Thursday, October 29, 2009


The book “Leo Africanus” written by Amin Maalouf is different from all the other books we have read so far. This is because the book is written as a personal tail of memoirs to explain the life of Hasan bin Muhammed al-Wazzan al-Fasi who was given the Christian name of Leo Africanus. This is a lot different to read and analyze compared to our other readings because it is only the single point of view of Leo’s life as he sees and explains it. As we talked about in class this brings on some kind of bias about the information that is being presented and what really happened in his history. This bias will always occur when you look at history from one persons point of view and it makes me wonder how much of it we can believe. Either way, Muhammed’s life story so far is an interesting one and it brings up many interesting points and events that occurred during this time period. The first interesting part of the book has to deal with polygamy has this was accepted during this time. This is interesting as he impregnates two different women and really wants a boy. If this were to occur today it would be on Jerry Springer or Maury, but polygamy is seen as an easier form of life. The wives are able to work together to take care of the kids and stuff around the house making life much simpler. The book then moves to his travels as Maalouf uses language and religion to show us the Muslim culture and to dissolve some of the stereotypes they are given.

This book is much different from the ones we have previously read and is much more interesting to me. The part that stuck out for me was something I remember talking about in class was that it is very difficult to force ones religion, culture, and beliefs on areas that already have their own established. Even when the Spanish took back what the Muslims attempted to control.

My question is if any country today will ever be able to force religion and cultures on another country. And if they do conquer those aspects of a country will they be able to hold it and claim it as part of country.

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