Tag Archives: Roman

Probable Islamic Influence on The Presumption of Innocence

justice-gavel-and-book

The historian Marcel Boisard states in his journal “On the probable influence of Islam on western public and international law”, published in the International Journal of Middle East studies[i]:

“It was above all the very high ethical standard of Islamic law that impressed the medieval West and provoked the development of a more refined legal thinking. This aspect is undoubtedly the most durable merit of Muslim influence, as illustrated by the administration of justice. Until the Crusades, legal procedure in the West consisted of “God’s judgments” by boiling water or by duel, or by “ordeal” during which people were burnt with red-hot irons or boiling oil and, if they survived, declared “not guilty.” In contrast, we have only to quote the instructions given by Omar in the seventh century to the Muslim judges to show what a chasm separated the two conceptions:

“Only decide on the basis of proof, be kind to the weak so that they can express themselves freely and without fear, deal on an equal footing with litigants by trying to reconcile them.”

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Thinking Past Eurocentrism

“Eurocentrism cannot be found amongst the ancient Greeks or Romans, who did not identify with each other or with the tribes of Western Europe.  Romans thought Germanic and Celtic tribespeople were barbaric and inferior, owning them as slaves in Rome and depicting them as savages in art…

…After the fall of Rome, in one of the most remarkable cases of Stockholm syndrome in history, the conquered identified themselves with their conquerors and adopted Roman [and later Greek] history and identity as their own to make claims to power and lineage.”

Eric Gerlach

More Info > Thinking Past Eurocentrism.

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