Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Sights

Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst while threading one's way along life's stream of bitter truths on an overcast Thursday morning.

"Golden Age" Of Islamic Spain: Using hard truths to shine some light on popular utopian myths:
Few of those who want to emphasize the Golden Age of Spain and how it was a land of "tolerance" want to recall that Maimonides and his family were forced to leave Spain in 1148 because the fanatic Muslim rulers, known as the Almohades, gave Jews and other non-Muslims the choice of conversion, exile or death.
Yet this expulsion was never remembered. Is this the place of "humanistic beauty" that Western scholars want us to recall? Was this the "bastion of culture, commerce and beauty"? Western historians have presented this as "the intellectual community which the northern [European] scholars found in Spain was so far superior to what they had at home that it left a lasting jealousy of Arab culture."
Most have forgotten that this Arab culture in Spain was one that included slavery. People speak of Spain as a "Convivencia" or coexistence society. This coexistence society we imagine as a utopia resembles the American antebellum South, with slavery and large wealthy estates.
Today's Great Britain, Where Violent Assault Is Not Necessarily A Crime: The Chief Inspector of Constabulary reports that thousands of violent assaults and domestic attacks are being recorded by investigating police officers as "no crime".
The police inspectorate found one in three decisions to record a violent incident as no crime were wrong.
If the findings, based on a sample, are repeated across all forces, it would mean at least 5,000 victims of violence being ignored.
As well as disguising the true extent of violent crime, a wrong "no crime" decision affects the help given to the victim.
Among the cases was a woman left battered and bruised after her partner slapped her, grabbed her by the neck and threw her on the floor.
The force, which has not been named, recorded no crime as having taken
The officers wrote that the victim would say she injured herself and that her partner's account was "more accurate".
Preying and Praying: Indianapolis cashier Angela Montez tries to dissuade an armed robber from committing his crime, and -- who knows? -- may have found the words to save him from pursuing a more violent life, if he ends up taking her advice to heart.

The thief's mother identified him from news broadcasts of the security video, and the man has turned himself in to police.

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