The Attitude of Muslims to Christians in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Image of a European in the Works of Muslim authors of the Era of the Crusades
Authors: Sergey L. Dudarev
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This article presents the results of a comparative analysis of a number of works by medieval Muslim authors who examined the situation of the population of the Middle East regions conquered by the crusaders and in this regard gave their characteristics to the newcomers in terms of their perceptions of their culture, customs, habits, etc. Estimates of the eastern authors of the Middle Ages, given to European aliens, are usually based on negative stereotypes and are replete with negative epithets, although at the same time they also note the valor of Western warriors. They are the result of direct military clashes with the crusaders, who came to the land of the East with conquering purposes and oppressed the local population, as well as a persistent misunderstanding of another's cultural tradition. The latter stemmed from an insufficient degree of inter-civilizational exchange, largely due to religious precepts containing the idea of ritual impurity of the “infidels,” and from a sense of the superiority of their culture. Not the least role in the emergence of a negative attitude towards European aliens was played by the Muslims' perception of their geographical space, endowed with negative connotations.