As far as my academic career goes, I have always learned about "the Muslims" and how European expansion was threatened by "the Muslims". Therefore, I'm amazed and fasinated to learn about exactly who "the Muslims" were. For instance, the readings discuss the dynamics within the Muslim world with fighting caliphs and competing dynasties, such as the Abbasid Empire and the Malmuk Empire in Egypt. I feel as if there were more of the middle man for trade in the world during that time. They traded with what we now know as Europeans and traded with the Eastern empires like China. What I find most interesting is how despite all the tensions within the Islamic Empire that it was able to sucessfully facilitate trade with other empires. I've never been exposed to any articles or texts that discussed the specifics of the tension within Islam.
Also, the class discussion of why the Muslims thought they were superior to the Italian merchant still reminds me egocentrism and the other class discussion of where the center of the world is located. It seems to me that everyone thinks that the center of the world is where they themselves are located and that naturally, they are superior to other people that are different from them. The Muslims believed that they were God's chosen people as do both the Jews and Christians alike. Europeans believed that they were superior to those of foreign lands during expansion. In conclusion, egocentrism allows everyone to feel as if they are the center of the world and that they are superior to all others, especially in the case of Kayne West.