Michael Horrex once owned a cortijo in the foothills of the Cerro de la Matanza, a small mountain in The Alpujarras of southern Andalucia. He had assumed that the Matanza referred to the autumn harvest of pigs when they are turned into hams. This was far from the case. The slaughter was that of helpless women and children, during the Christian reconquest of Muslim Spain. As often happens in cases like these, the victors have air-brushed the reality of what happened and replaced it with a sanitised history of events. The arms of the local village consist of a stylised representation of The Cerro, along with the Christian cross and the overthrown Islamic Crescent. Displayed throughout the village and on all official documents, it is thought to demonstrate the triumph of Christianity over the infidel forces of Islam. With the help of academics and local historians, Michael Horrex has pieced together a little of the truth. Today, when we in the west are faced with the challenge of Islamic extremism, it is relevant to consider another type of fundamentalism - that which inspired the crusades, the Christian conquest of Muslim Spain and the extinction of pre-Columbian religions and cultures in the Americas. Matanza! is the story of two young men, one of them the son of a rich Muslim intellectual, the other, a Christian slave. They learn first to respect and then to love each other as they grow to maturity against the cruel and bloody background of the Spanish Reconquista. - A time when one of the most open and tolerant societies the world has ever known was replaced by the horrors of The Spanish Inquisition and man chose to believe in religion, rather than in God.