Christians and Muslims In the Middle Ages

1953 Words Jun 25th, 2018 8 Pages
Part A
1) In several ways, Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages shared in their approach to dealing with the infidels living in their lands, particularly in their proclamation of legal edicts defining the level of toleration and the protection offered those nonbelievers. Yet, however similar the two society's legislative relations were in managing minority faiths, there still existed minor fundamental differences stemming from disparities in their societal structure. A study of the legal decrees of either society reveals they both desired to maintain hegemony and obtain respect (manifestly and psychologically) for their faith. They also both capitalized on the ability of infidels to perform tasks considered necessary yet
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Resembling Medieval Christendom, but less frequent, were significant periods of conquest, expansion, and growth of the Muslims' faith in which tolerance was not an aspect of inter-faith relations. Specific examples being Muhammad’s persecution of the Jewish tribes Banus Qainuqa, Nadir and Quraiza in Medina, Calipha al Mansur's 772 decree that the hands of all Christians and Jews in Jerusalem be branded, and Fatimid Calipha Abu Ali al-Mansur al-Hakim's violent pillaging and decimation of Christian property, and his slaughter of both Christians and Jews. Overall, there are a number of similarities in the two faiths’ treatment of minority religions. Still, an examination of Medieval Christians' inter-faith relations finds a history of religious diplomacy much more fragmented than that of the Muslims. In Christianity, tolerance and persecution were part of the ebb and flow of the passage of power from one ruler to the next, as well as the power struggle between the church and the state. On the other hand, Muslims had no such struggle; their church and state were one and the same. Unlike Christians, they did not have separate laws for the sacred and profane, the secular and religious. The passage of power from one Islamic ruler to the next rarely brought with it radical amendments in the treatment of infidels, although exceptions did exist.
2) Certainly, when one hears "jihad" or "crusade," it often
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