In this section of reading Hasan receives his new name, Leo, at his baptizing in Rome, Italy. Around this time, while working as a diplomat in Constantinople, Egypt, during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, his wife Nur gave birth to a girl. However, not long after he was captured by Italian pirates because of his position of power and was used as a slave. This was a form of exile because of scandals that surrounded his family, in that his brother was accused of murder. It is this that brought him to Rome and closer to the Pope and his religion and allowed him to be baptized and adopt the name Leo Africanus.
This is so interesting I think because it seems so unlikely to happen. I could not have predicted in the beginning of the book that Leo would become baptized and a Catholic by choice and that he and the Pope would share so many thoughts and ideas. It is very interesting that the pope almost instantly trusted Leo, especially because he was brought into Rome one a slave ship. Also, I think it is interesting that Leo spends time contemplating the issue of separation of church and state. However, he is of the opinion that the army should use religion as their support. However, personally I think that they should stay away from each other. I think that with religion in the mix war gets too personal… not that war shouldn’t be personal, because it should. But I think it should be a different type of personal. War should be personal because you are taking the lives of other human beings not because your religion or beliefs tell you it is.
--- DOROTHY SMITH