PRAISE OF THE CRUSADERS' ATTITUDE TOWARDS MUSLIMS IN IBN JUBAYR'S CHRONICLE CONCERNING HIS JOURNEY TO THE EAST (D. 1217)
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Ibn Jubayr replaced the linear vision of travelling by the spacious one. His 'Rihlah' presents a multi-thematic narrative concerning political, economic, historical, sociological and other subjects, becoming a model of a new literary genre: a diary of some journey. The present study concerns one of the most intriguing fragments of this narrative, i.e. the praise of the crusaders in spite of the fact that the author was extremely prejudice towards the Francs. Firstly, Ibn Jubayr praised the crusaders for their attitude towards the economic dimension: light taxes laid on Muslims. Secondly, the traveller from Granada was astonished to see good relationships and peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims. Those observations made him fear that the Muslims living in better comfort in the lands of the Francs than in the Islamic countries might want to convert into Christianity. However, on the basis of a detailed analysis of the source one can claim that staying in the Francs' world Ibn Jubayr discovered something more than the economic tolerance for the followers of Islam. Namely, he became aware of the weakness of the Muslim society to build stable institutions. In the Medieval Islamic countries without fiefdom system or the countries with unilateral obligation of the weaker party to the stronger one encountered big difficulties to convince their officials and subjects to have a feeling of community of mutual interests. Therefore, Ibn Jubayr discovered that objectivity and good management of the state by the crusaders constituted some deadly danger for the world of Islam and could be a dangerous 'contagious' disease. Finally, one should notice the contradictory feelings of fear and fascination as well as admiration and aversion, i.e. 'the ambivalence of Ibn Jubayr' towards the Western world was developed throughout ages in the world of Islam and has been continued until now.
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