The Moors were Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors were initially of Arab and Berber descent, though the term later covered people of mixed ancestry and Iberian Christian converts to Islam.
In 711 the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula from North Africa and called the territory Al-Andalus, which at its peak included most of modern-day Spain, Portugal, and Septimania. The Moors occupied Mazara on Sicily in 827, developing it as a port, and they eventually consolidated the rest of the island and some of southern Italy. Differences in religion and culture led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe, which tried to reclaim control of Muslim areas. In Spain this conflict was referred to as the Reconquista. In 1224 the Muslims were expelled from Sicily to the settlement of Lucera, which was destroyed by European Christians in 1300. The fall of Granada in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Iberia, although a Muslim minority persisted until their expulsion in 1609.
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