Friday, November 6, 2009

Africanus 2

Throughout this week’s reading Leo Africanus has started to become a man. The passing of his grandmother is first on his way to adulthood. The firsthand account gives a glimpse of how religion varies in past times. Also, the way women are treated compared to relative standards never cease to amaze me in revolution. Leo is sent of start school and along finds a companion for the rest of his days. Grenada fell into the hands of the Castilians. The inquisitors sought to convert all Muslims to Christianity or kill them in process. Africanus speaks of entire city blocks being baptized in order to safe their family. It is so interesting the stance that conquers implemented religion as way to break their captives or subdue them. When I think converting people to different religions today, I refer to missionaries and other ways, however, I do not think of imposing religion upon conquered states. An example of this is Iraq; the United States government did not impose the ultimatum convert to Christianity or die! This is just one interesting difference in social acceptability gained through insight of Leo’s journey.
The second point that’s not really understood until the reading of a firsthand account is the way women were treated. Leo Africanus is finally reunited with his sister after many years, only for father giver hand away in a pre arranged marriage for a business deal. The man turned out to be a low life who amassed riches from stealing, killing, robbing, and more. Today’s standards women have a choice, and are not as dependent on men for financial backing, as well, most marry for love. The women of this time period had no choice, and like a Muslim woman must keep her veiled from eyes. The standards for women have greatly increased; my question for you then is how have they changed in such places that are inhabited by Muslims?

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