Two villages in Malaga decided to 'free' the last Moorish king of Al Andalus, Boabdil. Canillas de Aceituno (2,336 inhabitants) and Sedella (688 inhabitants) have approved changing their municipal coat of arms to remove the chain from around Boabdil's neck, who surrendered Granada in 1492.
According to the mayor of Canillas de Aceituno, Jose Manuel Aranda (PSOE, Spanish Socialist Workers' Party), the village made this decision because it represents an element of confrontation that already belongs to the past.
"We have decided to remove a symbol with connotations of racism and slavery that deepens the struggle for dominion among races, senseless in a new, free generation"
The decision was formalized last Friday in an extraordinary plenary meeting. The proposal originated from the party ruling the city council (PSOE) and was supported by the Andalusian Party; the Popular Party voted against.
“We do not understand how they can vote against and be in favour of continuing to use for Canillas de Aceituno symbols that are the hallmark of inequalities and that can raise xenophobic sentiments”, commented the alderman.
Sedella, which is also ruled by the PSOE, 'freed' Boabdil in September of last year.
The coat of arms of Canillas de Aceituno is based on that of Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba's. Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba was involved in the capture of Granada and participated in the battle of Lucena in 1483 when Boabdil was capture. In return he was allowed to display the captured Boabdil on his coat of arms. Several villages in the province include the enslaved king in their coat of arms. Other municipalities such as Comares and Sayalonga continue to display it.
Sources: 20 Minutos (Spanish), La Yihad en Eurabia (English)