2015-11-05 04:50:54
The city of Baghdad formed two vast semi-circles on the right and left banks of the Tigris, twelve miles in diameter. The numerous suburbs, covered with parks, gardens, villas and beautiful promenades, and plentifully supplied with rich bazaars, and finely built mosques and baths, stretched for a considerable distance on both sides of the river. In the days of its prosperity the population of Baghdad and its suburbs amounted to over two millions! ...The long wide estrades at the different gates of the city were used by the citizens for gossip and recreation or for watching the flow of travelers and country folk into the capital. The different nationalities in the capital had each a head officer to represent their interests with the government, and to whom the stranger could appeal for counsel or help." —William Stearns Davis, ed., Readings in Ancient History: Illustrative Extracts from the Sources, 2 Vols. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1912-13), Vol. II: Rome and the West, pp. 365-367 Considering this excerpt written by the Arab geographer Yakut in the 13th century, what can we say about Islamic Baghdad at that time? It tolerated a diverse population. It forbade the practice of other religions. It excluded non-Muslims from the city. It imposed laws to limit the rights of non-Muslims.
2015-11-05 06:18:22

it tolerated a diverse population