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There is no way now of knowing which of these tales, if either, is rooted in truth. What we can say is that the term “Banu Sasan” was once in widespread use. It crops up to describe criminals of every stripe, and also seems to have been acknowledged, and indeed used with pride, by the villains of this period.

Who were they, then, these criminals of Islam’s golden age? The majority, Bosworth says, seem to have been tricksters of one sort or another,

who used the Islamic religion as a cloak for their predatory ways, well aware that the purse-strings of the faithful could easily be loosed by the eloquence of the man who claims to be an ascetic or or mystic, or a worker of miracles and wonders, to be selling relics of the Muslim martyrs and holy men, or to have undergone a spectacular conversion from the purblindness of Christianity or Judaism to the clear light of the faith of Muhammad.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

1 posted on 07/23/2013 6:10:08 AM PDT by lbryce
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To: lbryce
What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.

ECC 1:9

2 posted on 07/23/2013 6:21:49 AM PDT by B.O. Plenty (Give war a chance........)
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To: lbryce
a candle, a crowbar, stale bread, an iron spike, a drill, a bag of sand—and a live tortoise.

still using basically the same tool a thousand years later.

4 posted on 07/23/2013 6:37:26 AM PDT by farsny
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To: lbryce

Ismail El Outamani suggests that this was because the Banu Sasan were a product of an urbanization that was all but unknown west of Constantinople at this time.

I found this interesting. It suggests so many things about people in general. To me though it suggests that the rogues, thieves, (Politicians, but I repeat myself), develop mostly where there is an excess of people who because of the sheer numbers of them don’t know personally everyone in the city. And it is that sort of anonymity that permits such behaviors to exist and persist too.


5 posted on 07/23/2013 6:38:00 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: SunkenCiv

In case you’re interested in the connection between a thief, stale bread, and a live tortoise in 12th century Persia.


8 posted on 07/23/2013 7:38:12 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: lbryce

!


12 posted on 07/23/2013 9:24:13 PM PDT by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept?)
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To: lbryce

...survives from earlier than the ninth century (that is, the third century AH)....

***
AH? What does that mean?


16 posted on 07/24/2013 5:41:17 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Let me hear what God the LORD will speak. -Ps85)
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To: lbryce

Interesting article. One big error though. Islam never had a golden age. It was always a stone age cult destroying whatever good it encountered (and sometimes taking credit for teh inventions of people’s it conquered)


20 posted on 07/29/2013 10:29:30 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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