Download Arab France: Islam and the Making of Modern Europe, by Ian Coller PDF

By Ian Coller

Many ponder Muslims in Europe as a 20th century phenomenon, yet this booklet brings to existence a misplaced neighborhood of Arabs who lived via battle, revolution, and empire in early 19th century France. Ian Coller uncovers the fabulous tale of the various hundred males, ladies, and children—Egyptians, Syrians, Greeks, and others—who the French military again domestic after Napoleon’s profession of Egypt. in accordance with study in missed documents, at the rediscovery of forgotten Franco-Arab authors, and on a various number of visible fabrics, the ebook builds a wealthy photo of the 1st Arab France—its start, upward push, and unexpected decline within the age of colonial growth. As he excavates a neighborhood that was once approximately erased from the historic checklist, Coller bargains a brand new account of France itself during this pivotal interval, one who transcends the binary framework wherein we too usually view heritage via revealing the deep roots of trade among Europe and the Muslim global, and displaying how Arab France used to be in truth critical to the sunrise of modernity.

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Additional info for Arab France: Islam and the Making of Modern Europe, 1798-1831

Sample text

The fundamental role of Islam in cementing the legitimacy of Ottoman rule had provided a constant pressure to expand into the non-Muslim world, but it also served to constrain change within a powerfully theocentric vision of the world. Despite the frequent characterization of the Ottoman regime as despotic and arbitrary, the sultan could by no means ignore the will of his people, and above all the opinions of the religious intellectuals. In the early part of the century, several sultans were deposed in revolts led by populist figures who accused the Porte of neglecting the tasks imposed by Islam, or failing to deliver prosperity to the people.

The Melkites rapidly expanded their networks across the region. 64 When the French arrived in , they found the Melkites concentrated in the coastal cities, particularly Alexandria and Damietta, with well-established connections to Europe and European culture. They had almost entirely displaced the Jews as the privileged agents of the Mamluk rulers, in trading matters and sometimes in diplomacy between the various rulers they served. Philipp describes a meteoric Melkite rise to positions of wealth and power in Egypt.

Napoleon, it seemed, had departed Egypt eager to seize in France the kind of absolute power he had exercised in Cairo. The “refugees from Egypt” would have to make a swift and radical change of mentality from one system of power to another, just as they had done when the French took power in Cairo in . The loss of Egypt that gave rise to this emigration was quite a serious shock to the confidence of postrevolutionary France. It was extremely reassuring, then, to insist that France had snatched a cultural and intellectual victory from the jaws of defeat.

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