The religious factor may be the element in which the ambiguity of the Spanish colonialist relationship to its North African Moroccan neighbour is the strongest and most evident. Despite the fact that the image of "the Muslim" historically and socially remains that of the barbarous infidel either to be baptised or eliminated, under Franco's regime (1939-1975) the official message established sufficient points of contact to suggest potential bonds of solidarity. In fact, these never have existed. It was during the Franco period (precisely when the social and political influence of the Catholic Church was at its strongest), that this argument was most popular. The memory of peaceful coexistence between the three religions on the Iberian Peninsula (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) from the eighth to the fifteenth century, seemingly trumped the spirit of conquest and the compulsory conversion orders expressed in the testament of Queen Isabella "the Catholic." However, this apparently tolerant discourse has always been at some political distance from such contemporary notions as "transculturation" and "contact with the other" that the exposition of that discourse seemed to promise.