Tarek ibn Ziyad was the Muslim general who led the Islamic conquest of Spain in 711 A.D. The Muslims forged an empire in Spain that was not defeated until 1492.
When Ziyad's forces landed at Gibraltar (Gibr Tariq, "rock of Tarek") on the Spanish coast, he famously burned the fleet to the waterline as a warning to his men that they must conquer or die in the cause of jihad. He also offered other incentives, among them mass looting of property and the rape and sexual enslavement of women. Islamic historian Al Maggari gives part of Ziyad's speech as follows: "You have heard that in this country there are a large number of ravishingly beautiful Greek maidens, their graceful forms are draped in sumptuous gowns on which gleam pearls, coral, and purest gold, and they live in the palaces of royal kings."
Why did Ziyad refer to the Spanish women as Greek? The main Christian targets for the Muslim armies up to that point were the Greek Byzantines, hence the reference to "Greek maidens." Turks often still use the word "Rûm" (meaning Roman) to refer to Christians or Europeans in general, as the Byzantines were the Eastern Romans. The common Arab word "Ferengi" for Europeans means "Franks," and came much later when they encountered the Western Christian Crusaders. This same word was borrowed by science fiction writers for one of the "Star Trek" spinoffs.
He conquered and enslaved peaceful people and instituted an imperial occupation that lasted for seven centuries, and his view of "violence against women" was anything but progressive. Remember, the attack on Spain in 711 A.D. was unprovoked. Not content with military victory, the Islamic army plundered both the material wealth and the human lives of the territory.
In Islam, the women and children of infidels defeated in jihad became the property of Muslims, and this sick fate befell countless millions of people over the course of the centuries during which Muslims attacked Europe.
Islamic historians have preserved the speech which Ziyad gave after his troops landed on the Spanish shore, and he burned their ships:
Oh my warriors, to where would you flee? Behind you is the sea, before you, the enemy. You have heard that in this country there are a large number of ravishingly beautiful Greek maidens, their graceful forms are draped in sumptuous gowns on which gleam pearls, coral, and purest gold, and they live in the palaces of royal kings: the spoils will belong to yourselves.
Despite the fact that the attack on Spain was unprovoked, and the Spanish taken by surprise, they did have some defensive operations. The Gothic king Rodrigo (also called Roderick) kept a defense for about a year after the invasion.
Roderick, immediately upon securing his throne, gathered a force to oppose the Arabs and Berbers (Mauri) who were raiding in the south of the Iberian peninsula and had destroyed many towns under Tariq ibn Ziyad and other Muslim generals. While later Arabic sources make the conquest of Hispania a singular event undertaken at the orders of the governor Musa ibn Nosseyr of Ifriqiya, it seems that the Arabs began disorganised raids and only undertook to conquer the peninsula with the fortuitous death of Roderick and the collapse of the Visigothic nobility. The Saracens invaded "all Hispania" from Septem (Ceuta).
Roderic made several expeditions against the invaders before he was killed in battle in 712. The location of the battle is debatable. It probably occurred near the mouth of the Guadalete river, hence its name, the Battle of Guadalete.
The Arabs took Toledo in 711-712 and executed many nobles still in the city on the pretense that they had assisted in the flight of Oppa, a son of Egica.
When Roderick was killed in action, the defense quickly collapsed, and the Muslims captured the entire country, carrying out the plans. Village after village suffered the same fate: the men were killed, the women raped and made into concubines, the children taken as slaves; after taking whatever grain and livestock they wanted for their army's provisions, the Islamic military burned the fields, slaughtered the remaining animals, and left the elderly to starve. Spain was quickly reduced to a wasteland.