader Tariq ibn-Ziyad departed for the Iberian Peninsula to begin the Moorish conquest of Spain and Portugal.  The Jews in Spain were persecuted by the Christians, and some openly assisted the Muslim campaign.  The Muslims ruled Spain and Portugal for over 700 years, with enlightened policies of diversity management.  Muslim scholars continued their advances in science, medicine and mathematics, sparing the Iberian Peninsula from the brunt of the Dark Ages in Europe.  After the re-conquest in the 15th century, Spain and Portugal were well positioned to lead Europe in state formation and in voyaging to across the seas to the New World.

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