During the 1550s Turks and Berbers became a serious threat to Mediterranean Christian countries. Moriscos were seen as possible allies and were therefore regarded as a potential threat to the Hispanic Monarchy. A lot of propagandists, including representatives of the Church, proposed measures for dealing with the threat. Moriscos were officially Christians and therefore, according to the Canon Law, if they were proved to be heretics or apostates, they should be condemned to death.
It is said that the Moors should incur the death penalty, the loss of their property and their children or risk servitude and slavery. It would not be an injustice if they were put to the sword, but at least His Majesty, in conscience and good government, must banish them from these Kingdoms.
Fray Pedro Arias to the State Council
If they go to Africa they will join up with the people from there and they will return to Spain. These people can be deported to the coasts of “macallaos” and Terranova, which are wide and without any population, where they should be castrated.
Martín de Salvatierra,Bishop of Segorbe, 1587
that all men, women and children were shut up in drilled vessels without oars, rudders, rigging and sails and sent to Africa.
Report from Juan Boil de Arenós to the State Council, 1601