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Fascinating Perspectives On The Crusades And The Modern Middle East
The author has combed the works of contemporary Arab chronicles of the Crusades, eyewitnesses and often participants. He retells their story and offers insights into the historical forces that shape Arab and Islamic consciousness today. Features: * ISBN13: 9780805208986 * Condition: NEW * Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark. * Click here to view our Condition Guide and Shipping Prices This is a wonderful book and easy to read, not bogged down with a lot of academic jargon. The perspective is a fresh one, because most people in the West are inundated with Western views of things. Much of the tension between the Western world and the Muslim world is due to the vastly different views of reality the different cultures have. One of the fascinating
This has left a legacy of political weakness the Arab world is still struggling with (e. and. Muslim justice was more rational. where few dynasties lasted more than 2 or 3 generations before a coup or assassination replaced one ruler with a stronger. Even the legendary Salah ed-Din failed to create a long-lasting dynasty. the attempt to create a stable. Such divine right of kings did not exist in the Muslim world. while the infidel West entered a long period of growth and development. and the West lost them. and he could not overrule a decision made by the nobles. Maalouf.g. He was appalled at the barbarian behavior of the Franj (the Arab term for Crusader-coming from the word Frank) regarding their justice system. at the end of the book draws important conclusions from these observations. Another Muslim visitor to the Franj was named Ibn Jubayr and he noted that the majority of the population of the regions controlled by the Franj were Muslims and they were generally treated fairly by their Christian rulers and they had rights recognized even when they were mere peasants. able to develop orderly governmental institutions that provide for continuity. which Muslim peasants living under Muslim rule did not enjoy. he who is in the right will be the strongest in a fight between disputants. or someone accused of a moral crime would be thrown into water. This was in utter contrast to the Muslim and Jewish systems of jurisprudence of the time which were based on evidence and argument before judges. Ibn Jubayr concluded that the Franj must be defeated because their fairer treatment of their Muslim population would serve as an inducement for the Muslim masses to support them instead of their own rulers! (Arab/Muslim propaganda against Israel and the West today is often using the same arguments). If he was innocent he would sink but if he was guilty he would float. to this day. as anachronistic as it sounds to modern ears. As a consequence of their victory. on the other hand.e. He came to this conclusion when he saw disputes being resolved by trial by ordeal i. Although the Muslims miltarily won the wars of the Crusades. or more clever one. When one of the Franj kings died. it was the Muslim East that went into long-term decline in the wake of their victory. Maalouf is out of tune with the rising tide of Islamic extremism sweeping the Middle East so his call for soul-searching based on the conclusions he reached in writing this book seems to be . and somewhat democratic regime in Iraq).parts of the book points out that there were Arab observers who did begin to realize this. Usamah noted that the Frankish king did not have unlimited power. One. Usamah also noted how Western science and medicine were inferior to those of the Muslim world. whose name was Usamah. However. Maalouf also points out that the Muslim world was never. unlike Muslim rulers. but Muslim governance was arbitrary compared to that the of the Crusaders. the concept lead to a much greater degree of stability in the West than in the Muslim world. his successor was usually picked (usually a son) in an orderly way. was sent as an emissary to the Crusaders by his sultan. the Muslim world felt it should cut off contact with the dynamic thought present in the West and they should hunker down into a defensive isolation in order to maintain their purity.
5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price! . Maalouf himself fell victim to the closedmindedness he decries in the book when he includes a map of the modern Middle East in which the name of the country of Israel does not appear. For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf . this important book should be read by anyone interested in the history of the Middle East. Yet.falling on deaf ears. Still.