Sunday, September 07, 2008

In my own words

I'm currently reading Kings or People: Power and the Mandate to Rule, by Reinhold Bendix, which is long and somewhat tedious, but has some very important stuff in it. As per my standard practice, I take notes on everything I read, putting the main ideas into my own words.

So when Bendix talks about the formation of Islamic empires, he traces it back to Mecca establishing itself as a holy space pre-Muhammad where no blood-feuds could be practiced. This "safe haven" label is what helped establish Mecca as a center for commerce in the Arabian world. Looking over my notes, I wrote, "Forbidding bloodshed makes Mecca a Mecca."

Bendix probably said it better, if not more concisely.

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